Thursday, August 30, 2012

An update on what's happening in the Mexican berry industry

I was just forwarded this interesting article on the Mexican berry industry. In this article,  industry leaders give some perspective to the massive (95%) increase in production during the past decade and some insight into future growth.’s-berry-boom-gathers-steam/

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rotating Cross Arm Trellis August update

Figure 1. Rotating cross arm trellis in August.

Earlier this spring, I posted a picture of a new trellis we are trialing at one of our research stations ( Above is a picture taken on August 22, 2012.  We have 3 cultivars on each section of this trellis, Apache, Ouachita and Von (aka NC430).

Figure 2. Training of primocanes on wire. 
The second and third images show how we trained the primocanes to the bottom wire as they emerged from the crown. The canes were tied to the low horizontal wire. This encouraged buds that were on the horizontal wire to start growing. These secondary buds will produce canes that are very productive and are easier to train to the trellis because they are narrower. Fumi Takeda has done some very nice work describing the productivity of the buds in this paper. Here is a link to a summary of this work.

Image 3. Close-up of training of primocanes on the horizontal wire. Photo: Fumi Takeda. 
To get the entire article, you will need to become a member of NARBA. (

Friday, August 17, 2012

Black Raspberry Project!

So, are you looking for a new and improved black raspberry? Here is a bit of background information on a project we are working on with several other researchers and extension specialists in the US. In NC we have a student that will be evaluating a mapping population in the field that may have heat and aphid resistance. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Meet 'Von', a new thornless blackberry

'Von' thornless erect blackberry.
‘Von’ is the first erect thornless floricane-fruiting blackberry to be released from the NC State University caneberry breeding program.  ‘Von’ is named after Harvey Von Underwood, who was a Researcher at NC State University. Mr. Underwood worked at NC State University muscadine and bramble breeding program in the 1950’s-70’s and was responsible for saving valuable germplasm from those programs.

'Von' was selected by Jim Ballington in 1998 as tested as NC 430. We have been evaluating 'Von'   at the Mountain Research Station in Laurel Springs, the Moutain Hort Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River and at the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury, NC. Dr. Penny Perkins-Veazie conducted extensive post harvest evaluation of 'Von' since her arrival at NCSU in 2009.
Here are some key attributes of 'Von':
  • In a replicated trial at the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury NC, total yield of ‘Von’ was 12,017 g/plant (24063 lbs/acre).
  • In that same trial, marketable yield of ‘Von’ was 10,704 g/plant (21,434 lbs/acre). 
  • Fruit of ‘Von’ is medium size  (6.6 g) has smaller drupelet and seed size compared to other cultivars.
  • ‘Von’ produces fruit in the late season, with average date of harvest commencing in the third week of June, peaking in the second week of July and ending the first week of August. 
  • ‘Von’ has a marketable post harvest score of 90.6, which is as good or better than the leading commercial cultivars.
  • Soluble sugars content of ‘Von’ was 9.4% and pH was 3.57, traits that characterize ‘Von’ as sweet with low acid. 
I will be posting a list of nurseries that will be propagating 'Von' later this year. 

For list of nurseries propagating Von go to