Sustainable Blackberries & Raspberries Growers Workbook

The production of raspberries and blackberries in Arkansas is growing as more consumers demand a local supply of fresh, high quality fruit. Demand for these fresh berries still typically exceeds supply in much of the state particularly early and late in the production season.

Commercial production with high tunnels offers promise for those producers willing to make the necessary capital investment for early and/or late season production. Raspberry and blackberry interactive budgets can help producers in estimating the costs of production and in conducting what-if analyses around costs, revenues and production levels.

The goal of this handbook is to help farmers understand individual tasks and decisions on the farm and to self-evaluate and rate the sustainability of those
decisions. This book is not intended for use as a “one time” operation. It should be used annually with the idea of improving the farm. By using the checklist,
growers can see where they are doing well, satisfactorily or need improvement. The goal is to move more checks from the “needs improvement” to the “satisfactory” category each year, and to move more checks from the “satisfactory” to the “excellent” category. This workbook is meant as a guide for sustainable decision-making. It is not a set of recommendations but a set of considerations. Successful use of this book would be for a grower to start thinking more holistically about the farm operation: thinking about the triple bottom line of the farm.



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The listserv is a great place to learn what growers are doing with high tunnels, what crops and varieties do best, and what practices have been successful on local farms.

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