In fall 2011, a new, publicly available primocane blackberry variety, Prime-Ark 45, from the University of Arkansas fruit breeding program was planted at HAREC. 'It looked good, tasted good, and yielded well,' Daugovish recalls.
HAREC trials have established that a late mow-down of the canes, in January or February rather than December, and tipping canes in late April or early May to 45 centimeters (18 inches) result in the largest crop from August to October.
In blackberry trials at HAREC, researchers found that mowing the canes in January and tipping in May resulted in the largest crop from August to October.
The light net cover will likely reduce sunburn and wind damage, which have been contributing to fruit losses at HAREC.
Daugovish hopes to plant it at HAREC and test other publicly available caneberry varieties.
Slightly more than 1,000 acres of commercial strawberries in the coastal counties were grown on land treated with ASD last year after 8 years of trials at HAREC, where the research began as a collaborative effort with UC Santa Cruz scientists.
At HAREC, 1.2 pounds per plant were harvested from ASD-treated plots last year, a 52% improvement over yields from untreated checks.
Even better, the trials suggested that irrigation might be unnecessary; the process worked in the heavy HAREC soils with the existing moisture in the soils after bed shaping.