Monday, December 9, 2013

Blackberry and Raspberry Seasonal Checklist Winter 2013-4

Blackberry and Raspberry Seasonal Checklist
Winter 2013-14
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:
Developmental stages for IPM guide:
1. Dormant
2. Delayed dormant (swollen bud) to green tip

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
Check the Southern Regional Bramble integrated Management Guide for recommendations.
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.
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

Take soil tests to determine fertility needs for spring plantings.
There are some new raspberry and blackberry cultivars available each year. 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 2015 plantings and order now. Smaller quantities of plants can be order in early 2014 for spring 2014 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 2014 North American Raspberry & Blackberry Conference Meeting
January 27-29, 2014 in Hershey PA.
o 2014 SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference
Jan 9-12, 2014 Savannah GA
o The North Carolina Commercial Blackberry and Raspberry Growers Association
Feb 6, 2014.  Shelby NC. For more information contact or Josh Beam <>

For more information on growing caneberries see:

Monday, December 2, 2013

NABG Research Foundation RFP 2014

Small Fruit Researchers,

Do you have some raspberry or blackberry research that is in need of some funding? The NARBG - Research Foundation will be reviewing proposals for 2014 funding.  Proposals are due Dec 20, 2013.

We are in the process of updating the website, so we are not taking proposals via the website. PLEASE send proposals as PDF files to me,

Please share this blog post with others that that may be interested in this opportunity.


Request for Proposals for 2014 Funding

The North American Bramble Growers Research Foundation (NABGRF) Inc. seeks proposals for bramble research for the year 2014. All bramble proposals will be considered, however special consideration will be given to proposals related to the following specific priorities established for this round of funding:

Pest Management Strategies
• Management and biology of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)
• Management and biology of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
• Management (?) of Agrobacterium tumefaciens (crown gall)
• Evaluate new insecticides (pesticides) for blackberry and raspberry production.

Production Efficiency and Profitability
• Management of blackberries and raspberries in tunnels (pruning, training and trellis systems)
• Post-harvest handling for small farmers

Cultivar Development and Testing
• Germplasm development

Special Needs

Since 1999, NABGRF has funded a total of 66 proposals totaling $167,353. Funding for individual projects is expected to range from $2000-$5000. In order to expedite the process, we ask that your request stay within this range. Please note that the NABGRF does not  pay overhead or "indirect" costs. The major source of funds for NABGRF's research grants is contributions by nurseries to NABGRF's Nursery Contribution Program, initiated in 2007. The Foundation very much appreciates their support

Proposals will be reviewed by the Research Committee of the NABGRF by the next North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association annual meeting, January 27, 2014 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Research Committee will forward their recommendations to the NABGRF Board of Trustees. Final funding decisions are made by the Board of Trustees. Awards will be sent out in March 2014. For more information, email either of the NABGRF  Research Co-Coordinators, Gina Fernandez and Jeff Chandler.

The deadline for proposals is December 20, 2013.

Proposal Guidelines

Sending Proposals: Email your proposal as a PDF file to by the deadline above.