Increasing the Profitability of Raspberries by Extending the Growing Season

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2005: $2,310.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:


  • Fruits: berries (brambles)


  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, agricultural finance
  • Pest Management: row covers (for pests)
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    Raspberry growers face at least two challenges: earning enough income during a few short weeks to sustain them through the year, and unpredictable yields because of winter kill. A study 20 years ago found that covering fall-bearing raspberries with spun-bonded polyester in the spring helped produce fruit earlier in the year, extending the season and increasing income. Many new varieties have since been developed that produce earlier, sweeter and larger berries. Clark and Brandon Willis, father and son raspberry producers near Bear Lake, Utah, will use their Western SARE Farmer/Rancher grant to test the cost effectiveness of spun-bonded polyester row covers on fall-bearing raspberries as a way to produce an earlier, larger harvest. Using the cover could make it possible for growers in cooler climates to produce summer-bearing varieties beginning in July, then begin producing fall-bearing varieties August through mid to late September.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.