A fresh market strawberry bulletin from the Northwest Berry Foundation. 
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Above: One of the networking and refreshment breaks at the Fresh Market Strawberry Workshop on November 1 in Woodburn, OR.  
At the beginning of November, Northwest Berry Foundation hosted an industry-sponsored workshop for Oregon fresh market strawberry growers. The workshop focused on increasing capacity to produce and market better quality and increased quantities of local strawberries for the wholesale and retail markets. In addition, workshop participants used the day as a forum to explore options for creating an ongoing communication and organizational structure to support fresh market growers and buyers. Read on for highlights and presentation slides from the event. 
Above: 2017 cultivar use in OR, WA, BC (part of the "Regional State of the Fresh Market" panel discussion). Chart courtesy of _________. 
Eric Gerbrandt (BC), Wendy Hoashi-Erhardt (WA), and Matt Unger (OR) sat on a panel as regional representatives from the Pacific Northwest fresh strawberry industry. They each shared updates from their region, including recent developments, strengths, weaknesses, and resources available. They shared some useful statistics, like 2017 cultivar use from each region, and you can see those charts here
Above: Marys Peak displayed at a local farm store during Summer 2017. Marys Peak was one of the fresh market selections that the Oregon Strawberry Commission and Northwest Berry Foundation evaluated in grower trials this past season. 

Recently, Oregon Strawberry Commission & Northwest Berry Foundation finished work on a Specialty Crop Block Grant to evaluate promising day neutral and June bearing fresh market varieties. A selection of these cultivars were evaluated with both on-farm grower trials and consumer taste tests.

Julie Pond (Northwest Berry Foundation), shared the results from the the grower trial portion of the project in her presentation, "Comparing new varieties to the standards in the field: Fresh Market Grower Trial Results." See the presentation slides here. 

Ann Colonna (Food Innovation Center) presented the results from the consumer taste test portion of the project. Go here for the presentation.
Above: One of the slides from Ann Colonna's presentation, "Consumer Testing of Fresh Market Strawberries, June/August 2017." 
Above: A photo from Eric Gerbrandt's presentation, which included the development of new drip-line pest control application in B.C.
Eric Gerbrandt  (Sky Blue Horticulture Ltd.) gave the group insight into strawberry production in British Columbia during his research presentation about growing plugs, fall planting, and drip-line pest control applications. Presentation slides available here
Above: Washington's top 5 cultivars 2013-2017 (one of the slides from Wendy Hoashi-Erhardt's presentation on fresh market strawberry research from Washington). 
Wendy Hoashi-Erhardt (Washington State University) presented a roundup of recent research from Washington, including work on developing day-neutral strawberry varieties best suited for the Northwest. She also shared some of Lisa DeVetter's (Washington State University) research on biodegradable mulches. See the presentation here. (Note: Pages 15-17 c/o Lisa DeVetter)
Above: Richard Sakuma (Washington Strawberry Commission Interim Chair), Mike Bondi (North Willamette Research and Extension Center Director), and Tom Peerbolt (Northwest Berry Foundation) lead a round table discussion about the next steps for fresh market strawberries. 
In addition to the presentations, the workshop featured a selection panels to spotlight grower, buyer, and nursery perspectives:
  • Grower Panel: Will Unger (Unger Farms), Mike Christensen (Grandpa’s Fresh Market), Amanda Stevens (Zorn Farms) shared fresh strawberry production experiences from the grower perspectives. 
  • Nursery Panel: Pete Stone (Lassen Canyon Nursery, Inc) & Charlie Gundersen (NorCal Nursery) provided production updates, insights and needs from the nursery side of the industry.
  • Buyer Perspective: Chris Harris (New Seasons Market) discussed fresh market strawberries in terms of demand, quality needs, and marketing. 
  •  Next Steps in Fresh Market Strawberries: Richard Sakuma (Washington Strawberry Commission Interim Chair), Mike Bondi (North Willamette Research and Extension Center Director), and Tom Peerbolt (Northwest Berry Foundation) lead a round table discussion  on the best ways to develop the regional fresh market and improve the profitability of growers, handlers and buyers. In addition, Mike Bondi gave an outline and update on the state-allocated funds for a strawberry extension position.
Thanks again to our workshop sponsors:
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This bulletin is produced by the Northwest Berry Foundation in collaboration with the Oregon Strawberry Commission.  Contact the NBF office at 503-285-0908 or send us an email. 
Copyright © 2017, Northwest Berry Foundation, All rights reserved.
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