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NC State Extension

Production

blackberries and raspberries in cratesBlackberries and raspberries are increasingly important crops in North Carolina. There were more than 250 blackberry and raspberry operations harvesting berries in 2007, according to the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Census of Agriculture 2007, up 34 percent from 2002. In that same time frame, the number of acres harvested for blackberries increased more than six percent. While blackberry and raspberry growers may be enjoying the fruit of their hard work, there is still plenty of room for growth.

The success of any blackberry or raspberry grower’s business depends largely on the production practices implemented, including pre-plant considerations, trellising, integrated pest management (IPM) and postharvest handling. The resources in this production section will help growers produce quality berries that best suit their growing conditions and operations.

This section will be updated as more production-related materials become available. Be sure to check back often for more information on growing blackberries and raspberries.

The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services on this Web site does not imply endorsement by N.C. State University or the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.

Varieties

Nutrient Status and Sufficiency Levels

Blackberry Tissue Analysis for Floricane-fruiting crop (courtesy of NCDA&CS Agronomic Division) Monitoring Nutritional Status in Floricane-fruiting Cultivars. A review of blackberry industry soil nutrient recommendations and plant tissue sufficiency ranges that are suited to the floricane-fruiting industry. The goal is to develop soil fertility recommendations to optimize the yield of floricane-fruiting cultivars and new plant tissue sufficiency ranges.

Nutritional Study of N.C. Blackberry Cultivars (courtesy of NCDA&CS Agronomic Division) Determine the sufficiency range for nutrient concentrations in well-fertilized, healthy floricane-fruiting blackberry plant tissue under North Carolina conditions.

Postharvest

Proper Cooling Matters: Shelf life and Fruit Quality

Design of Room Cooling Facilities: Structural and Energy Requirements
A step-by-step guide to planning, designing, building and maximizing the efficiency of room-cooling facilities.

Cultivar and Maturity Affect Postharvest Quality of Fruit from Erect Blackberries  article discusses the impact that identical storage conditions have on the postharvest quality of multiple cultivars when harvested during various stages of ripening. Growers may find this material useful as an indicator of potential shelf life based on certain harvesting and storage practices and thus plan appropriately for their operation.

Ripening Physiology in ‘Navaho’ Thornless Blackberries
This journal article discusses ripening changes in the ‘Navaho’ blackberry during specific stages of ripening. Focuses on color, respiration, ethylene production, softening and compositional changes.

Handling and Storage of Blackberries and Raspberries
What is the shelf life of blackberries and raspberries? How should I pick, store and ship the fruit? What food safety measures do I need to consider? Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie, NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute, answers these and other questions in this article from the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium newsletter.

Proper Cooling Matters: Shelf life and Fruit Quality
Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie addresses best practices for extending fruit shelf life and quality with proper cooling techniques.

Rating Blackberries & Raspberries for Postharvest Quality (9:53)
Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie, NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute, discusses research that is under way on the NC Research Campus to develop a rating system for the firmness of blackberries and raspberries. When finalized, this system will help growers determine what variety of blackberry or raspberry is best suited for their operation

IPM

Brambles Diagnostic Tools

Diagnose your blackberry or raspberry plants’ lack of growth, discoloration or damaged leaves with these tools from NC State and Cornell, respectively, which provide photo examples associated with a wide variety of symptoms and diseases.

Blackberry Diagnostic Tool
This agricultural resource is a collaborative effort of researchers and Extension specialists that have responsibilities for blackberry production in the eastern U.S., as well as the NC MarketReady team.

Raspberry Diagnostic Tool
This tool will help growers identify the source of many of their raspberry plant problems. Symptoms are listed categorically by canes or laterals, leaves and stems, and flowers and fruit.

NC State University Plant Disease and Insect Clinic
The Plant Disease and Insect Clinic at NC State University provide disease diagnostic and insect identification services to help growers produce healthy plants and crops. Extension specialists from Entomology & Plant Pathology, Horticultural Science, Crop Science, and Soil Science diagnose problems on the samples received.

IPM Guides

The Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium has IPM/Production Guides with good guidelines for all small fruit crops. This link is updated each year. You will have to click on the Southeast Regional Caneberries Integrated Management Guide.

Southeast Regional Brambles Integrated Management Guide
Guide from the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium addresses disease, insect and weed control for blackberries and raspberries, providing information on specific pests, problems and recommended treatment programs, including spray rates and more.

Insect and Disease Control of Fruits
The recommendations within apply ONLY to North Carolina and include a detailed bramble spray program developed by N.C. State University.

N.C. Agricultural Chemicals Manual

This manual provides growers, Extension personnel, researchers and other agricultural professionals with the most up-to-date information available on the selection, application, and safe and proper use of agricultural chemicals. The online version is updated as changes in recommendations occur throughout the year.

Wolfpack Weeds
This program provides weed management resources specific to North Carolina crops. Visitors can find weed identification tools and herbicide injury examples (with photos), links to Extension publications and recommendations from experts. Wolfpack Weeds is part of the N.C. State Department of Horticultural Science.

High Tunnels