Northeast SARE Ag Innovations
Organic Production of Blackberries in High Tunnels in West Virginia
Farmer and Rancher Innovations
Blackberries are a popular small fruit for market across West Virginia, but consistent commercial production can be risky because of the state’s variable climate. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zones range from 5 to 7 across the state, which can result in winter injury to blackberries grown outdoors. In addition, fluctuating springtime temperatures can cause warm periods that promote early bud break, only to see those buds later damaged by frost.
The objective of this project was to evaluate the feasibility of growing blackberries organically within a high tunnel structure in central West Virginia, including pest management, cultivar and management considerations.
This project took place on a farm in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6a.
About this series: Farmer and Rancher Innovations, part of the Ag Innovations series, capture the lessons learned from SARE-funded trials and demonstrations conducted primarily by farmers and ranchers.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) FNE08-638, Using high tunnels to produce blackberries organically in West Virginia.
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These products were developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within these products do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.