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Yellow Raspberries Becoming Solid Gold for Growers

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Written Friday, July 06, 2001  

Raspberry growers looking to add variety to their red and black berries may want to try growing a yellow cultivar.

Yellow raspberries are slowing becoming hot commodities as gourmet or specialty items, and are not any more difficult to grow than traditional varieties, said Dick Funt, an Ohio State University horticulturist.

"It takes a while for people to get used to the sight of a yellow raspberry," Funt said. "But the fruit is becoming somewhat of a specialty item for bakeries and markets that may use the berry to decorate cakes and pastries or promote an unusual jam."

A handful of producers grow yellow raspberries in Ohio and only four fall cultivars exist for producers to choose from, but the berries produce size and taste qualities that rival black and red raspberry varieties, Funt said.

"The big thing right now is to get as big a berry as possible and as sweet tasting as possible," he said.

One cultivar, known as Anne, produces a large berry -- four to eight grams -- compared to a typical red raspberry's two to three grams, and has a high sugar content.

A disadvantage to growing a bigger berry is its greater susceptibility to molds because it's a softer fruit, Funt said. Anne and another big-berry cultivar, known as Fallgold, are vulnerable to Botrytis blight, or gray mold.

"But the cultivars excel at winter hardiness and as long as you keep the soil drained, you can grow yellow raspberries just about anywhere in the state," Funt said.

Other fall yellow raspberries include:

* Golden Harvest -- Produces moderate yields, but with small berries.

* Goldie -- A medium-sized, firm variety that turns pink when it becomes ripe.

More information on growing yellow raspberry cultivars is available in OSU Extension Bulletin No. 782, "Brambles -- Production Management and Marketing." The bulletin contains sections on site selection and preparation, planting, weed control, pruning, supporting canes, insects and diseases, and marketing.

The bulletin also is available at local OSU Extension offices throughout Ohio.


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