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Blackberries Field Tour to take place


CLARKSVILLE — A highlight of every Arkansas summer is surely the state’s fruit bursting into bloom, and 2024 looks to be no exception. On June 12, blackberry growers are invited to sample some of the sweetest offerings from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture: blackberries from the Fruit Research Station in Clarksville.
The annual Blackberry Research Tour, one of the Division of Agriculture’s ongoing series of field days throughout the spring and summer, is scheduled for June 12, kicking off at 1 p.m. The event will feature a blackberry tasting, a field tour and more. The event will conclude with dinner, served at 5 p.m.
Amanda McWhirt extension fruit and vegetable horticulture specialist for the Division of Agriculture, said the blackberry field tour has been a consistent favorite among the fruit’s enthusiasts.
“This event annually brings together more than 60 blackberry growers, industry personnel and researchers,” McWhirt said. “It is an important opportunity for growers to view all of the blackberry research trials up close and see new developments from the University of Arkansas Fruit Breeding Program. We enjoy getting to bring everyone together from across the state to share ideas and taste the newest blackberries being developed right here in Arkansas.”
The cost to attend the event is $20, payable at the door. Organizers ask that individuals who plan to attend pre-register online to ensure an accurate head count for the field tour and dinner.
1 p.m. Registration Open (Blackberry tasting, blackberry fruit disorder demo)
1:30 p.m. Welcome and Announcements
• Dr. Jackie Lee, Fruit Research Station director & Matt Wilson, president of Arkansas Blackberry Growers Association.
• Drs. Amanda McWhirt & Renee Threlfall acknowledge special guests
2 p.m. Rules for Processing Fruit on Farm, Dr. Renee Threlfall
2:30 p.m. Blackberry Promotional Material Update, Lizzy Herrera
2:45 p.m. Leave for the Field
3-5 p.m. Field Tour
Drone Demonstration, Max Drone
Dr. Hannah Wright Smith, Herbicide Symptomology ID in Blackberry
Dr. Amanda McWhirt, Blackberry Fertility Management
Dr. Aaron Cato, Pesky Insect Pests
Dr. Margaret Worthington, Tour of Advanced Blackberry Selections
5 p.m. Dinner
The Fruit Research Station is located at 1749 State Hwy 818, Clarksville, Arkansas. To reach the station by phone, call 479-754-2406.