Raspberry breeding program variety assessment, Trento, Italy, September 2009 (RB09003)
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What was it all about?
The study tour RB09003 to Trento, Italy, was a follow up investigation from the 2008 FR07002 trip, where a particular raspberry trial selection was noted for its potential for Australian markets.
Observations of the variety in question proved to be consistent with what was viewed in Tongeren, Belgium, in 2008, and to be superior to varieties presently available to the Australian industry. It was recommended that further research – primarily assessing the variety within Australia to more accurately determine the suitability to our climate – was undertaken to progress to commercialisation in Australia.
Whilst viewing this variety, two other varieties came to notice, one primocane-fruiting and one floricane-fruiting type. Possibilities for licensing of these new varieties by ARGA, for commercialisation by Australian growers, was discussed with the owners.
Sant Orsola was an Italian grower cooperative that had established its own rubus breeding program.
The program had been developed in collaboration with the Italian research body ISPLF, and focussing on the development of new varieties that have:
- Potential for good yields
- Well structured, good tasting fruit with good colour
- Reasonably firm fruit
- Strong upright canes
- Medium to large fruit size.
A representative from ARGA was invited to visit the breeding program to evaluate new varieties and potentially set up a licensing agreement for trialling of the new varieties in Australia.
A key benefit of introducing new varieties into Australia was the improvement of the quality and quantity of fruit grown locally for Australian, and potentially, for export markets.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the voluntary financial support of the rubus industry.
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