Alternative fruit crops for the northern Rocky Mountain climate: production and quality factors of cultivars

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Agriculture


The demand for healthy foods is large and increasing. There are many high-antioxidant berry and fruit crops that fit this market but not all are suitable for cold climates. This study evaluates six novel fruit crops for Montana: Aronia, Black and Red Currant, Dwarf Sour Cherry, Haskap and Saskatoon. Trials were planted in 2015 in a randomized complete block design with three blocks per site, at three different sites in Montana. Qualities investigated include yield, fruit mass, soluble solids (SS), and total phenolic content (TPC). The trialed species were generally well suited to Montana. Yields varied among cultivars and yields in Bozeman were smaller than other sites. The following results incorporate data across sites from 2016 to 2018. Yield results are the most mature year. TPC is reported as milligrams of gallic acid equivalent per 100 grams of fresh fruit. Aronia yields averaged 4061 grams, mean fruit mass was 0.89 grams. SS averaged 22° brix. TPC averaged 2800 mg. The cultivar McKenzie produced higher TPC than Viking. Black Currant yields averaged 3784 grams; fruit mass averaged 1.15 grams. Mean SS were 17.5° brix. The cultivar Stikine produced the largest yield, Blackcomb the heaviest fruit, Titania the highest SS. Red Currant yield in Corvallis averaged 5059 grams and mean fruit mass was 0.79 grams. The cultivar Jonkeer van Tets provided the largest yield and fruit mass. Dwarf Sour Cherry yield averaged 6435 grams. Mean fruit mass and SS were 4.1 grams and 16.2° brix, respectively. The cultivar Carmine Jewel produced the largest yield, Lutowka Rose the largest fruit, and Romeo the highest SS. Crimson Passion did not flower at any site. Haskap yield averaged 1364 grams, mean fruit mass was 1.2 grams and mean SS were 15.3° brix. Phenolic content averaged 919 milligrams. The cultivar 85-19 produced the largest yield, Aurora the largest fruit, Indigo Gem the highest SS, and Auroroa and Borealis the highest phenolic contents. Saskatoon mean yield was 1567 grams. Mean fruit mass and SS were 1.02 grams and 20.1° brix, respectively. Northline produced the largest Saskatoon yield, Martin the heaviest fruit and Smoky the highest SS.




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