Canadian Berry Trial Network
Title: The Canadian Berry Trial Network
- Dr. Beatrice Amyotte, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Nova Scotia);
- Dr. Pierre Lafontaine, Director, Carrefour Industriel et Experimental de Lanaudiere, and Jennifer Crawford, Executive Director, Association des Producteurs de Fraises et Framboises (Quebec);
- Dr. John Zandstra, Professor, Dr. Adam Dale, College Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph (Ontario); and
- Dr. Eric Gerbrandt, Plant Scientist, Sky Blue Horticulture Ltd. (British Columbia).
Duration: April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2023
The Canadian Berry Trial Network (CBTN) is an industry-led Horticulture Cluster project which involves testing new varieties of strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry in four provinces across Canada: BC, ON, QC and NS. The project is led by the Quebec strawberry and raspberry growers’ association (APFFQ) in association with many partners. The partners include the BC Blueberry Council (BCBC), Raspberry Industry Development Council (RIDC) and BC Strawberry Grower’s Association (BCSGA), the Berry Growers of Ontario (BGO) and Horticulture Nova Scotia (HNS), along with extensions services and research institutions in BC, ON, QC and NS.
The Canadian Berry Trial Network (CBTN) project involves testing new varieties and selections of strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry in four provinces across Canada.
- The objective for Phase I (2018-2019) was to initiate the project through an in-person meeting and the development of an experimental design. Phase I also included plant propagation, field preparation and the acquisition of research materials and supplies.
- The objective for Phase II (2019-2023) is to establish and evaluate standard varieties, new varieties and advanced selections of raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry in the four provinces.
- The objective for Phase III (2020-2023) is to share the results of the trials with our industry partners and to discuss commercial opportunities for some of the new trial varieties and selections.
In British Columbia, this research project also includes an extensive network of on-farm (Stage 3) grower trials that build on Stage 1 (Berry Germplasm Evaluation for the Fraser Valley) and Stage 2 (Berry Cultivar Development for the Fraser Valley) of the BC Berry Breeding Program. New berry cultivars and breeding selections are established in collaboration with grower participants to facilitate evaluation in the commercial production context across numerous sites in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland. Through assessing plant growth, productivity, and fruit quality, this project serves to determine suitability of new cultivars developed in other regions for local production as well as inform decisions on the release of cultivars from the BC Berry Breeding Program.