Feasibility of Primocane-fruiting Blackberry production in Colorado
Project Leader: Amy Kafka, Garden Sweet, Fort Collins, CO
Technical Advisor: Harrison Hughes Ph.D, Professor of Horticulture CSU, CO
Project Year: 2006, 2007
The objective of this project is to determine the feasibility of growing primocane-fruiting blackberries in Colorado. In the past, blackberries have been difficult to grow here because of the difficulty in overwintering the canes. Blackberries are biennial and fruit only on second year canes. A new blackberry cropping system could be the key for Colorado growers to produce this high value crop. The first two primocane-fruiting blackberry varieties have been released. The first commercial cultivars of primocane-fruiting berries are Prime-Jan and Prime-Jim. This unique type of blackberry fruits on current-season canes (primocanes) as well as second season canes. All other existing blackberry cultivars fruit only on the second year canes (floricanes). The main problem is the difficulty of survival of the canes during the Colorado winters. This new type of fruiting habit has the potential to revolutionize blackberry production.