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New UA blackberry off to a great start

The University of Arkansas blackberry breeding program has released multiple award-winning blackberry varieties.
Credit: liubov - stock.adobe.com
Blackberry on the bush in the farm garden

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas blackberry breeding program has released multiple award-winning blackberry varieties, and its newest, Ponca, has been successful since it became available for sale to licensed propagators in early 2020 and to nurseries in December 2020.

John Clark, distinguished professor of horticulture at the UA and fruit breeder for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, said “I have never seen a blackberry that so many people like or get so excited about. This is a unique experience for me. This is not like anything else.”

The experiment station is the research arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and is based at the Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences in Fayetteville. Its Fruit Research Station is near Clarksville. In a recent UA video, Clark highlighted Ponca’s consistency, sweetness, and storage potential.

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