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In Spring and Summer, red raspberry growers are concentrated on growing a quality crop, getting it harvested and maximizing their income. Fall and Winter are for vacationing, planning, going to meetings and workshops to meet with other growers, learn about the results of the previous season’s research or new ways to grow a better crop. Perhaps there is new machinery on the market that offer new ways to harvest or spay that could be used on their farm. Maybe there is new information about a pest insect or disease that will reduce a spray treatment or focus it for the most impact. There might be a new cultivar that shows promise. All those possibilities come from some sort of research or R&D done by someone.

Every year the Washington Red Raspberry Commission decides on the areas of research that the Board feels are most significant. Then the Commission requests proposals from those who do research through the publication of a RFP (request for proposal). Though most research has traditionally been done by Land Grant University scientists, anyone can offer a proposal for consideration.

After the annual meeting held in December, the Commission decides on the amount of funds it can spend to support research. The Commission receives the proposals and the Board chooses those they feel will benefit the industry the most. Board members are volunteers and it’s to their credit that they take the time and energy to sift through the proposals and make a decision for the good of all Washington red raspberry growers.

See below for the latest priorities and research projects, as well as lists of proposals and reports.


Washington Red Raspberry Commission Research Priorities 2024

#1 priorities

  • Develop cultivars that are summer bearing, high yielding, winter hardy, machine-harvestable, disease resistant, virus resistant and have superior processed fruit quality

  • Management options for control of the Spotted Wing Drosophila – including targeting systemic action on larvae

  • Mite Management – need new tools and MRLs

  • Labor saving practices – ex. Pruning efficiency, public/private technology partnerships, harvester automation

  • Foliar & Cane diseases – i.e. spur blight, yellow rust, cane blight, powdery mildew

#2 priorities

  • Fruit rot including pre harvest, post-harvest, and/or shelf life

  • Understanding soil ecology (including biology, nutrient balance) and soil borne pathogens and their effects on plant health and crop yields.

  • Cutworm, leafroller management

  • Soil fumigation techniques and alternatives to control soil pathogens, nematodes (dagger), and weeds

  • Irrigation management – application techniques including pulsing – moved from #3

#3 priorities

  • Thrips – understand the lifecycle, and control strategies - new

  • Snail control – understand lifecycle and management strategies – moved from #2

  • Root weevils

  • Alternative Management Systems – fruit yield per linear foot of bed – planting densities, row spacing, trellising

  • Nutrient Management – Revise OSU specs, Consider: timing, varieties, appl. Techniques, calcium, nutrient balance

  • Viruses/crumbly fruit, pollination

  • Management options for control of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)

  • Cane Management including suppression

  • Pest Management as it affects Pollinators

  • Effect on BRIX by fungicide and fertility programs

  • Season extension: improve viability of fresh marketing

  • Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) – residue decline curves, harmonization

  • Weed management – horsetail, poison hemlock, wild buckwheat, nightshade, watergrass

The reports on 2023 projects and the proposals for 2024 will be reviewed by our Research Committee in January.  The Board will take a critical look at each proposal to determine their quality, priority, and timeliness.   A final decision on what projects are to be funded for 2024 will be made at the late January Board meeting. 


​NOTE: The WRRC annual deadline for research proposals for any upcoming fiscal year (January-December) is December 12th of the current year. This deadline is timely for the annual proposal and budget review. However, the Commission will also consider proposals throughout the year, though funding decisions may not occur until late fall. Contact Henry Bierlink, Executive Director, for further information.

The Commission is looking for projects that meet the current research priorities. WRRC grants are open to non-profit organizations, including commodity groups/associations and farmers' groups, private enterprises such as pest consultants and food processors, university and extension programs. A progress report is due by December 12 of each year of a multiple-year grant. A final report, including final fund requests, are due no later than 60 days after the project ends. Funds for grants are limited and the selection process is competitive. Please open the application process and application format, and be aware that WRRC allows only direct costs.

Submit your proposal electronically (as a Word attachment) to Henry Bierlink by the deadline date. Initial funding decisions will be made in early January, final funding for projects will be approved in late January and notification will be made soon after. Funds will be available from documented invoices sent to the Commission office on the quarterly basis.

2023 Funded Projects

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