Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NC Commercial Blackberry and Raspberry Growers 6th Annual Meeting

Sixth Annual NC Commercial Blackberry and Raspberry Growers Association Meeting
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
10:15-10:20…..Opening Remarks and Welcome. Daniel Shires, NC Cooperative Extension
10:20-10:50…..Labor Issues and E-Verify for NC Growers.  Bert Lemkes, Van Wingerden, Mills River, NC
10:50-11:35…..What YOU Need to Know about Labor Laws and Regulations. Beth Rodman; Agriculture Safety Officer; NC DOL
11:35-12:05- Caneberry Fertility. David Lockwood. University of Tennessee.
12:05-1:15…..Lunch, Trade Show, and NCCBRGA business meeting
1:15-1:35….. Caneberry Pruning Techniques. David Lockwood. University of Tennessee
1:35-2:00….Grower Panel on Pruning
2:00-2:30- Insect Update.  Hannah Burrack, Small Fruit Entomologist; NCSU; Raleigh, NC
2:30-3:00- Older Caneberry Plantings-what to do now.  Gina Fernandez; Small Fruit Specialist; NCSU; Raleigh, NC.

Cleveland County Extension Center
130 S Post Rd
Shelby, NC 28152

For more information contact:
Area Agent, Agriculture
(704) 482-4365

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

WInter Caneberry Checklist

Blackberry and Raspberry Seasonal Checklist
Winter 2012-13
Gina Fernandez, Small Fruit Specialist
North Carolina State University

This checklist was originally developed for blackberry growers in North Carolina. Many of the items apply to raspberry production as well. You may have to adjust your work activities either earlier or later depending on your location. For more detailed information, check the Southern Region Integrated Bramble Management Guide and the Southeast Regional Bramble Production Guide at:

Check the items off as they get done. This list is very general, but should help get you to think about what types of activities occur at various times of the year. If you would like other items to be added to this list, send them to me and I will add them next time.

Plant growth and development
Plant is not visibly growing during the winter months although many blackberries will retain their leaves through the winter
Some differentiation is occurring in the flower buds
Low chilling cultivars can break bud in January after adequate winter chilling. You can monitor chilling hours accumulated in eight states in the eastern US by accessing this site:

Pruning and trellising
Pruning should occur in late winter.  However, in some areas winter ice storms can do tremendous damage to plants and trellis systems. If you produce blackberries in one of these areas, pruning can take place early winter to help avoid severe damage.
Make trellis repairs after plants have defoliated but before pruning and training.
Erect types
Prune out the spent floricanes
Tie canes to wires in a fan shape
Cut lateral branches back to 8-12”
Thin canes to 6-8 canes/ hill (4 ft spacing)
Trailing types
prune out spent floricanes
tie or weave canes to wire so that they do not overlap
prune side laterals to 12-18”
thin canes to 6-8 hill (6-8ft spacing)
Primocane fruiting raspberries and blackberries
Prune (mow) primocane fruiting types to ground level

Weed control
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 local extension agent for cultural or chemical means to control these weeds.

Insect and disease scouting
Check the Southern Regional Bramble integrated Management Guide for recommendations.

To learn more about the spotted wing drosoplila and how it may impact your fruit in 2013, check out Hannah Burrack blog, she has lots of links in addition to her blog posts
Scout fields for insect and disease damage and remove those canes
Remove wild blackberries and raspberries by the roots if they are within 600 ft of your planting during the winter or treat with glyphosphate in the autumn
Apply liquid lime sulphur or Bordeaux for disease control before new buds are 1/8”

Take soil tests to determine fertility needs for spring plantings.
There are some new raspberry and blackberry cultivars available in 2013. If you have not tried them or it is not know how they will do in your region, it is best to order a small quantity to see how well they will perform in your area
For larger growers, prepare list of cultivars for 2014 plantings and order now. Smaller quantities of plants can be order in early 2013 for spring 2013 planting
A commercial small fruit nursery list at

Water management
Make repairs to irrigation system (check pumps, lines, etc)
Plants generally do not need supplemental water in winter

Marketing and miscellaneous
Order containers for next season
Make contacts for selling fruit next season
Attend grower meetings:
o The 2013 North American Raspberry & Blackberry Conference Meeting
January 27-30, 2013 in Portland OR.
o 2013 SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference
Jan 10-13, Savannah GA
o The North Carolina Commercial Blackberry and Raspberry Growers Association
Feb 19, 2013.  Shelby NC. For more information contact or Josh Beam <>

NOTE: NC Cooperative Extension will be taking over the Blackberry and Raspberry Information Portal in early 2013. The site will have essentially the same material, but a new look. Links will be provided from the old site to the new site.

***This information (originally written by me) also appears in the latest SRSFC newsletter******

SRSFC newsletter is out!

The latest Southern Region Small Fruit Newsletter. This newsletter is geared toward growers in our region. This month you will find an articles on:

Why virus-tested plants? Because it makes sense...
By Ioannis E. Tzanetakis
Univ Arkansas

Pruning Grapevines
David W. Lockwood Univ. of TN/Univ. of GA

Pink Lemonade, Razz, and More! Wonderful Blueberries From ARS to You
Mark Ehlenfeldt, USDA ARS

Failing Fungicides For Gray Mold Control And What to Do About It
Guido Schnabel, Clemson University and Frank Louws, North Carolina State University

Pruning Blueberries for Hand and Machine Harvest
Bill Cline, Extension Specialist, NCSU

Progress Report on a 7 Year Muscadine Pruning Severity Trial with Carlos
E. Barclay Poling, Professor Emeritus Rocco Schiavone, Research Technician, NCSU Stephanie M. Romelczyk, VCES Agent

and more here is the link:

Berries Northwest Small Fruit Update

Each month I receive in my email inbox, a great newsletter "Small Fruit Update" put out by Tom Peerboldt, of Peerbolt Crop Management. Here is a link to the current month.

The newsletter is geared toward growers of berries in the Pacific Northwest. They publish links to statistics on volume of berries produced, in storage, pest and cultural guidelines etc for growers in the region. However, they also compile lots of information that is of interest to berry folks in the southern US. And... as our industry continues to grow, it may be helpful to know what is going on in other production areas.

The link below allows you to subscribe, once you sign up, it is sent to you on a monthly basis.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Savannah and Portland Caneberry Meetings January 2013

Would you like to see whats happening in the world of caneberry research, marketing, grower innovations AND get a chance for some good hallway "berry" conversations?

The North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association will be having a regional meeting in Savannah, GA January 10-12. For more information including a glimpse of the program go to:
SE Regional Conference 2012

And January 27-30, 2013, NARBA will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the North American Berry Conference, in Portland OR. For more information go to:
Downtown Portland with Mt Hood