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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

2013 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:

This research was conducted in support of NP301 objective 3 "Characterize viruses and virus complexes that infect berry crops (blackberry yellow vein, blueberry necrotic ring blotch, funky spot, raspberry crumbly fruit disease, and grape red leaf diseases) and develop management strategies to minimize the impact of these diseases on berry crops" of the parent project. 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, 11 new strawberry cultivars (Independence, Firecracker, Tillamook, Pinnacle, Valley Red, Sweet Bliss, Puget Crimson, Puget Summer, Stolo, Sweet Sunrise, and Charm), five genetically thornless blackberries (Black Diamond, Black Pearl, Nightfall, Wild Treasure and Columbia Star), seven trailing blackberries, especially suited to the fresh market (Siskiyou, Black Butte, Obsidian, Metolius, Newberry and Onyx), two thorny erect primocane fruiting blackberries (Prime-Jan, Prime-Jim), two primocane-fruiting raspberries (Chinook, Vintage), five summer-bearing red raspberries (Coho, Lewis, Esquimalt, Cascade Bounty, and Saanich), and three blueberries (Chandler, Pink Lemonade, and Perpetua) have been developed and released. ‘Onyx’ received a patent in December 2011 while patents were filed for ‘Vintage’, ‘Perpetua’, ‘Sweet Sunrise’, ‘Charm’, and ‘Columbia Star’. Several of these recently released cultivars have been tremendously successful and have become widely planted. While the strawberry cultivars will be grown primarily in the 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. The estimated impact of recently released cultivars, released since 2001, in this program was about $17.4 million for the PNW including fruit sales and plant nursery sales. This annual impact increases to $46.8 million when including cultivars we co-developed with other breeding programs and to $60.9 million when including all cultivars released from this cooperative program.


Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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