Raspberry & Blackberry Production Guide, published by the Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service (NRAES), covers many issues related to berry growing including site selection and preparation, trellising and pruning, nutrient management, irrigation, pesticide application, harvesting, budgeting, and marketing.
The book describes more than 70 varieties of raspberries and blackberries that have either performed well or show the most promise for growers in the Northeast, Midwest, and Eastern Canada. The descriptions feature information on ripening period, hardiness, disease resistance level, and size of the berries.
More than 35 descriptions of insects, mites, diseases, and physiological disorders are featured in the guide, accompanied by color photographs. Among the major pests covered are tarnished plant bug and cane botrytis, which is often confused with spur blight. The authors advise growers that pruning to open canopies, as well as keeping crop rows narrow and plantings weed free, may help reduce or minimize the development of this disease.
Marketing has, of course, become an essential part of any grower’s success, and this includes marketing processed fruit. Selling frozen berries is recommended as a savvy method for making a profit on excess fruit that might otherwise be wasted. Frozen fruit can extend the season and add value to the product.
Information to assist growers in budgeting for their operation is also provided. As an example of input costs, one table outlines the expenses per acre, including fixed costs, fuel, and labor, in the pre-plant year for a bramble field that is part of a large fruit farm in the Northeast.