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Bob Larson Organic Blueberry Study at OSU Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: January 18, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. A 10-year Oregon State University study has shown organic blueberry growers can now compete with conventional operations.

OSU professor Bernadine Strik says organic research was not widespread when they began their study a decade ago …

BERNADINE STRIK … “I think that the challenge and certainly what we faced when we started this trial in 2006 was that there was a lot of unknowns with regard to organic research and the key issue was certainly unknown increased costs, in what areas costs could be cut were unknown, and an expectation of reduced yield. So, those were some of the key drivers as we started the trial. And, we started the trial at the request of the Oregon blueberry industry and, at the time, most of the production in Oregon was conventional.”

Strik says they’ve been fortunate because the Pacific Northwest is probably the best possible region to conduct a study like this …

BERNADINE STRIK … “When you look at our region, Washington, Oregon, we just have an ideal climate for organic berry crop production. We have relatively dry summers with low humidity so less disease and less weed pressure. We have fewer insects in our blueberry production region than in many others. And, all of this leads to exceptional quality for conventional, but also organic production.”

Strik says the increase in organic blueberry production here in the Northwest has seen exceptional growth since the study began.

Tune in tomorrow for more on how organic growers manage to compete successfully with conventional growers.

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