President’s Note: Elderberry Trial Preliminary Results

elderberry trial preliminary results

Like the bushes themselves, the multi-state elderberry variety trial in which the Kerr Center’s been partnering the last few years has begun to bear fruit, in the form of preliminary research results.

A poster summarizing the latest findings from the trial, authored by Sydney Moore, a graduate research assistant in Plant Sciences Research at the University of Missouri-Columbia, made an appearance at the North American Agroforestry Conference in Costa Rica this past February.

According to the data from Moore’s poster, of the twelve genotypes (or varieties) in the trial, Cherokee had the highest yields of berries, but also suffered the most damage from pests. The Pocahantas, Barber, and Ranch genotypes also showed promise. The genotype least damaged by pests, Anoka, produced practically no berries.

The same genotypes seem to be the tallest at all sites, but the genotype with the highest stem count was different from one site to the next. So far, neither height nor stem count seems to relate very closely to berry yield.

The trial is still in progress, with another growing season’s data yet to be collected. Those results will be presented at next year’s North American Agroforestry Conference in Columbia, Missouri.

For more information on the project, and for the dates of next year’s conference when they are finalized, visit the project webpage.

Download a higher-resolution version of the poster (PDF, 1.7 MB).

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