Blackberry Production and New Varieties


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Talk by John R. Clark at 2011 VSU Virginia Berry Conference

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Blackberry Production and New Varieties

  1. 1. Blackberry Production and New VarietiesGOOD MORNING VIRGINIA!<br />John R. Clark<br />University Professor<br />Dept. of Horticulture<br />University of Arkansas<br />
  2. 2. Do You Have Any Idea What Has Been Going On With Fresh Market Blackberries the Last 10 Years?<br />There have been LOTS of them produced and marketed in North America!<br />
  3. 3. Blackberry Shipments CA, GU, MX 2000-2010: Growth!!!!!!<br />
  4. 4. Price trend and seasonality over the past decade <br />Departures from the typical early summer seasonal price increase in 07-08 and 08-09 marketing years<br />Source: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Dr. Mike Thomsen, UA; NO SE US DATA!<br />
  5. 5. Blackberry Marketing in the Eastern US<br />First, focus on direct, retail sales<br />Farmers markets<br />On-farm and other direct markets<br />Pick your own<br />Issues that limit this usually are population, location, competition, production too great<br />Or if you expand outside this market, wholesale marketing locally is done by some<br />
  6. 6. Blackberry Markets in the Eastern US for You to Consider<br />What about the shipping market?<br />It has had huge expansion since 2004<br />Southern Georgia<br />South-Central North Carolina (and a little in SC)<br />Arkansas and Texas (limited)<br />Who is marketing?<br />The largest shipper is Sunnyridge Farm <br />More recently Giumarra VBM, Naturipe<br />Driscoll, Sunbelle (the largest Mexican fruit shipper) <br />
  7. 7. Implications of broader market trends for direct marketing formats<br />Increased availability through mainstream retail channels is probably a positive for direct marketers:<br />Better enables the direct market grower to emphasize quality attributes<br />Helps to position blackberries as an impulse purchase item at a roadside stand or farm market stall<br />Blackberries can be a destination item that drives customer traffic to direct marketing venues<br />Benefits of promotional and research efforts that support shipping markets will spill-over to direct market growers<br />
  8. 8. Total plants sold 3,353,009; with very few of Navaho included<br />
  9. 9. So, What Does All This Tell US?<br />Total plants sold: Approx 3.3 million<br />Remember this is what is reported by propagators, and a number of Navaho are not included in 2009-10 reporting<br />Acreage? Hard to estimate due to plant spacing, home use etc, but equals about 2400 acres (and remember there are MANY plants not accounted for in this total (other public varieties, private releases)<br />Ouachita the largest seller at about 1.2 million (35%)<br />
  10. 10. Lets Talk About Some Variety Specifics<br />Ouachita<br />Natchez<br />Other Arkansas and Non-Arkansas thornless<br />Prime-Ark® 45<br />What is on the horizon in new developments <br />
  11. 11. Where the Arkansas Varieties are Developed<br />
  12. 12. Ouachita<br />Thornless, erect<br />Berry size 6-7 g<br />Ripens between Arapaho/Natchez and Navaho; average 12 June<br />Yields usually among highest of any Ark. thornless<br />White drupes almost never seen<br />Flavor near that of Navaho; 10% SS<br />Postharvest (PH)potential much like Navaho<br />The largest selling Arkansas variety – and most widely adapted and planted<br />Has the most impressive record so far in performance<br />
  13. 13. Ouachita<br />
  14. 14. Natchez<br />Thornless, erect to semi-erect<br />Berry size large, 8-10 g; remain large season-long<br />Ripens early with Arapaho; average 5 June<br />Yields usually the highest of any Ark. thornless<br />White drupes almost never seen<br />Flavor good; 9.5% SS<br />PH potential good tho not as good as Ouachita consistently<br />Some variation in commercial success and acceptance due to heavy crop loads<br />
  15. 15. Natchez<br />
  16. 16. Natchez Performance – GA (and Central Valley of California)<br />Too much fruit!<br />Too few leaves!<br />Not good quality!<br />Lacking in new canes!<br />Fortunately, later in the season canes did often emerge to create a good canopy<br />
  17. 17. Natchez Performance<br />Consider these items:<br />First-year plants fruited only<br />Crop potential is high and lower chill allows better budbreak<br />Too much fruit resulted and too few leaves!<br />Crop control appears to be the answer, and consider:<br />Less canes retained on young plants<br />Laterals on young plants shortened<br />More severe pruning on older plants<br />Initial grower comments are that Natchez more difficult to manage mechanically<br />
  18. 18. Navaho<br />Arkansas, 1989<br />Thornless, erect <br />Medium, 5 g ave.; some concern with smaller fruit later in season<br />Ripe 20 June<br />Yield med.-high, 8-10,000 lb/a<br />Flavor exceptional;very sweet fruit, 11-12% SS<br />PH potential great – the best of all blackberries tested by JRC<br />Appears the hardiest of Arkansas varieties<br />Some late crop on basal shoots seen and can extend the season <br />Orange rust susceptible <br />
  19. 19. Navaho<br />
  20. 20. Apache<br />Arkansas, 1999 <br />Thornless, erect<br />Large, 7-10 g; (ave. 8 g) <br />Ripe 25 June<br />Yield med.-high, 7-10,000 lb/a; among best of Ark. thornless<br /> Flavor between Navaho and Arapaho – Good! 11% SS<br />PH potential –similar to Arapaho and near Navaho<br />White drupe limitation is a major concern and shippers are not recommending this variety; others comment only a minor concern for local sales<br />Still a good seller!<br />
  21. 21. White Drupes<br />Cause? Likely an effect of sunlight and possibly worse with moisture on berries (rain or heavy dew)<br />Is usually worse early in season and less when more berries appear<br />Some still consider insect damage but not proven<br />
  22. 22. Kiowa<br />Arkansas, 1996<br />Thorny, semi-erect <br />Very large, 9-14 g (ave. 12 g) <br />Ripe 12 June<br />Yield high, 7-12,000 lb/a, long season<br />Flavor good, similar to Shawnee, 10% SS<br />PH potential fair to good, exceeds Choctaw and Shawnee but not for shipping<br />as other thornies<br />Chilling 200-300 hours –lowest of Ark. group<br />
  23. 23. Chester Thornless<br />USDA Beltsville, MD, 1985<br />Thornless, semi-erect <br />Medium, 5-7 g<br />Ripe 10 July <br />Yield very high-25,000 lb/a (not in Arkansas)<br />Flavor fair to good, among best USDA thornless; 8-9% SS<br />PH handling excellent–commercially among the most important in the world<br />Hardy<br />Can Chester build market?<br />Biggest value is late-season option<br />
  24. 24. Triple Crown<br />Thornless, semi-erect <br />Medium-large, 6-8 g<br />Ripe late July – 10 Aug.?<br />Yield high<br />Flavor probably best among USDA thornless; local sales a key option with TC<br />PH handling does not appear adequate for shipping<br />
  25. 25. Primocane-Fruiting: A Quick Review…….<br />Blackberries are a perennial plant with biennial canes<br />Primocanes are the first-year canes that usually are vegetative only<br />Floricanes are the second-year canes and these flower, fruit and die <br />Primocane fruiting indicates that fruit is borne on first-year canes<br />Normally, the remaining buds that did not fruit on primocanes develop and fruit on floricanes the following year<br />
  26. 26. Primocane Fruiting<br />Primocane terminates in flowers<br />Fruiting develops down the cane<br />Remaining buds develop flowers the next year<br />
  27. 27. Potential Value of Primocane Blackberries<br />1) later-season (fall) fruiting period<br />2) the potential to schedule production based on primocane management<br />3) potential of two crops on the same plant in the same year (floricane followed by primocane)<br />4) reduction in pruning costs by mowing of canes (primocane crop only)<br />5) avoidance of winter injury<br />6) avoidance of rosette/double blossom occurrence<br />
  28. 28.
  29. 29. The New Release: Prime-Ark® 45<br />Floricane crop ripens beginning early June, with Natchez or before<br />Excellent flavor<br />Comparable to Ouachita and Natchez in storage – should be shippable!<br />Released August 2009 with plants first marketed spring 2010 in the US<br />
  30. 30. Prime-Ark® 45<br />Fruit in storage:<br />Stay black<br />Stay firm<br />Few leaks<br />Little mold<br />Great flavor<br />
  31. 31. Prime-Ark® 45<br />Berry weight 6-7g (floricanes)<br />Very erect canes; thorny<br />Primocane buds and crop later than PJ and J - note this later fruiting<br />Has been through virus testing in Oregon<br />Upper FF fruit, (Ark) Lower PC fruit (Calif.)<br />
  32. 32. Tall Canes – Must Tip!!<br />Prime-Ark® 45 - PSU<br />Canes grew very tall in 2010. The top of the green stake is at about 4’, so many of the canes were 8’ to 9’ without tipping<br />Photo taken 11/2/10 <br />Fruit is just starting to<br /> ripen at the tip of the canes, which resulted in very low yields<br />
  33. 33. Prime-Ark® 45 Recommendation<br />Tested in Virginia?<br />Later ripening PC crop so note this – others coming will be earlier ripening <br />Heat tolerance and time of ripening must be evaluated at your location<br />
  34. 34. New Developments–Floricane Fruiting<br />Early ripening continues to be a challenging trait, and nothing coming out right away in this ripening slot<br />Mid season a challenge due to Ouachita being so dominant – but many good ones in this season under evaluation; but would you grow it?<br />Later season continuing to get close attention to replace Navaho, and extend the floricane crop longer<br />
  35. 35. New Developments – PrimocaneFruiting<br />Thornless PF types in the program and very promising<br />PF blackberries in coastal Calif.<br />
  36. 36. Arkansas Fruit Breeding- More Good Things Coming!<br /><br />