Critical Program Needs Industry Support

There’s no question that the Oregon Blueberry Evaluation and Selection Program has proven invaluable to the Oregon blueberry industry.

Without it, growers wouldn't know which cultivars developed outside the state are the best fit for Oregon and which ones won’t work here.

The best example of this are the evaluations conducted by USDA-ARS small fruit breeder Dr. Chad Finn, who identified Aurora, Draper and Liberty, which were bred at Michigan State University, as the best new advanced selections of the over 200 cultivars and advanced selections tested by him at Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center.

Subsequently, Aurora, Draper and Liberty have since risen to become the top three blueberry varieties planted in Oregon the last three years, according to blueberry nurseryman Dave Brazelton, owner of Fall Creek Farm & Nursery.

While the Evaluation and Selection Program is funded in part by USDA, OSU and the Oregon Blueberry Commission, it’s donations from industry stakeholders themselves that “are key” in maintaining the program, Finn said.

“What stakeholders kick in is significant. Percentage-wise it’s not that big but it’s critical. Without that we’d be in big trouble.”

Brazelton also said that the evaluation and selection program is critical to the Oregon blueberry industry. “There’s a lot of new (blueberry) material and we don’t know how it performs in Oregon. We need to get good data for our growers. We need consistent funding to make sure that the program continues. Without the program, we may never have selected those particular varieties … because they really didn’t do that well in Michigan.”

He added that the program also helps growers by screening out those cultivars that wouldn’t grow well in Oregon.

2010 Sponsor Sign at NWREC

Blueberry growers, handlers, processors and suppliers are being asked to join those who have already contributed in an effort to maintain this program. To reach our goal for this year, we have three categories for suggested contributions. They are: Bronze - $250 - $499; Silver -$500 - $749; Gold - $750 or more.

Because your contribution is very important to this ongoing project, we will see to it that contributors of $250 or more will be listed on a sign at the OSU research and extension station near Aurora.

In addition to evaluating blueberry plants developed in other parts of the country, Finn is also involved with breeding blueberry stock more suitable to the Pacific Northwest.

“We’ve certainly had great success utilizing genetics from other areas,” said Brazelton. “But there is also interest in stepping that up to develop varieties that are selected locally.”

Contributors should send their checks to the Oregon Blueberry Commission office at P.O. Box 3366, Salem, OR 97302.


Message from the Chairman

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update

Market Outlook:
A Look Back …
and Ahead

Bumbles and Blueberries

Organic Blueberry Production Research Project

Critical Program Needs Industry Support

Small Growers to Receive GAP Certification Aid

Oregon Fresh Season Promotion On a Roll for 2011

Bee Fees Jump a Bit

Smooth Move Increases Insulin Sensitivity

New Trap Hits
the Spots
(Spotted Wing Drosophila)

OSU Researcher Driving Blueberries up a Tree

USHBC Unveils New “Little Blue Dynamos” Positioning and Campaign for Highbush Blueberries

Watching World Acreage and
Production Grow

Specialty Crop Grant Supports Oregon Berry Festival;
Free Berry Vendor Space Available


Oregon Blueberry Commission • P.O. Box 3366 • Salem, Oregon 97302
Paid for by the Oregon Blueberry Commission, an agency of the State of Oregon.