New raspberry to extend harvest window

A new raspberry will help growers in the Pacific Northwest supply fruit for longer and manage harvests more efficiently.

EarlyBell (‘N1237.057’) is the latest release from Pacific Berries, a joint breeding programme between Plant & Food Research in New Zealand and Northwest Plant Company in Washington, USA.

The variety has good winter hardiness and straight, upright canes. The fruit matures early in the season and has great machine harvestability. The berries have moderate Brix similar to industry standard Meeker, are firm and of medium size, with good IQF (Individual Quick Frozen) properties.

Lisa Jones, plant breeder at Pacific Berries, says the new variety meets the needs of both raspberry growers and processors.

“Our breeding program focuses on the traits needed by growers, such as high yield and disease tolerance, as well as the characteristics needed for processing like the ability to quick freeze and good taste. EarlyBell is specifically targeted at growers who want to extend their harvest window, with fruit reaching maturity about 1-3 weeks prior to many popular standard varieties. It’s a great looking, firm fruit with a strong, tart taste that will meet the needs of raspberry processors.”

Pacific Berries has previously launched the Wake® family of raspberries, including Wake®Field and Wake®Haven. The new EarlyBell variety has good grower and consumer properties, but does not reach all the standards of excellence across all characteristics expected in a premium Wake® branded variety.

Pacific Berries was established in 2012 as a joint venture between New Zealand science organisation Plant & Food Research and Northwest Plant Company, a berry nursery based in Lynden, Washington, USA, to breed and commercialise raspberry varieties.

The Wake®Field brand raspberry was released in 2009 and is now grown in six countries.

Source:  Plant & Food Research



Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog