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May 21, 2021
By Mary HightowerU of A System Division of Agriculture
(Newsrooms — With file art – closeup of blackberries https://flic.kr/p/WXyyAA and image of Amanda McWhirt with cross arm trellis https://flic.kr/p/Wo7LQi)
LITTLE ROCK — The June 9 Summer Blackberry Tour at the Fruit Research Station near
Clarksville will provide growers with insights into trellis techniques, mechanized
harvesting and breeding efforts for a fruit that’s growing in popularity among consumers.
According to the Produce Market Guide, blackberry sales increased 5 percent in 2019,
the fourth straight year of growth.
The tour is co-hosted by the Arkansas Blackberry Growers Association and the Cooperative
Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
The tour runs from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. and includes dinner. Cost to attend is $25, payable
the day of the field tour. The tour is free for members of the Arkansas Blackberry
The deadline to register is June 4.
Find registration and other information: bit.ly/abga2021.
“The tour will offer Arkansas blackberry growers the opportunity to see current research
and breeding efforts up close and learn about the latest research-based recommendations
for improving blackberry production in Arkansas,” said Amanda McWhirt, extension specialist-horticulture
crops for the Division of Agriculture. “We are glad to be able to partner with the
Arkansas Blackberry Growers Association who lead efforts to promote blackberries to
consumers in the state. They are a great resource for both new and established growers.”
The tour will also feature updates on breeding efforts within the University of Arkansas
System Division of Agriculture, which will be important for consumers wanting to buy
“These fresh-market blackberries developed by the UA System are in the forefront of
a potential surging market of consumers that want locally grown fruit with unique
flavors beyond the basic tastes of sweet or sour,” said Renee Threlfall, enology and
viticulture research scientist for the Division of Agriculture. “Current and future
blackberry growers in Arkansas have the opportunity learn about new cultivars and
The agenda includes a pre-meeting taste testing plus a lineup of Division of Agriculture
researchers and extension experts:
The Fruit Research Station is operated by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station,
part of the Division of Agriculture. Support for this meeting is provided in part
by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Coming to a farmers’ market near you
To help connect consumers with locally grown blackberries, the Arkansas Blackberry
Growers Association is planning a promotional campaign for late June. Details are
To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension
Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural
Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/
Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk, @uaex_edu or @ArkAgResearch.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal
access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation
to participate or need materials in another format, please contact email@example.com as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
# # #Media contact:Mary Hightower501firstname.lastname@example.org