The 'Alapaha' berries are medium sized, just right for the frozen and fresh marketing packaging operation. 'Alapaha' berries showed practically no tearing of the blueberry skin, during the harvesting of the berries mechanically, and that meant a longer shelf life profit with more market appeal to the customer. The 'Alapaha' blueberry plant developed flowers later in the season than 'Climax' or most other cultivars, and that meant less, early frost damage, but surprisingly, the berries were among the first to ripen in late May, just in time for higher prices, before most other competitive States could flood the market with early blueberries. 450 to 500 chill hours forces flowering to begin, and 'Vernon' is an excellent pollinator for 'Alapaha'
• Most of the Rabbiteye blueberry cultivars were tested for performance before being released for public consumption at a very large isolated farm near the Alapaha River near the Tifton, GA., Coastal Plains Experiment Station by Dr. W. T. Brightwell, Dr. Max Austin and then later, Dr. Scott Nesmith introduced the 'Alapaha' Blueberry cultivar to replace the older, 'Climax' blueberry cultivar that was the most widely planted blueberry. The 'Alapaha' blueberry guaranteed early ripening, sometimes as early as the first week of May. Mechanical harvesting was important to cut labor costs and to rush the fresh berries to the commercial market when the prices were higher.