Last week the North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association (NARBA) and the Mexican Aneberries group hosted a tour of Mexican blackberry, raspberry and blueberry production. Debby Wechsler, NARBA Executive Secretary and TunnelBerries Advisory Board member and Eric Hanson, TunnelBerries Project Director, participated in the tour. Mexican producers have developed intricate production systems to manipulate plants in order to supply fresh berries to U.S. consumers during our off-season. Most are produced under high tunnels. Our Mexican hosts provided terrific hospitality and a wonderful open exchange of information including production, harvest, current research and the economics of farming and export. Thank you so much Aneberries! Sharing this information with U.S. growers will contribute to their ability to plan ahead and make profitable decisions.
Check out this article by Gary Pullano, Associate Editor, in the February issue of Fruit Grower News: http://digital.fruitgrowersnews.com/i/782694-february-2017
Work by TunnelBerries researchers Kathy Demchak at Penn State University and Marvin Pritts at Cornell University is featured.
Blackberry management at Michigan State University: temperatures over the next few days are expected to reach the 40s and 50s with lows in the 30s. We are protecting some tender blackberries (Columbia Star, Obsidian) by covering them with row cover during the winter. The plants will need to have the row cover removed during this warm spell to prevent them from breaking bud too early. We will cover them again when nighttime temperatures drop back in the 20s.
MOSES Organic Farming Conference: February 23-25, La Crosse, Wisconsin
Pre-conference course at Organic University: "Year-Round High Tunnel Options"
presented by Collin Thompson and Ryan Pesch.
Topics to be covered include high tunnel structural considerations, site and soil preparation, crop and irrigation configurations, and pest, disease, and weed management. Beginning and intermediate growers will learn how to maximize production and profits in high-value, protected spaces.