on-farm Variety Trials
A top priority for the Northwest berry industry has been developing cultivars that have superior processed fruit quality. However, there is a disconnect between the plant breeder's successful plots and a widely planted commercial cultivar. This weak link in the process is the industry's inability to adequately and efficiently evaluate a selection's or cultivar's commercial potential.
Over the years, time and resources have been lost by growers, nurseries, and processors because of the ad hoc system now in place. This project addresses this problem by establishing a system for evaluating advanced selections, using a coordinated network of regional on-farm planting trials.
The goal of this project is to combine public and private resources in ways that would accelerate the commercialization of our genetic resources and improve the economic viability of the Northwest berry industry
These trials have been funded since 2012 by the Red Raspberry Commission and the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission, and funded by the Northwest Center for Small Fruits Reaearch during 2013 & 2014.
In 2014 we published a special Small Fruit Update to make PNW commercial berry growers more aware of the opportunities they have to evaluate -- on their own farms -- recently released varieties and advanced breeding program selections, that could be released in the near future. Go here to download a copy of the PDF.
The genetics of whatever plants a grower has the ground are a primary factor in determining his capacity to grow and thrive as a profitable business.