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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NOVEL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR SMALL FRUITS

Location: Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

Title: What about blackberries? options for the northeast

Authors
item Demchak, K -
item Elkner, T -
item Takeda, Fumiomi

Submitted to: New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 2010
Publication Date: February 11, 2010
Citation: Demchak, K., Elkner, T., Takeda, F. 2010. What about blackberries? options for the northeast. New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference Proceedings. p. 191-192.

Technical Abstract: Blackberry production can vary from year to year with nearly a complete crop loss for individual growers following winter injury. Cultivar selection and management options can allow more reliable production in colder areas to make consistent blackberry production possible. Plant varieties like ‘Illini Hardy’ and ‘Chester Thornless’ can produce fruit from secondary buds when the primary bud is injured. Blackberries can be planted under structures (greenhouses and high tunnels) to insulate plants from low temperatures in the winter. A less expensive option is the rotating cross-arm (RCA) and rowcover treatment. Erect and trailing varieties can be trained on the RCA trellis so that canes can be positioned near the ground in the winter and then covered with rowcover to protect plants low temperatures. Simply covering upright canes on a T- or I-trellis with a row cover does not provide the winter protection benefit. Primocane-fruiting varieties offer opportunites to produce fruit in the fall. Because canes on these plants are mowed to the ground in late winter or early spring, winter injury to the canes has no bearing on the following season’s productivity. Growing primocane-fruiting varieties in high tunnels is needed in colder regions, because only some crops mature before the onset of fall frost. Although blackberry production in the Northeast is still small, changes in production methods and better varieties should allow more consistent production and enable growers to meet the increased consumer demand for this crop.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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