Evaluation process of new raspberry and blackberry cultivars for the Belgian market at pcfruit

M. Boonen, C. Spruyt, D. Bylemans
Raspberries and blackberries in Belgium, are grown primarily for fresh consumption. Both growers and traders require a continuous supply of high quality, handpicked fruit. Worldwide, many new raspberry and, to a lesser extent, blackberry selections are developed each year. Fast and accurate knowledge about cultivar performance under regional climatic conditions is necessary to provide local growers with reliable and site-specific information. Since the 1980s new cultivars and selections of both raspberries and blackberries are evaluated each year at pcfruit. Cultivar choice is important for successful harvest planning. Other important selection criteria include production, fruit quality, ease of picking and shelf-life. Since 2014, Belgian growers have struggled with many problems and setbacks that have depleted their financial reserves. Therefore, it has become even more important to make the right choice in cultivars so that they can be sure that these plantings will pay off. To facilitate this, a four-phased system was developed to gain as much growing knowledge as possible in a short time frame. This is a uniform process in which all cultivars of different fruit species are tested at pcfruit. This process gives a clear overview for both growers and traders about the relative performance of cultivars in the region. By following this process, growers can be sure that the varieties they plant have both crop technical and commercial potential which makes quality fruit should be profitable.
Boonen, M., Spruyt, C. and Bylemans, D. (2024). Evaluation process of new raspberry and blackberry cultivars for the Belgian market at pcfruit. Acta Hortic. 1388, 53-56
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2024.1388.7
commercial potential, evaluation, ‘Kwanza’, ‘Loch Ness’, optimization, Rubus, screening

Acta Horticulturae