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University of Arkansas
Dept. of Horticulture
310 Plant Sciences Building
Fayetteville, AR  72701

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Commercial Fruits and Nuts in Arkansas

Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionArkansas' climate allows for the production of a wide variety of healthy and delicious, high market value perennial fruits and pecans. 

The Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture, provides a myriad of resources, information, and advice to individuals and groups wanting to pursue commercial fruit production.

Knowledgeable specialists and county Extension agents are available to assist you with your questions.

 

Licensed Propagators:  University of Arkansas Patented Fruit Cultivars

Blackberry Propagators

Blueberry Propagators

Grape Propagators

Nectarine & Fresh Market Peach Propagators

 

  • Dr. John Clark - Fruit Breeding Program | Department of Horticulture | Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences | University of Arkansas at FayettevilleUniversity of Arkansas Fruit Breeding Program

    Southwest Research and Extension Center - Hope | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas SystemThe University of Arkansas has a rich heritage in fruit breeding. The effort was begun by Dr. James N. Moore, Distinguished University Professor, Emeritus in 1964. This effort continues under the direction of Dr. John R. Clark, University Professor of Horticulture at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

    The program has released 15 blackberry, two blueberry, seven grape, three strawberry, five processing peach, three nectarine, four fresh-market peaches, one dwarf ornamental nectarine and three ornamental peach cultivars.

    The program continues today with emphasis on these crops. The program is based at the Fruit Research Station at Clarksville, with testing of developments at the Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope.

    Below you will find a brief description of fruit size, maturity date, flavor/sweetness, disease resistance and plant characteristics for the University of Arkansas cultivars in addition to nursery sources.

  • Blackberries | Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionSmall Fruit:  Blackberries & Raspberries

    Blackberries are a native crop to many areas of the United States and are adapted to a wide range of environments. Unlike many fruit crops, blackberries can be grown with little to no pesticide use in the home garden and require less inputs in commercial production. 

    Blackberrries | Dr. John Clark | University of Arkansas at FayettevilleWide adaptation to soil type is found with blackberries. The preferred soil pH is 5.5 to 6.5. Good drainage is required. Plants should not be grown in sites where water stands for long periods.

    The most limiting factor in blackberry production in the northern United States is winter hardiness, or resistance to winter injury to the canes. The Arkansas varieties lack hardiness in the upper Midwest and northward. The major limitation to blackberry production in the deep South is the fungal disease double blossom/rosette, to which the Arkansas-developed thornless varieties show resistance.

    The Arkansas varieties have been shown to be adapted statewide. They are upright in growth habit and should be grown in a hedgerow-type system. They do not require the trellising system used for trailing and semi-erect varieties.

    Blackberries are established from plants or root cuttings spaced 2 to 3 feet apart. The first crop is harvested the year after planting. 

    University of Arkansas patented blackberry cultivars are available from licensed blackberry propagators.

    FSA-6105 Blackberry Production in the Home Garden
    FSA-7082 Raspberry Crown Borer
    FSA-7563 Management of Important Blackberry Diseases in Arkansas (color)
    General Brambles | Dr. Elena Garcia | Arkansas Extension General: Brambles  (Botany, Fruiting Habits, Adaptation, Site Preparation, Planting Methods, Pruning)
    by Dr. Elena Garcia | Cooperative Extension Service | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System
    Home Garden Blackberry Production website | Fruits & Nuts | Yard & Garden | Arkansas Extension Home Garden Blackberry Production website
    Cooperative Extension Service | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System

     

    University of Arkansas Floricane-Fruiting Cultivars

    University of Arkansas Primocane-Fruiting Cultivars

    What is a primocane-fruiting blackberry? This is a type of blackberry that fruits on current-season canes (primocanes). All previous blackberry varieties are floricane-fruiting, thus the canes must be overwintered for fruiting the second year. This new type of blackberry could greatly change blackberry production.

    Primocane-fruiting blackberries hold great promise for several reasons. First, they have the potential to produce more than one “crop” per year, having the potential for the normal summer crop (the floricane crop) and a later crop on the current season primocanes. In fact, these new varieties have been observed to flower and fruit until frost, depending on late summer and fall temperatures, plant health, and location they are grown. In more northern climates, they have the potential to provide a crop even if floricanes are damaged by winter cold since the primocanes grow and fruit in the same season. In this instance, pruning is done simply by mowing the canes down in the winter.

    The first commercial primocane-fruiting blackberry cultivars were released by the University of Arkansas in 2004. These are the first in what should be a number of advances in this exciting type of blackberry.

    The first two cultivars released in the Prime-Ark™ Floricane-Fruiting blackberry series were Prime-Jim® and Prime-Jan®.  In 2009 Prime-Ark® 45 was released.

    Older University of Arkansas Cultivars Released Prior to 1980 and Not Patented

      'Cherokee' 'Comanche' 'Cheyenne'
    Type Thorny, erect Thorny, erect Thorny, erect
    Date of Release 1974 1974 1976
    Fruit Size 5 grams   6 grams
    Yield Medium Medium Medium
    Maturity Date June 14 June 5 June 10
    Flavor/Sweetness
    (Soluble Solids)
    Very Good
    9.7 percent SS
    Good
    9.8 percent SS
    Good
    9.7 percent SS
     
  • Blueberries | Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionSmall Fruit:  Blueberries

    Blueberries | Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionCultivated blueberry production in the United States consists predominantly of:

    northern highbush blueberry (or standard highbush) with major areas of production in the upper South, Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest

    rabbiteye blueberry, a native southern blueberry grown from the mid-South to deep South

    southern highbush blueberry is a relatively new type of blueberry and is a hybrid of the northern highbush and one or more native southern blueberry species.

    In Arkansas, northern highbush blueberries are grown in the northern counties, and rabbiteyes are grown in more central and southern areas. 

    Southern highbush evaluations and limited commercial production have begun in the traditional rabbiteye areas of Arkansas, and two southern highbush cultivars have been introduced.

    pH Scale | EPAA fundamental need in blueberry production is an acid soil, with a pH of 4.8 to 5.4 preferable in Arkansas, and a soil that is of a light texture. Sandy loam is preferred but not an absolute requirement. A recommended practice is the addition of peat moss at a rate of one to two gallons per plant to the planting hole at planting, along with mulching with an organic material such as pine straw, sawdust or wood chips. A mixture of sawdust and wood chips is preferable.

    Irrigation is a must for plant survival and productivity.

    Blueberries usually fruit the third season after planting. Flower buds will develop on second-year plants, but it is best to remove these to encourage plant growth in the second season. Pest control on blueberries is minimal, and routine fungicide and insecticide applications are not commonly needed. Bird control is the major issue, particularly on small plantings. Netting or scaring devices are two options to consider.

    Which blueberry type or variety to plant is a fundamental issue. This is largely dictated by location, with northern highbush adapted to the upper South and northward, rabbiteyes from the mid-South and southward and southern highbush from the upper South and southward.

    The University of Arkansas patented cultivar 'Ozarkblue' is available from licensed blueberry propagators.

    FSA-6104  Blueberry Production in the Home Garden
    Home Garden Blueberry Production website | Fruits & Nuts | Yard & Garden | Arkansas Extension Home Garden Blueberry Production website
    Cooperative Extension Service | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System
    PALS Highbush Blueberry Production Guide (NRAES-55) PALS Highbush Blueberry Production Guide (formerly NRAES)
        Publication Number: NRAES-55
        Length: 200 pages; Features: 168 color photos, 24 figures, 27 tables
        Authors: 29 researchers, extension workers, and growers from 17 states
    Download a low-resolution, fair-use copy of NRAES-55 (23.0 MB)

     

  • Grapes | Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionSmall Fruit:  Grapes & Muscadines

    Grape production worldwide is based on table, wine, juice and raisin production. The major effort in Arkansas has been on improving table grapes adapted to the state and region. The most common table grapes found in supermarkets are Vitis vinifera, produced mostly in California. Lacking cold hardiness and disease resistance, varieties of V. vinifera are not adapted to Arkansas or most other states east of the Rocky Mountains. 

    Eastern grapes, including table grapes, are hybrids of V. vinifera and V. labrusca, with V. labrusca providing hardiness, reduced disease susceptibility and substantial fruit flavor. Pure V. labrusca fruit are very flavorful, with the most common flavor being the "foxiness" found with Concord and other eastern varieties. They have a slipskin-type texture where the pulp does not adhere to the skin. This texture is not crisp and is distinctly different than that of the non-slipskin V. vinifera varieties familiar to most consumers.

    Among the University of Arkansas cultivars are both non-slipskin and slipskin choices. The Arkansas-developed cultivars, hybrids of these two species, are not resistant or immune to several devastating fungal diseases black rot, downy and powdery mildews and anthracnose. Because these cultivars were developed in a cultural system using a commercial grape fungicide program, growers of Arkansas table grapes should be familiar with the use of appropriate fungicides to control the above-listed diseases. Without controlling these diseases, Arkansas-developed cultivars will not produce reliable yields.

    Although developed in the South, the University of Arkansas cultivars are not resistant to the most devastating grape disease in the deep South  - Pierce's disease. These cultivars are not recommended where Pierce's disease is a threat. 

    Grape production requires selection of the appropriate trellis and training system and the knowledge to develop the vines on the trellis. Training is needed mainly in the first and second years of growth. A few clusters per vine can be borne on second-year vines if first-year growth is adequate, but the third year is more commonly the time of substantial cropping.

    The University of Arkansas patented grape cultivars are available from licensed grape propagators.

    FSA-7556 Black Rot of Grapes (color)
    Home Garden Grape Production website | Fruits & Nuts | Yard & Garden | Arkansas Extension Home Garden Grape Production website
    Cooperative Extension Service | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System
    Fruit & Pest Management | Department of Entomology | University of Arkansas Table of Grape Damage Symptoms, Scouting and Pest Identification 
    Dr. Donn Johnson | Department of Entomology | University of Arkansas
    Fruit & Pest Management | Department of Entomology | University of Arkansas Grape Phylloxera Fact Sheet 
    Dr. Donn Johnson | Department of Entomology | University of Arkansas
  • Strawberries | Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionSmall Fruit:  Strawberries
    FSA-7528 Gray Mold - A Silent Strawberry Nemesis (color)
    Plasticulture Strawberry Foliar Monitoring Form | Arkansas Extension Plasticulture Strawberry Foliar Monitoring Form
    National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative | Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability (CARS) | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative  
    Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability (CARS) | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System
    Home Garden Strawberry Production website | Fruits & Nuts | Yard & Garden | Arkansas Extension Home Garden Strawberry Production website
    Cooperative Extension Service | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System
    Introductiory Guide to Strawberry Plasticulture | Dr. E. Barclay Poling | NCSU Plasticulture Production 
    NCSU Cooperative Extension
     
  • Apples & Pears | Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionTree Fruit:  Apples & Pears
  • Peaches & Nectarines | Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionTree Fruit:  Nectarines & Peaches

    Peaches & Nectarines | Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionPeaches have long been a favorite of Arkansans, and peach production has been one of the major fruit crops in the State for many years. This production has included fresh market and processing types. Ripe peaches are generally considered hard to beat by most fruit consumers. Nectarine production and consumption in Arkansas has been much more limited, but has increased in the last 20 years as familiarity with this excellent crop has increased.

    "What is the difference between a peach and a nectarine?" is a common question.  Because nectarines have smooth skin like a plum, some people think they are a cross between a peach and a plum.  But they are not!  Nectarines are actually a genetic mutation of a peach.  A nectarine is just a peach with smooth skin instead of one with fuzzy skin. Otherwise, they are very similar in most other characteristics, and are in the same genus and species, Prunus persica.  Slight differences in flavor and brown rot susceptibility exist also. Otherwise they are produced the same culturally.

    Peach and nectarine production has several limitations for commercial producers and is especially limited for home producers. The first limitation is crop reduction from spring frosts which have been common in the last 15-20 years in Arkansas. Secondly, pest control is critical, as peaches and nectarines are very susceptible to numerous insects and diseases. Critical diseases include brown rot, peach scab and bacterial spot, and major insects are oriental fruit moth and peach tree borer. Thus spraying with fungicides and insecticides is required to produce a crop in most years. If no spraying is intended, then it is best to not consider these crops for production.

    The University of Arkansas has been developing peach and nectarine cultivars since the late 1960s, and several cultivars have been released. This developmental work was done at the Fruit Research Station at Clarksville, so all dates of bloom or harvest are based on data collected at that location.  The University of Arkansas patented nectarine and fresh-market peach cultivars are available from licensed nectarine and fresh-market peach propagators.

     

    Nectarine Cultivars - University of Arkansas Patented

    Fresh-Market Peach Cultivars - University of Arkansas Patented

     

    Processing Cling Peaches - University of Arkansas Developed

    These peach cultivars released by the University of Arkansas are not patented and nursery lists are not maintained for them.

    AllGold
       Year released - 1984
       Full Bloom Date - March 23
       Maturity Date - July 1
       Average Fruit Weight (g) - 205
       Soluble Solids (percent sweetness) - 12.1
       Bacterial Spot - 9
       Rating - Flesh Color Rating - 8
       Rating - Fruit Firmness - 8

    Goldnine
       Year released - 2000
       Full Bloom Date - March 26
       Maturity Date - July 11
       Average Fruit Weight (g) - 187
       Soluble Solids (percent sweetness) - 12.7
       Bacterial Spot - 9
       Rating - Flesh Color Rating - 6
       Rating - Fruit Firmness - 9 

    Goldilocks
       Year released - 1984
       Full Bloom Date - March 17
       Maturity Date - July 18
       Average Fruit Weight (g) - 150
       Soluble Solids (percent sweetness) - 12.6
       Bacterial Spot - 7
       Rating - Flesh Color Rating - 7
       Rating - Fruit Firmness - 8 

    Roygold
       Year released - 2000
       Full Bloom Date - March 20
       Maturity Date - June 21
       Average Fruit Weight (g) - 157
       Soluble Solids (percent sweetness) - 11.7
       Bacterial Spot - 9
       Rating - Flesh Color Rating - 8
       Rating - Fruit Firmness - 9

    GoldJim
       Year released - 2000
       Full Bloom Date - March 18
       Maturity Date - July 19
       Average Fruit Weight (g) - 183
       Soluble Solids (percent sweetness) - 12.4
       Bacterial Spot - 9
       Rating - Flesh Color Rating - 9
       Rating - Fruit Firmness - 9 

     

    Bacterial spot, flesh color and fruit firmness ratings based on a scale of 1-10 with 10 best.

    •  Bacterial spot rating of 10 indicates no evidence of this disease in any years, with a rating of 7 a common commercial variety rating;

    •  Flesh color rating is highest if flesh is fully golden-yellow and lacks red pigment in the flesh;

    •  Fruit firmness rating higher for firmer fruit.

     

  • Pecans | Fruits & Nuts | Commercial Horticulture | Arkansas ExtensionNuts:  Pecans
    FSA-6131 Fertilizer and Cultural Recommendations for Pecan Trees
     FSA-7540 Home Pecan Diseases and Control (color)
    Fruit and Pecan Degree Day Accumulation Data and Information | Arkansas Extension Fruit and Pecan Degree Day Accumulation Data and Information
    Cooperative Extension Service | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System
    Home Garden Pecan Tree Production website | Fruits & Nuts | Yard & Garden | Arkansas Extension Home Garden Pecan Tree Production website
    Cooperative Extension Service | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System
    Arkansas Pecan Growers Association Arkansas Pecan Growers Association
    Organic Methods for Control of Insect Pests and Diseases of Pecan and Peach Webinar | USDA-ARS Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory Organic Methods for Control of Insect Pests and Diseases of Pecan and Peach Webinar
    Dr. David Shapiro-Ilan and Dr. Clive Bock | USDA-ARS Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory
    Pecan ipmPIPE Pecan ipmPIPE
    The Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (PIPE) began as a USDA-initiated Internet-based response to the discovery of soybean rust in 2005 in Louisiana.  The mission of the Belt-wide Pecan ipmPIPE Program is regional participation in a dynamic, integrated national system that provides useful, reliable information and tools for IPM practitioners throughout the "pecan belt," the principal states where at least some commercial pecans are grown. Our vision is to develop the ipmPIPE to help maximize economic returns, and improve social welfare and environmental health by promotion of efficient and coordinated IPM decision support systems.

     

  • Finance
    FSA-9512 Diagnosing Farm Profitability Problems
    FSFCS-56 Estate Planning Defined
    Center for Agricultural & Rural Sustainability (CARS) | Research & Extension | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System

    Assessing High Tunnel Production for Organic Berries | Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability

    Interactive Organic Blackberry Budget

    Interactive Organic Raspberry Budget

    Instructions for Interactive Organic Budgets

    Center for Agricultural & Rural Sustainability (CARS) | Research & Extension | Division of Agriculture | University of Arkansas System Arkansas CropMap
    View crops produced within Arkansas by crop, acres produced, and yield. Information for the entire state as well as individual counties.
    Ag Risk & Farm Management Library Ag Risk & Farm Management Library
    Information on production risk, crop insurance, enterprise diversification, price risk, natural disasters, legal risk, and human risk.
    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) USDA Risk Management Agency
    The Risk Management Agency is part of the USDA with the goal of assisting producers manage risk through effective risk management solutions. The three divisions of the RMA include: Insurance Services, Research and Development (R&D), and Risk Compliance.
    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) - Arkansas
    USDA's NASS Arkansas Field Office is operated in cooperation with the University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture.
    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS)
    The ERS mission is to inform and enhance public and private decision making on economic and policy issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and rural development.
  • Marketing

    Farmers' Market - Helena | Arkansas Extension Marketing Your Products Directly (FSA31)
    by Arkansas Extension
    This publication shows you how to market your products directly and legal considerations.

    Commodity Markets
    by Arkansas Extension
    This site provides various links to cash market prices, futures market prices, USDA reports, market commentary and analysis, and other market related analysis.

    Farmers' Market Vendor Guidelines
    by Arkansas Department of Health & Arkansas Agriculture Department

    Arkansas Grown
    by Arkansas Agriculture Department
    This website was developed by the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) to help potential buyers locate Arkansas producers. Any resident of Arkansas who produces an agricultural product in our state may, at no charge, list their marketing information here. AAD may also make this information available for distribution in other formats.

    Agricultural Marketing Service
    by USDA
    This site provides information on the various AMS programs, discusses current hot topics in agriculture, and provides various web resources to assist producers.

    Farmers' Markets and Local Food Marketing
    by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

    National Organic Program
    by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
    National Organic Program page that supplies links for certifying agents, consumer information, NOP regulations and policies, producers, handlers, and processors, and state information as well as a link to the National Organics Standards Board.

  • Legal / Human Resources

    Food & Farm Policy
    by Arkansas Extension
    The Agricultural and Food Policy webpages are developed as a resource to help users increase their understanding of public decision making by providing sources of information, data, analysis and news on public issues impacting Arkansas' agricultural and rural sector.

    Legal and Business Guide 
    by University of Arkansas System's Division of Agriculture
    This book includes chapters on contract laws, food safety, food labeling, agricultural labor, busi­ness organizations and the application of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. In addition, since the industry is also confronted by other unique challenges that directly affect competitiveness, it also includes a chapter addressing the marketing of various types of
    specialty crops and one discussing the third-party audit system.

    Farmdoc - Law & Taxation
    by University of Illinois
    The educational materials provided on this site can assist producers, as well as others, in understanding the impact of laws and regulations on agri-related decisions and activities. Topics on this site include: Agricultural Biotechnology, Selling Agricultural Products, Acquiring Farmland, Water, Natural Resources & Environment, Labor Law, and Taxation.

    Farm Labor Laws and Regulations
    by Ohio State University
    This site provided by Ohio State University gives a summary of labor laws and regulations that affect agriculture.

    Wage & Hour Division
    by United States Department of Labor
    The Wage and Hour mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the Nation's workforce.