Currant Update 2017

Currant Update 2017

This year’s crop was dismal at best. We harvested all plants and only managed a little under 400 pounds of black currant fruit. As I was driving the tractor during harvest I kept reviewing this year to pinpoint our low production. Weather wise we had an unbelievable season with perfectly timed rains, cool nights and no pest issues. The only reason I can figure is the fact that my producing bushes are over 20 years old and have run their course so to speak.

I remember back in the early years, we had 3000 – 4000 pounds of fruit without the means of handling that quantity. I spent many an hour calling potential customers and trying to market our fruit. The fruit production was never the issue, freezing and selling were the hurdles to overcome.

Now I seem to always tell people that I don’t have enough fruit for their needs. I will tighten my pruning regime and the new block will definitely come into production next year. The future looks brighter but I can’t help but laugh at how things have changed over the past 20 years.

Once again I apologize for this year’s dismal production and will continue to work to bring consistent, yearly production I the future.

One thought on “Currant Update 2017

  1. Russell,

    I commiserate with you regarding the dismal crop of black currants.
    I have been growing black currants (an unknown variety purchased from Glen Echo nursery in Caledon East about 20 years ago), but in recent years the bushes have suffered from run-off. This year the weather, as you noted, was close to perfection and the bushes grew quickly after being pruned back last fall. The bushes were covered in blossoms, resulting in a profusion of tiny green berries. However, the fruit suddenly dropped on all the bushes, and only a handful matured. Over the years I have propagated the bushes by layering, so some of the bushes are quite young. Powdery mildew has been a problem at times, especially under hot humid conditions, but has not been a problem this year. Previously I have controlled powdery mildew by providing good air circulation, and when it did occur, by cutting canes back or even removing bushes.
    I have been resisting the idea of digging out the bushes and starting over with one of the new strains (such as Ben Alder or Ben Nevis) since the bushes are quite vigorous and healthy.
    I would appreciate any advice you can offer.

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