|Authors: ||P.P. Moore, W. Hoashi-Erhardt|
|Keywords: ||Rubus idaeus, machine harvestability, Raspberry bushy dwarf virus, Phytophthora rubi|
The Washington State University (WSU) raspberry breeding program in Puyallup began in 1928 as a response to local raspberry growers' concern about the decline in the raspberry cultivar 'Cuthbert'. They were hoping that changes in cultural practices could restore the productivity of 'Cuthbert'. However, a lack of winter hardiness and a general need to improve the crop was identified, and the raspberry breeding program was initiated.
In the 86 years since its inception, the breeding program has responded to the changing needs of the raspberry industry.
Thirteen raspberry cultivars have been released by WSU, including 'Meeker' which has been the leading raspberry cultivar in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years.
Today, the focus of the breeding program is on new floricane fruiting raspberry cultivars for the Pacific northwest that combine machine harvestability, root rot tolerance and Raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV) resistance with favorable fruit characteristics of flavor, color and suitability for processing.
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