Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Processing types of blackberries and raspberries dominate plant sales in 2012-13

Meeker is the predominate cultivar grown in Washington.
Meeker red raspberry. photo:
Ever wonder what the most widely planted berry cultivars were in the past year?  Dr. Pat Moore, WSU raspberry and strawberry breeder, contacted some of the larger participating nurseries to obtain plant sale inventories in the past year. (Lassen Canyon Nursery, Norcal Nursery, North American Plants, Northwest Plant Co., Nourse Farms, & Spooner Farms).

Raspberry: During the 2012-13 planting season, raspberry plant sales were dominated by the cultivar Meeker. It counted for almost over 40% of sales from the major nurseries. Meeker is the standard variety that is used in the PNW processing industry since its release in 1967, over 40 years ago. Wakefield, a variety from New Zealand ranks 2nd overall.

Blackberry: Black Diamond is the most popular blackberry in terms of plants sales, with plants sales of 42% in the PNW region.  Black Diamond is also a variety that is adapted to machine harvest.

Cultivars that are commonly grown and recommended for the SEUS represent a much smaller piece of the berry pie.

To see the complete list go to

Monday, October 28, 2013

Repost of National Weather Service Tools and Speaker Topic for SE Strawberry EXPO

The SE Strawberry Expo (a joint meeting held by the North American Strawberry Association and the NC Strawberry Association) will be held Dec 3-6, 2013 in Durham NC. One of the featured speakers will be Darin Figurskey of the National Weather Service. I met with him last year and he showed me some great features that could be used by growers.

Here is what he said he will talk about at the expo:

"Right now, a very high-level agenda would be where to get access to NWS forecast products, especially temperature, humidity, wind products, as well as a brief discussion of late freeze events and the signals forecasters look for to predict them.  I'll also likely share long-term climate trends in the region and the seasonal outlook."

This information can be useful for any berry crop. For examples of what he may talk about, see below:

See this post for examples of NWS tools:

for information about the strawberry meeting go here

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Finding QTL's for chilling requirement and prickle free raspberries

Cuttings from NCQ mapping population used to determine chilling requirement,  cuttings were taken at regular intervals from the plants, then put in the greenhouse misted. Each cutting was then monitored to see when bud break occurred, chilling hours ranged from 200 to 1600 hours in this population.  
Ramon Molina-Bravo, PhD, a former student in our lab recently had a paper published on some of his research in the scientific journal Molecular Breeding, the article is:
"Quantitative trait locus analysis of tolerance to temperature fluctuations in winter, fruit characteristics, flower color, and prickle-free canes in raspberry"

So, for those of you not inclined to read this type of article, what he found were locations on the raspberry linkage groups (think chromosomes) that were associated with both high and low chilling as well as prickle free (no thorns). This means that we are closer to being able to screen seedlings for these traits before they go out to the field. However, we still need a "few" more years to make this a trait that can be quick and cost effectively screened.