Primocane blackberries add an important new alternative for California’s small fruit producers
Pruning management field trials are key to primocane blackberry management
What Has ANR Done?Field trials with primocane fruiting cultivars in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Santa Cruz counties by UCCE advisors have generated important, region-specific information to enhance management practices for primocane fruiting blackberries. This multi-year project, spread across three growing districts, has identified management practices, including a mow-down in January, early pruning, and “tipping” to delay production. Once production commences under this regime, primocane fruiting cultivars can produce continually until late November or early December under California conditions. The primocane fruiting cultivars offer a marked improvement over traditional cultivars, and these management guidelines help growers improve their productivity. This information was shared with 132 growers at the Annual Central Coast Caneberry Meeting in 2015. Continuing field trials seek to define what adjustments are needed to the tipping regime in order to grow the berries in high tunnels and to find suitable pruning alternatives for different production regimes; results of ongoing trials will continue to be shared every year.
New tools to increase productivity for berry growersCoastal California berry growers have new tools to efficiently manage primocane fruiting blackberry cultivars efficiently and productively in order to target profitable market windows. UC research has used market signals to guide field trials that are developing improved production alternatives for California blackberry growers, the leading producers of fresh market blackberries in the country. Field trials in the key production areas of the state have verified the optimum management practices for producers to enter the market early, produce high-quality fruit over an extended picking season, and potentially increase profits.
Supporting Unit:San Luis Obispo County San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Santa Cruz counties
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