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Worldwide Production of Blackberries

Bernadine Strik, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University

In 2005, I was invited to make a presentation on worldwide blackberry production at the International Society for Horticultural Science Rubus Symposium, held in Chile in December, 2005. I conducted a survey with the help of my colleagues. No industry funding, was solicited for this work/paper. However, I felt it would be of interest to the blackberry industry in the Pacific Northwest and thus am providing a summary. Please see the full paper available hereGet Adobe Acrobat Reader

A brief summary:

Worldwide blackberry area increased from 34,490 acres in 1995 to 49,507 acres in 2005, a 44% increase. Most of growth in the last ten years occurred in Mexico, the USA, China, and Costa Rica. Projections for the greatest growth in the next ten years are in Romania, Poland, Mexico, Chile, Hungary, China, and the USA. Based on this survey, there may be 66,797 acres of commercial blackberries worldwide, not including production from harvested wild plants, in 2015.

Wild blackberries still make a significant contribution to worldwide production and although accurate data are hard to obtain, survey respondents estimated that 19,770 acres of wild blackberries were harvested in 2005 with a total reported production of 14,837 tons.

Worldwide blackberry production was 154,603 tons in 2005, not including wild production.

There were 6,246 acres of organic blackberry production reported in the world in 2005: 3,830 acres in Costa Rica, 2,206 acres in South America (most in Ecuador), 180 acres in North America (most in the USA), and 27 acres in Europe. Use of tunnel production was reported on 778 acres worldwide with tunnels mostly being used to protect against adverse weather. Tunnels or greenhouses to advance or delay the fruiting season in addition to protection against the elements were used in Europe and South Africa.

Fifty percent of the cultivars grown worldwide were semi-erect, 25% erect, and 25% trailing types in 2005. ‘Thornfree’, ‘Loch Ness’, and ‘Chester Thornless’ accounted for 58% of the semi-erect blackberry area and ‘Dirksen Thornless’, ‘Hull Thornless’, and ‘Smoothstem’ for 28%. ‘Brazos’ was by far the most common erect blackberry grown worldwide accounting for 46% of the erect area. ‘Marion’ is the most important trailing blackberry grown accounting for 51% of the worldwide area of trailing types; more than 90% of the worldwide ‘Marion’ area is located in Oregon. ‘Boysen’ accounted for 24%, ‘Thornless Evergreen’ 9%, and ‘Silvan’ 5% of the worldwide area of trailing blackberry.