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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328022

Title: Better-bred berries for the retail market

item Finn, Chad
item Mackey, Theodore - Ted
item Peterson, Mary
item STRIK, BERNADINE - Oregon State University
item JONES, PAT - Oregon State University

Submitted to: Digger
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2016
Publication Date: 4/1/2016
Citation: Finn, C.E., Mackey, T.A., Peterson, M.E., Strik, B.C., Jones, P. 2016. Better-bred berries for the retail market. Digger. April 2016 Issue. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: While there are many exciting new choices for berry cultivars for the Northwest commercial industry, very few of them are available in the retail nursery market. It’s an odd thing where the top-selling cultivars in the region haven’t seen the light of day in the retail nursery market. For many other nursery crops, new is exciting, while in the berry business the same-old, often tired and inferior cultivars are offered up year after year. Hopefully, we can encourage plant buyers to look around and ask their suppliers to see if they can bring some new excitement to this corner of the nursery trade. Some dynamite new varieties are out there from Northwest programs, especially the USDA-ARS Berry Breeding program, which is run collaboratively with the Oregon State University’s Berry Crops program in the Department of Horticulture. Exciting, often new, blackberry, red raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry cultivars that the nursery industry might want to include in their inventory are discussed. The USDA-ARS breeding program, run in collaboration with Oregon State University, is over 100 years old and one of the oldest in the world. For years we have collaborated with Washington State University, Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada and private Northwest berry programs, striving to cultivate ever more impressive berry cultivars. Collectively, we want to see these shared with not only the commercial berry industry but also the retail market. We encourage growers to order these new cultivars and ask questions on sourcing plants or performance of cultivars.