Friday, November 17, 2017

Arkansas Blackberry School

Southern region blackberry growers. Here is a great webinar series produced by the University of Arkansas. It covers the basics of production, pests, pruning etc on a quarterly basis.

https://www.uaex.edu/farm-ranch/crops-commercial-horticulture/horticulture/commercial-fruit-production/blackberry-school.aspx

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Caneberry Fall Checklist (Chores)

Blackberry and Raspberry Seasonal Checklist Fall 2017
Gina Fernandez, Small Fruit Specialist, North Carolina State University

Check out the new look to the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium website at: http://www.smallfruits.org/

FALL
Plant growth and development
ü  Primocanes continue to grow but growth rate is slower
ü  Flower buds start to form in leaf axils on summer-fruiting types
ü  Carbohydrates and nutrients in canes begin to move into the roots
ü  Primocane fruiting types begin to flower in late summer/early fall and fruit matures until frost in fall
ü  Primocane leaves senesce late fall
Harvest
ü  Primocane-fruiting raspberry harvest continues
ü  Primocane-fruiting blackberry harvest continues
Pruning, trellising and tunnels
ü  Spent floricanes should be removed as soon as possible
ü  Optimal time to prune is after the coldest part of the season is over. However pruning can start in late fall if plantings are large (late winter for smaller plantings).
ü  Start trellis repairs after plants have defoliated
ü  Remove covers on three-season tunnels
Weed management
ü  Many summer weed problems can be best managed in the fall and winter using preemergent herbicides. Determine what weeds have been or could be a problem in your area. Check with your states agricultural chemical manual and local extension agent for the best-labeled chemicals to control these weeds
Insect and disease scouting
ü  Continue scouting for insects and diseases
ü  Remove damaged canes as soon as possible to lessen the impact of the pest
ü  Check the Southern Regional Bramble integrated Management Guide for recommendations http://www.smallfruits.org
Planting
ü  Growers in warmer areas (e.g. extreme southeastern NC) can plant into early December.  Preparations for winter planting should have already been made. If you have questions about winter planting please contact your local county extension agent
ü  Prepare a list of cultivars for next spring’s new plantings. Find commercial caneberry nursery lists at
Fertilizer
ü  Take soil tests to determine fertility needs for spring plantings.
ü  Non-nitrogenous fertilizers are best applied in the fall to established plantings.
ü  If soil is bare, plant an overwintering cover crop (e.g. rye) to build organic matter and slow soil erosion.
Marketing and miscellaneous
ü  Order containers for next season
ü  Make contacts for selling fruit next season

Make plans to attend Grower meetings! Blackberries and raspberries are part or all of these programs.
  • North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association
    • February 21-24, 2018: North American Raspberry & Blackberry Conference, Ventura, California. A not-to-be-missed meeting, in a great location! Mark your calendar, and watch for more information. Opening reception Feb. 21, tour on Feb. 22, and educational sessions and tradeshow on Feb 23-24. The conference will be at  the Ventura Beach Marriott.  You can already make online hotel reservations under our group rate.
    •  
  • Southeast Regional Conference and Tradeshow, Savannah, GA January 11-12, 2018
    • Sessions on blackberry and strawberry, blueberry, muscadines and more!
o   Caneberry Sessions Organized by NARBA. Program coming soon; contact NARBA for details. The conference includes tracks for peaches, blueberries, strawberries, organics, vegetables, and more. For more conference info, registration, and hotel reservations, visit www.seregionalconference.com

Key Resources:
Southern Region Integrated Bramble Management Guide:

Southeast Regional Bramble (Caneberry) Production Guide: http://www.smallfruits.org/ipm-guides.html

Blackberry and Raspberry Grower Information
·      Portal at NCSU: http://rubus.ces.ncsu.edu
·      University of Arkansas https://www.uaex.edu/farm-ranch/crops-commercial-horticulture/horticulture/commercial-fruit-production/blackberries-production.aspx

Social Media links:
Twitter: @NCTeamRubus  
Facebook : Team Rubus   
Blogs: http://teamrubus.blogspot.com/


Friday, September 8, 2017

Hurricane Irma

Source: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at1.shtml?cone

Caneberry growers,  its hard to believe it is happening again. It's too soon to tell how much impact we will see in NC, we will know more in the next day or so. 

This link has information from several hurricanes/sotrms including Sany and Irene 



Here is the most recent post from 2016 on how to prepare and an excerpt from a Cornell article on how to deal with flooded fields:

Here are some things that can be done before the storm:

IF YOU ARE IN AN AREA WITH HIGH PREDICTED WINDS: You should consult with your tunnel manufacturer to determine how much wind your tunnels can withstand. Removing or skinning the plastic off the tunnels  is a whole lot less costly than having the entire tunnel mangled.

IF YOU HAVE A SHIFT OR ROTATING ARM TRELLIS: Lay the trellis in the horizontal or down position and make sure it can stay in that position. Some trellises do not have the capability to lock in the horizontal position. If that is the case, it may be better in the upright position.

POTENTIAL FOR ELEVATED DISEASES: Canes if properly trellised should not lodge as a result of the wind and rain. However, there may be some physical damage to canes. Make sure you walk your fields before and after the storm. There may be a need to do some extra pruning and use of a fungicide if you can get out into the field after the storm. Phil Brannen, UGA plant pathologist recommends a spray for Cane blight, before the storm. See the SRSFC for recommended chemicals. http://www.smallfruits.org/smallfruitsregguide/Guides/2016/2016BrambleSprayGuide.pdf

After the hurricane passes there may be some soils that have flooded. Here is some information from a previous post from Cornell University. Since most of the berry crops have already been harvested, we are primarily concerned with flooded fields effects on roots.

This is an excerpt form an article is provided courtesy of Cornell University. It was written for flooding situations in the northeast in the late summer. However,  a flooded field poses similar problems for plant survival and is still an issue in the fall, as plants are not yet dormant. 


DEALING WITH FLOODED BERRY FIELDS
Steve Reiners and Marvin Pritts
Dept. of Horticulture
Cornell University


PLANT SURVIVAL UNDER WATER


How long a crop can live once it is flooded and what may be the effect on yield? Berry crops can tolerate a great deal of flooding when they are dormant, but when actively growing in summer, flooding for any length of time can be detrimental. This time of year is particularly bad because plants are preparing to make flower buds for next year, and stress can compromise this process. If plant roots were under water for more than 48 hours, expect next year’s crop to be compromised as well.

Plants previously flooded may develop an off-green or yellowish color.  These plants are suffering from a complex of nutrient deficiencies, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and perhaps others, even though the soil contains adequate amounts. But the main deficient element is oxygen. Plant roots need oxygen to take up nutrients and water to utilize the photosynthate from the tops and to grow. With the heavy rains we have had, soils are saturated; that is, nearly all of the pore space is filled with water, leaving little room for air. Ideally, for good root growth 50 percent of the pore space should be filled with air. As soils drain, air is drawn into the soil, but when it rains, the water forces the air out of the pores. As is obvious to all, what is needed now is several rain-free days so the soils can drain and draw in air to stimulate root growth and help disperse toxic compounds that accumulate when plants lack oxygen.  Once the plant roots get adequate oxygen they will begin to grow and take up the nutrients present in the soil. Anything that can be done to remove surface water will be helpful.

Many plant diseases will be much worse following flooding rains (e.g. Phytophthora and Botrytis), so closely monitor crops and manage these diseases. Phytophthora spores are spread under flooded conditions, so chemical treatment may be warranted in susceptible crops (red raspberries and blackberries).

(Thanks to Steve Rieners and Marvin Pritts at Cornell University for sharing this with us.) 




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Leaf Tissue Sampling Time for Blackberry Crop



Illustration of leaf numbers for sampling. Use leaves 3-5. Photo  courtesy NCDA &CS.
Now is a good time to take leaf tissue samples for floricane- and primocane-fruiting blackberries.

For  floricane fruiting types should be sampled 2 weeks after harvest is over.

See illustration above for leaf number. You want to try to pick the most recently mature leaf (MRML)  The MRML is usually 3rd to 5th leaf from top of the primocane.

For primocane fruiting types, leaves should be sampled when most of the fruit is in the green stage. Again try to pick a MRML. (It is a bit harder to illustrate, with all the laterals on a primocane fruiter. I will work to get a good image this season).

For both fruiting types, collect 1–2 leaves per bush from 20–40 bushes; 20-40 leaves total. Put them in a paper bag.

Since we don't know about each individual cultivars nutritional needs, it would be a good idea to keep cultivars and field locations separate. Keeping an accurate report for each cultivate each year will allow you to fine tune the fertility for that cultivar and location.

In North Carolina send your samples to:

NCDA&CS Agronomic Services—Plant Lab Mailing address:
1040 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699
Physical address: (If you are dropping off samples):
4300 Reedy Creek Rd, Raleigh NC 27607 

If you are not in NC, check with your local Cooperative Extension Agent to find the best local source for tissue sampling.

For more information on how to collect samples and how to read the report go to:
http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/documents/BlackberryRaspberryTissueSamplinghandout.pdf

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Caneberry summer chores



See link below for the Summer issue of the SRSFC newsletter

http://www.smallfruits.org/staging/assets/documents/sfn/Vol17-Issue3.pdf

  • Some highlights include a new webinar on blackberry production, hosted by the UArk.
  • A new plant pathologist at UGA, Dr. Jonathan Oliver
  • A new southern growers Grape Blog.

A reminder....
As  we approach the end of harvest season for floricane blackberry, the work is not over and now is the time to pay attention to next years crop:
1. remove spent floricanes to open up the canopy to minimize disease spread
2. give plants a deep watering, they are building roots and buds for next season
3. apply 10-30 lb N, the sooner the better, you want some growth now, but not later in the fall.
3. apply pesticides for late season pests (some of the common ones are cane blight, crown borer and  late rusts

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Blackberry Night Harvest Test Run in NC

On-farm blackberry trial with Lincoln County Cooperative Extension.  Check out the new logo! 

USUALLY, this time of year it is extremely hot (80/90's during the day, 70/80's at night) in North Carolina. It is also peak blackberry harvest. Both the blackberry fruit and people who harvest the fruit can become heat stressed with the high temperatures. Fruit can become soft, discolored (red and white drupes) and have a reduced shelf life and workers can suffer from heat exhaustion. So we asked Jeff Crotts, a blackberry grower in Vale, NC if we could work with him along with Lincoln Co. Cooperative Extension to see if night harvested fruit had better post harvest quality. We also thought that the night temperatures would be more conducive to worker health.




Earlier this week set up a large portable light in the blackberry field. Workers were also given head lamps.

Taking fruit temperatures every 3 hrs

We harvested blackberries every 3 hours for 24 hours. We took fruit temperatures from fruit harvested on both east facing and west facing canopy. We then took the flats to the cooler. We started at Noon on Monday and finished up at 9 am on Tuesday.


Temperatures were monitored throughout the experiment and we (actually Tom Dyson and Andrew Suggs Lincoln Co. Extension) also looked at leaf and fruit wetness through the night and several other nights. The station was provided courtesy of NC State Climate Office.

Temperatures were usually pleasant, so workers and fruit were not as stressed as they might have been under a normal 90F day. However, there was about a 20 degree temperature difference from day to night. So we should still have some good data on fruit post harvest evaluations. There were also differences on fruit harvetsted from east and west facing sides of the trellis.




All the fruit was then taken to the Plants for Human Health Institute where Penny Perkins-Veazsie will do post harvest evaluations on the fruit for the next couple of weeks.



There were differences in fruit temperatures throughout the 24 hours. The fruit harvested from the east facing side of the canopy got hot earlier in the day than the western facing fruit. We are still looking at the rest of data and will be sharing more as we get it analyzed.

Thanks to Rocco Schiavone, Guillermo Chacon-Jimenez, Tom Dyson, Andrew Suggs for all your help collecting data. Thanks to Jeff Crotts and crew members at Knob Creek Orchards for access to your field and all your help.