Workshop looks at blackberry production in Ohio

08/13/2013 10:37:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

blackberriesVicky BoydGrowers looking to expand cropping options and potentially boost farm profits may want to look at blackberries.

Ohio State University is holding a workshop, 9 a.m., Sept. 18, to explore commercial blackberry production, according to a news release.

Thanks to new varieties and production techniques, blackberries offer more viable options today then several years ago.

Add to that increased consumer interest, and demand has exploded, according to the release.

In the past, one of the major hurdles has been a lack of cold hardiness for many production areas, such as Ohio.

Warming weather trends, as well as a rotatable cross-arm trellis, have allowed many Midwestern growers to harvest a crop.

The rotatable trellis allows blackberry canes to be put on a horizontal training wire and grow about a foot above soil level.

In cooler months, the entire trellis can be rotated down close to the ground and the plants covered with thick row covers for winter protection.

“According to the manufacturer, using a conservative estimate, growers can generate a gross revenue of $45,000 per acre using this system, although it can be costly to set up,” Gary Gao, Extension specialist and professor of small fruit crops, said in the release. “Overall, while yields are highly dependent on the type of production system growers use along with the varieties they chose, growers can earn $3 per pound or $5 per quart for blackberries."

The session will be presented in conjunction with the Farm Science Review, Sept. 17-19, at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London.

Pre-show tickets are $7 at all OSU Extension county offices, many local agribusinesses and online at http://fsr.osu.edu. Tickets are $10 at the gate.



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