Efficiency of outdoor berry production is growing. New production methods and varieties ensure the profitability of production.
One in three Finnish horticultural farms is a berry farm with outdoor berry production. Very little berry production is located in greenhouses. Strawberries and blackcurrants are the most widely grown berries. Raspberry production is on the increase. The production of white and redcurrant, gooseberry, sea buckthorn, highbush blueberry and aronia remain at a fairly low level.
Luke’s main focus of development is professional berry production in Finland. Guaranteeing berry production benefits all consumers who like berries. Varieties that are well adapted to the conditions and produce a high-quality yield are the single-most important factor in the production process. The goal of strawberry breeding is to achieve varieties that can tolerate winter conditions and diseases. They should also produce berries that taste delicious and keep well.
In addition to strawberries, new varieties of currants and highbush blueberries have been produced. To ensure the production of healthy plants, Luke maintains a selection of elite plants that are free of pests and diseases. The goal of Luke is to improve the reliability, volume and quality of berry yields. There are development projects for the production of berries in garden polytunnels. Other research focuses include the storage of berries and extending their period of availability. Luke intends to develop production methods in order to enable the supply of high-quality fresh berries that are suitable for retail.
The production and use of cold-stored strawberry plants that are used to schedule the yield are also explored.
Luke also aims to explore the occurrence of new pests and their significance in berry cultivation. The goal is to develop their management with the help of production technology and pest control methods. In addition, new methods are being developed of detecting diseases caused by fungi and viruses.
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