2021 Conference Program

The conference includes more than 24 hours of presentations and panel discussions. Below are  topics and speakers scheduled in the two main schedule blocks each day of the conference. Times shown are Eastern US Time. 

Most sessions are in the sequence shown, in “Virtual Room One”.  Many are grouped into topic areas (headings followed by bullets). Those with an *asterisk will run concurrently with these sessions, in our “Virtual Room Two”. Additional sessions and presenters are likely to be added; program is subject to change. This program is accurate as of December 10. 

A detailed program with times for each session will be shared closer to the conference date.  Registrants will be able to see the schedule with times shown in their own time zones and to set personalized agendas.

Monday, February 22

4:00 pm Short Course Final Session – The “Getting Started with Raspberries & Blackberries” short course starts on February 1.

7:00 pm VIRTUAL OPENING RECEPTION Get comfortable, BYOB, and prepare to meet and greet!

Tuesday, Feb. 23 – 2:00-5:30 PM   

Introduction and Welcomes                  

KEYNOTE: An Update on Global Fruit Market Trends with a Focus on Caneberries – David Magana, Rabobank Research   

Focus on Caneberry Breeding

  • Update on Raspberry Breeding in Nova Scotia – Beatrice Amyotte, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Update on Raspberry Breeding in British Columbia – Michael Dossett, BC Blueberry Cultivar Development
  • Breeding Red Raspberry Cultivars for Processed and Fresh Use in Washington – Wendy Hoashi-Erhardt, Washington State University
  • Status of the Caneberry Breeding Program at the USDA-ARS in Corvallis – Carolyn Scagel, USDA-ARS Corvallis, OR
  • Update on Breeding Raspberries and Blackberries for Cool Climate Regions – Courtney Weber, Cornell University
  • Prime-Ark® Horizon and Other New Variety News – John Clark, University of Arkansas

*Poster presentations, discussion groups, exhibitor demos, and more

Tuesday, Feb. 23 – 6:30-9:30 PM        


  • New Approaches for Raspberry Season Extension: Utah Research Results – Brent Black, Utah State University
  • How Different High Tunnel Plastic Coverings Affect Bramble Pests and YieldKathy Demchak, Penn State University
  • Is Containerized and Substrate-Grown Blackberry Production Ready for Prime Time? – Ryan Dickson, University of Arkansas
  • Alternative Primocane Management for Growing Primocane-fruiting Blackberries – Fumi Takeda, USDA-ARS, Kearneysville, WV
  • Growing Soilless Raspberry Under High Tunnels in Canada – André Gosselin, Les Fraises de l’ile d’Orleans, Quebec
  • Plastic Mulches in Raspberry: Is It Worth It?Lisa DeVetter, Washington State University

*Poster presentations, discussion groups, exhibitor demos, and more

Wednesday, Feb. 24 – 2:00-5:30 PM      

Caneberry Breeding in Europe

  • Progress in Polish Raspberry and Blackberry Breeding and Current Fruit Production Trends – Agnieszka Orzel, Niwa Breeding
  • Update on Rubus Breeding at East Malling, UK – Felicidad Fernández-Fernández, NIAB EMR (formerly, East Malling Research)
  • New Developments in Raspberry and Blackberry Breeding in Scotland – Nikki Jennings, The James Hutton Institute

KEYNOTE: A Thorny Issue…Where Is Ag Labor Policy Headed? – Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort      

Grower Spotlight: Gardener’s Orchard – Andrei & Val Gradinariu, Gardener’s Orchard, Brighton, MO           

Closing the Loop: Steps to a Sustainable Clamshell – Chris Christian, California Strawberry Commission; Janis McIntosh, Naturipe Farms; Timothy Bohlke, Avery Dennison

*SWD Control

  • Potential for Biological Control of Spotted Wing Drosophila – Duane Kent, University of California, Berkeley
  • Webinar: A Decade of SWD: Lessons for Management – Hannah Burrack, NC State University, and others

*Poster presentations, discussion groups, exhibitor demos, and more

Wednesday, Feb. 24 – 6:30-9:30 PM             

NARBA ANNUAL MEETING, Award Presentation, and Sneak Preview of the 2022 Conference      

Blackberry Consumer Market Research: Attitudes and Opinions on Fresh and Frozen Blackberries – Darcy Kochis and Julie Rentsch, Food First Marketing               

Recent Consumer Behavior Changes Due to COVID-19 – CarrieAnn Arias, Naturipe Farms

Coast-to-Coast Caneberry Farm Tour – Grower panel

*Poster presentations, discussion groups, exhibitor demos, and more

Thursday, Feb. 25 – 2:00-5:30 PM  

Pest & Disease Control

  • Biorational Fungicides for Berry Crops: How Effective Are They? – Kerik Cox, Cornell University
  • Investigating Causes of Blackberry Dieback: Beyond the Usual Suspects – Jonathan Oliver, University of Georgia
  • What Is the Future of Nematode Management in Caneberries? – Inga Zasada, USDA-ARS, Corvallis, OR
  • Managing Diseases and Pests with UV-C Light – Fumi Takeda, USDA-ARS, Kearneysville, WV

A Tour of Mexican Production – Interviews with Mexican Growers  

*Genetics & Breeding

  • Side-by-side Comparisons of Recent Blackberry and Raspberry Varieties – Michael Dossett, BC Blueberry Cultivar Development
  • Driving Advancements in Berry Cultivar Development with a Large Collaborative Study of Wild Rubus – Cherie Ochsenfeld, Pairwise Plants
  • Genetic Control of Annual Fruiting in Rubus – Toshi Foster, Plant and Food Research

* Developments in the Caneberry Industry in Morocco – Ahlam Hamim, Regional Center of Agricultural Research of Tangier

*Poster presentations, discussion groups, exhibitor demos, and more

Thursday, Feb. 25 – 6:30-9:30 PM     

* COVID Adaptations: What We Will Continue To Do After the Pandemic – Grower Panel; Connie Fisk, Produce Safety Task Force

Fruit Quality

  • Exploring Fruit Reversion in Blackberry – Mark Bolda, University of California Cooperative Extension
  • White Drupelet Disorder: Knowns and More Unknowns – Eric Stafne, Mississippi State University

*Irrigation Management

  • Water requirements in a new planting of trailing blackberry — David Bryla. USDA-ARS, Corvallis, OR
  • Potential Benefits of Using Pulsed Drip Irrigation for Red Raspberry — David Bryla, USDA-ARS, Corvallis, OR

Pest & Disease

  • An Updated Primer on SWD Management in Caneberry – Mark Bolda, University of California Cooperative Extension
  • Competing with Wild Boys: Sterile SWD Males – Jana Lee, USDA-ARS, Corvallis, OR
  • Development of New Tools for Sustainable Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila – Vaughn Walton, Oregon State University


  • Going Hard on Pests and Soft on Pollinators – Andony Melathopoulos, Oregon State University
  • Hive Quality: Why It Matters and What To Do About It – Andony Melathopoulos, Oregon State University


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