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Bob Larson Blackberries Commercially Grown Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: September 21, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Yesterday, we were telling you about the commercial blackberry industry here in the Pacific Northwest and how many were unaware of the berries often picked in the wild. But, Northwest Berry Foundation Executive Director Tom Peerbolt says most of the commercial blackberries are grown in Oregon …

TOM PEERBOLT … “The difficulty is we’ve got a commission, a blackberry commission down here that keeps track of all the tonnage and pricing and organization. In Washington, you’ve got a red raspberry commission, but you don’t have a blackberry commission, same in B.C. So, there’s some acreage, but we have trouble keeping track of exactly how much acreage there is compared to Oregon.”

Peerbolt says the two states have their own specialties …

TOM PEERBOLT … “And what I do, the way I usually look at it is, the west side of Oregon, the Willamette Valley is very heavy into trailing blackberries, processed blackberries, where Washington, northwest Washington is primarily red raspberries, processed red raspberries, they’re somewhat equivalent to each other.”

Peerbolt says other berries also have a commercial presence in the northwest …

TOM PEERBOLT … “Along with it, we’ve a fairly good-sized industry of black raspberries, same thing. It’s about the only area that has, I think it is the only area that has significant black raspberry acreage. And, boysenberries get thrown in there too.”

According to the USDA, U.S. blackberry production, dominated by Oregon, was 58.4 million pounds last year, up 14% from the year before. Numbers for this year’s crop aren’t in yet, but yield is expected to be down thanks in large part to the cold, wet Spring.

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