The purpose of conducting trials is identify varieties that are being developed and to determine their value to our customers.
We maintain open dialogue with plant breeders around the world, often acquiring their test material, growing and fruiting their plants, collecting performance data and making recommendations back to the breeders. If a variety shows promise, we will conduct larger trials by distributing plants to a wide group of cooperating fruit producers, recollect and analyze data, and then decide if it should join our list of plant offerings to all customers.
We primarily evaluate for fruit characteristics, especially flavor, size and yield. Equally important is plant vigor and disease resistance. Evaluating a new variety for at least 3 years is necessary to see it perform under a range of conditions. It can often be a 4 – 8 year process before conclusively deciding to carry or discard a variety.
We feel this research is vital for the continued success of the small fruit industry. Our commitment is to liaison between plant breeder and final fruit producer, whether a home gardener or commercial grower. This process is Nourse Farms investment in identifying new and improved varieties. We hope our role will eventually bring the best flavored, most productive, completely disease tolerant plants possible…. in short, "the perfect berry",