Sponsor Agency: Washington Department of Agriculture and WRRC
Karkee, M.* (WSU team)
Cane management in red raspberry production is highly labor intensive. Labor availability is uncertain at best and labor cost is increasing. Currently, Washington growers estimate the pruning and tying cost in red-raspberry production to be from $500 to $800 per acre. In addition, labor is at risk for chronic and acute injury. Mechanization has the potential to substantially reduce labor use from cane management. In this project, WSU is collaborating with Washington Red Raspberry Commission and USDA ARS to establish a red raspberry plot in Prosser, WA and collected preliminary data with different horticultural systems established in Mt. Vernon, WA. We are also developing and evaluating a mechanism for red raspberry cane bundling and tying.