Wednesday, February 6, 2013

NARBA 2013 Pre-conference tour

In the picture above, taken at the NWREC, canes are trained in an "Arc-Cane" to the I trellis. This is the type of system that is used for their fields that are mechanically harvested. 
Last week the North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association (NARBA) held it annual meeting in Portland, OR. Prior to the meeting, Drs. Chad Finn and Bernadine Strik took 3 busloads of berry enthusiasts to the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) and local farms.  We took a look at several research trials including an organic blackberry trial that is part of a large federally funded OREI grant, an organic blueberry trial, and Dr. Finns strawberry and caneberry breeding trials. More on the tours in a later post, for now, here are some amazing stats...

Collectively Oregon, Washington and British Columbia (Canada), produce most of the processed caneberries you eat in your jams, jellies, yougurts, ice cream and as those whole frozen berries.  Most of the raspberry production is in Washington and British Columbia, while Oregon has more blackberry production.

According to National Agricultural Statistics Service, in Oregon in 2011 there were:

1,200 acres of red raspberries, valued at $6,400,000. The majority of the production (5,000,000 lbs) was used for processing.

1,100 acres of black raspberries, valued at $5,510,000. The vast majority of this crop is also used in the processing industry.

There are 7,900 acres of blackberries, and about half (4,000 acres) are Marion(black)berries, the primary variety used for processing. The value of the blackberry crop in OR is $43,000,00.

Marionberry has been the primary blackberry used for the processing market for many years. However, the new cultivar, from Dr. Finns program, Black Diamond, is increasing in popularity.

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