Officially released in late August 2009, Prime-Ark® 45 is the latest blackberry release from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture fruit breeding program. This is the third of the unique primocane-fruiting varieties. Prime-Ark® 45 is considered a substantial advance in quality over Prime-Jan® and Prime-Jim®. As far as postharvest handling, Prime-Ark® 45 is a quicker advance than was anticipated based on the quality of the parents being used in breeding in 1999, the year its parents were crossed.
How broadly adapted is this variety? It has shown promise in tests in Arkansas, California, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and a few other places. As always with a new release, not to mention a “new” crop such as primocane-fruiting blackberries, there is much to learn in the area of true commercial value. Researchers are confident that this plant will provide good quality berries that could greatly diversify production, expand markets and increase grower profits. Review the backgrounder below for more details on Prime-Ark® 45 from Dr. John Clark, University of Arkansas.