Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Fruit Production
Three new berry varieties announced


February 25, 2009
By Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada

Topics

February 25, 2009, Abbotsford, B.C. – Three new berry varieties were
recently announced – Nisga’a, a new early strawberry, and two new
raspberries: Ukee and Rudyberry.

February 25, 2009, Abbotsford, B.C. – Three new berry varieties were recently announced – Nisga’a, a new early strawberry, and two new raspberries: Ukee and Rudyberry.

These new plants will be available to growers starting this spring.
 
These new berries are high-yield, early ripening, naturally resistant to disease, harvestable by machine and suitable for the fresh and processed food markets.

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Nisga’a is a high-yielding, early-ripening strawberry variety producing large medium-dark red, firm and glossy fruit with a pleasant and sweet flavour. Nisga’a was named after the First Nations people residing in the Nass River Valley of northwestern British Columbia. The name refers to the abundance food in the Nass river, where a multitude of creatures go to feed.
 
Ukee is a high-yielding raspberry variety producing firm large-sized fruit suited for both the fresh and processing markets. It has excellent resistance to root rot and also resists the large raspberry aphid, Amphorophora agathonica, a pest that transmits the raspberry mosaic virus complex. Ukee is short for Ucluelet, which translates as “the people with the safe landing place.”
 
Rudyberry is a high-yielding raspberry variety producing firm, large-sized fruit suited for both the fresh and processing markets. It is highly machine harvestable with its harvest season coming earlier than the industry standard variety Meeker. Rudyberry has shown resistance to root rot and also resists the large raspberry aphid, Amphorophora agathonica, a pest which transmits the raspberry mosaic virus complex. Rudyberry was named after Rudy Janzen, an Abbotsford farmer who was the first to plant it on his farm and played an important role in testing it.

“Growers need new varieties to help get ahead of problems like root rot,” said Janzen. “I became involved in testing because I think it’s very important for growers to have a chance to say which varieties will work for them.” 

New berry varieties undergo eight to 15 years of testing and selection before they are offered to the industry. They are tested for yield, size, colour, taste, cooking and processing quality, and natural resistance to diseases and pests.
 
New varieties developed by the Small Fruit Breeding Program at PARC-Agassiz are traditionally named using local First Nation words. The program has produced several varieties of strawberries, including Totem, a popular variety in the Pacific Northwest. The program also developed Chemainus, the most planted raspberry variety in B.C., and Tulameen, a raspberry which is very sought after in the fresh market. 
 
To develop new raspberry varieties, PARC-Agassiz research staff collaborated with the University of the Fraser Valley and the B.C. Raspberry Industry Development Council
 
To develop new strawberry varieties, PARC-Agassiz research staff collaborated with the University of the Fraser Valley, the Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association, and the Washington Strawberry Commission. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also has strawberry breeding programs in Kentville, Nova Scotia, and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.