Soft fruit growers, agronomists and amateur enthusiasts are being offered tours of the James Hutton Institute’s (JHI) latest raspberry, blueberry and cherry research next week at the first Fruit For The Future event in two years.
JHI’s summer showcase at Invergowrie, which includes scientific presentations, outdoor demonstrations and walks through experimental plots, will take place on Thursday.
One of the key presentations will focus on the raspberry breeding programme which aims to develop robust varieties with tolerance to pathogens – particularly phytophera root rot.
The event will feature the most advanced floricane and primocane genotypes including JHI’s first two primocane raspberries, Skye and Lewis.
Other presentations will update growers on progress and plans from the institute’s blueberry breeding programme which is entering its fifth year of fruit evaluations.
Selections have been identified with superior flavour, size, yield and firmness, and trials in the Netherlands have shown excellent climatic tolerance. A large-scale flavour study in 2020 found a number of advanced selections were highly rated, allowing JHI researchers to predict consumer preferences before fruit ripeness.
Growers will be updated on the latest findings on fruit drop in cherry crops, and there will be an update on the introduction of honeyberry crops. Honeyberries now extend to 100 acres in Scotland, and while the crop is already renowned for its high levels of healthy compounds, JHI will give an overview of the emerging Scottish honeyberry industry and how the Scottish fruit compares to other common berries.
Fruit For The Future’s regular spotted wing drosophila clinic will operate and visitors are invited to bring a 200g sample of fruit to be tested. Results will be sent to delegates in confidence.
The event runs from 3-6pm and is free to attend, but Covid regulations mean pre-registration is essential.
To book, visit bit.ly/HuttonFFF21