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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Evaluation and Testing of Berry Crops for Commercial Production in the Pacific Northwest

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Cooperate with plant breeders in the Pacific Northwest in testing and developing commercially acceptable berry crop cultivars. Research production systems and evaluate how advanced selections and new releases respond to these systems in terms of yield and quality. Study genotypic variation in yield components and hardiness of blackberries to better understand potential sources of variation.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Yield component data will be collected from advanced selections planted in different production systems to better understand how these factors change with cultural system, which components can be manipulated to improve yield, and what to look for in new selections.


3.Progress Report:

All aspects of a breeding program are being conducted including parental selection, crossing, selection and testing for strawberry, blackberry, raspberry and blueberry. Recently under this project, nine new strawberry cultivars (Sweet Bliss, Independence, Firecracker, Tillamook, Pinnacle, Puget Crimson, Valley Red, Puget Summer, Stolo), four genetically thornless blackberries (Black Diamond, Black Pearl, Nightfall, Wild Treasure), six thorny trailing blackberries especially suited to the fresh market (Siskiyou, Black Butte, Obsidian, Metolius, Newberry, Onyx), two thorny erect primocane fruiting blackberries (Prime-Jan, Prime-Jim), two primocane-fruiting raspberries (Vintage, Chinook), five summer-bearing red raspberries (Coho, Lewis, Esquimalt, Saanich, Cascade Bounty), and three blueberries (Chandler, Perpetua, Pink Lemonade) have been developed or co-developed and released. ‘Onyx’ received a patent in December 2011 while patents were filed for ‘Vintage’ and ‘Perpetua’. Approval has just been given to seek patent protection on ORUS 2240-1 and ORUS 2262-2 as ‘Sweet Sunrise’ and ‘Charm’, respectively. Several of these recently released cultivars have been tremendous successes and have become widely planted. While the strawberry cultivars will be grown primarily in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), the raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry cultivars are grown in many other production regions in North America and the world. Appropriate cultural practices for optimum yield and quality of advanced selections and new cultivars have been researched and established. For 2011, the total estimated impact of cultivars released since 2001 in this program was about $16.6 million for the PNW including fruit sales and plant nursery sales. This annual impact increases to $42.8 million when including cultivars we co-developed with other breeding programs and to $56.4 million when including all cultivars released from this cooperative program (including those prior to Finn and Strik). Advanced selections of blackberry that have trailing and erect blackberry parentage are being evaluated using different pruning and training techniques to optimize production and management. This research was conducted in support of objective 3C of the parent project.


Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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