Recent Research & Projects by Northwest Berry Foundation


uav remote sensing in Berry crops

Northwest Berry Foundation (NBF) conducted a project in cooperation with USDA-ARS and with funding from the Western WIPM Center in an objective to understand how UAV technology can aid IPM in berry crops. From this initial one-year project, NBF had great success in being able to image and map various pest issues that affect berry crops, and the video (left) helps to show how it all works. Using the preliminary data gained from this project, we hope to conduct future studies, calibrating this tool to more precisely be able to inform us of pest/disease issues in berry crops, develop automated self-learning programs to quickly analyze imagery, and continuing to test emerging technologies (i.e. new sensors, analysis tools, UAVs, etc.).

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Survey of rose stem girdler in oregon and sw washington berry fields

In 2018, numerous raspberry and blackberry growers and researchers reported unexpected economic damage to their fields caused by rose stem girdler (Agrilus cuprescens). In response, The Northwest Berry Foundation, funded by the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission, carried out a field survey to determine rose stem girdler incidence and economic impact in Willamette Valley blackberries and raspberries. Information from this project was shared via issue weekly pest alerts in the commission-sponsored newsletter, the Small Fruit Update. The information gathered during this survey was also condensed into fact sheets and management recommendations for growers.


Mapping Blueberry Shock virus with UAV imagery

Based on the results from the Western IPM Center UAV project, which showed a tremendous ability for UAV imagery to map Shock Virus in blueberry fields, NBF, with funding from the Oregon Blueberry Commission, is embarking on a multi-year study to build on these initial results. The project begins in 2019. The goal is to use UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) based remote sensing to efficiently collect field-wide multispectral imagery data on Blueberry Shock virus (BlShV) to improve our understanding of the disease and answer some basic questions that have remained elusive, such as: Do BlShV symptoms recur? Do plants recover in a single year? What are the varietal differences in disease expression?


Connecting Breeders to Producers: Regional on-Farm trials of Strawberry Cultivars and Elite Selections

There has been an ongoing need to have consistent strawberry variety grower trials to determine the potential these new varieties have in the Pacific Northwest climate and markets. This project seeks to bridge the gap between the introduction of new varieties and growers confidently planting said new varieties. The overall goal of this project is to establish a robust on-farm trialing structure to accelerate the commercialization of available genetic resources, which would in turn increase the economic viability of the Northwest strawberry industry

A Thriving Fresh Market Strawberry Industry through Breeding, Horticulture Systems, Grower Resources and Nursery Expansion

There has been a drastic decline of Washington State’s processed market acreage and the disbanding of the Washington Strawberry Commission. Meanwhile, consumption and value of fresh strawberries continues to increase nationwide. Washington producers have an opportunity to meet the growing demand for fresh local strawberries, but face several obstacles in doing so. Researchers at Washington State University (WSU) will address these barriers through plant breeding research, evaluation of horticultural practices, grower outreach, and plant propagation research for nursery expansion. In collaboration with WSU, the Northwest Berry Foundation is conducting two workshops to explore fresh market strawberry production in Washington. The workshops will be arranged with the intention of providing Washington growers with information about the potential market demand for fresh strawberries and how to fulfill that demand.