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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NOVEL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR SMALL FRUITS Title: Rotating cross-arm trellis technology for blackberry production

Authors
item Takeda, Fumiomi
item Glenn, D Michael
item Tworkoski, Thomas

Submitted to: Journal of Berry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 28, 2012
Publication Date: March 18, 2013
Citation: Takeda, F., Glenn, D.M., Tworkoski, T. 2013. Rotating cross-arm trellis technology for blackberry production. Journal of Berry Research. 3(1):25-40.

Interpretive Summary: As demand for blackberries continues to increase, new production systems are needed to maintain the competitiveness of US blackberry industry to expand production areas, and extend production season. Several lines of research at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, WV, have made a significant positive impact to the blackberry industry as the new technology has been successfully transferred to private-sector partners. The commercial Rotating Cross-Arm (RCA) trellis in combination with the USDA-ARS cane training system has gained a wide industry and commercial adoption as it is being used in more than 25 states and has helped to increase blackberry acreage by approximately 200 acres in the Midwest and Northeast in the last two years. The RCA trellis and cane training system has been used in propagation of blackberry plants that offer opportunities for growers to produce blackberries out-of-season.

Technical Abstract: Developed over the last two decades, the Rotating Cross-Arm (RCA) trellis and cane training system is beginning to make an impact on the blackberry (Genus Rubus, subgenus Rubus) industry in the United States (US), as it has been successfully transferred to growers in more than 30 states in the last two years and has helped to increase blackberry acreage in the eastern US by about approximately 100 ha. Our research and development effort on the RCA technology has shown that 1) winter injury can be reduced by modifying the crop environment and production techniques, 2) white drupe formation can be reduced by positioning fruit away from direct sunlight, and 3) with the fruit positioned on one side of the row, harvest efficiency is improved. Our research has also shown that RCA technology can be used to generate several times more long-cane plants than traditional propagation methods.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014