The NorthwestCenter for Small Fruits Research is a consortium among USDA-ARS, the Small Fruits Industries and Agriculture Experiment Stations of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington established to enhance profitability and sustainability of the small fruits industry in the Pacific Northwest through research in genetics, pest management, berry and grape processing, and production/physiology.
Small Fruit Crops in the Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a major producer of small fruit crops such as strawberries, blueberries, caneberries, cranberries, and grapes. The small fruit industry in the Pacific Northwest is primarily directed towards processing rather than fresh market applications. Fruit is processed as frozen whole berries, puree or juices (including wine) and has numerous applications.
History of the Center
In the late 1980’s, growers and processors of small fruit crops and researchers from the three Pacific Northwest states came together to formulate a vision of a research center that could meet the diverse needs of these industries. Representatives from these groups took the vision of a research center to Congress, which resulted in a series of congressional funding appropriations directed towards building small fruits research programs in the Pacific Northwest. A portion of these funds were used to build an addition to the existing Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory building in Corvallis, which was completed in 1994. The building addition now houses research programs evaluating genetics, pathology and insect pests of small fruits crops. The NorthwestCenter for Small Fruits Research administers a peer-reviewed funding program that supports research on small fruits crops. Over $2.4 million in small fruit research grants have been awarded through the Center since 1992.
The paramount goal of the Center is to develop research programs that enhance berry and grape product quality. A second goal is to provide a link between the broad scientific community and the practical needs of the industry. A third goal is to augment the transfer of current information about the industry to interested parties and enhance information transfer within the industry.