By Malinda Geisler, content specialist, AgMRC, Iowa State University.
Revised February 2012 by J.S. Isaacs.
Raspberries continue to rank as the third most popular berry in the United States for fresh use, after strawberries and blueberries. Raspberries come in red, black, purple and yellow varieties. Summer-bearing varieties produce one crop between July and August. Fall-bearing raspberries grow a large crop in the fall and a small crop the following summer.
The United States is the world’s third-largest producer of raspberries. Although production occurs across much of the country, most of it is concentrated in Washington, California and Oregon. Washington State leads the nation in red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) production. In 2010, Washington raised 61 million pounds of red raspberries valued at $50 million. Oregon leads the United States in black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) production with 1.8 million pounds grown in 2011, valued at $2.3 million. California raised 81 million pounds of total raspberries valued at $200 million.
Per capita consumption of fresh raspberries was 0.27 pound in 2008 with frozen raspberry consumption adding 0.36 pound.
According to the 2008 Organic Production Survey, the United States had 538 farms certified for organic raspberry production. Total organic raspberry production was 4.7 million pounds. Berries were sold from 501 farms and were valued at $12.8 million.
To meet consumer demand, the United States imports fresh raspberries. From November through May, most imports originate from Mexico. In 2010, the United States imported 13,927 metric tons (MT) of fresh Mexican raspberries valued at $118 million. During July and August, most fresh raspberries come from Canada. In 2010, the United States imported a total of 442 MT of Canadian raspberries valued at $658,000.
2008 Organic Production Survey, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), USDA, 2010.
Fruits and Tree Nuts, Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA.
Global Agricultural Trade System, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA.
Noncitrus Fruits & Nuts, NASS, USDA.
- Demand, Supply and Trade: National and Northwest Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Sweet Corn and Snap Beans, University of California and Oregon State University, 2004 - This reviews market trends for selected berries and vegetables including shifts in U.S. supply and demand for these products, and the effects of import competition on domestic production and prices.
- Fundamental Forces Affecting U.S. Fresh Produce Growers and Marketers - Choices, 4th Quarter 2011. Agriculture and Applied Economics Association (AAEA)
- North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association - A professional association dedicated to the advancement of the raspberry and blackberry industries.
- Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission - This commission promotes raspberries, blackberries and other caneberries.
- Berries, Cornell University - This link provides information on the commercial importance of raspberries, handling and storage.
- Brambles – Production management and marketing, Ohio State University - This online document reviews the management, pests and marketing of blackberries and raspberries.
- Cost of Producing, Harvesting, and Marketing Primocane-Fruiting Raspberries in North Carolina Estimated Costs for a Five Acre Commercial Operation, 2008 North Carolina State University
- Crop Profile for Red Raspberries in Washington, Washington State University, 1998 - This site provides a general overview to raspberry production.
- Fresh Market Caneberry Production Manual, University of California, 2012 - Designed specifically for fresh market growers, this manual is the perfect field reference for growing blackberries and raspberries in the western United States.
- Growing Raspberries and Blackberries in a High Tunnel, Iowa State University, 2009 - This slide presentation provides a progress report on the feasibility of raising brambles in high tunnels in Iowa.
- Organic Blackberries and Raspberries, 2010, University of Kentucky - Examines the requirements of raising bramble fruit for the organic market.
- Organic Culture of Bramble Fruits, Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural America (ATTRA), NCAT, 2003 - This publication addresses the production and marketing of organic blackberries and raspberries.
- Raspberries, Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, ERS, USDA, 2006.
- Raspberries and More, University of Illinois Extension - This site features information on raspberry varieties, planting, pruning, pest management and nutritional facts.
- Raspberry and Blackberry Production Guide for the Northeast, Midwest and Eastern Canada, 2008 - This comprehensive resource for purchase provides information on all aspects of culture, production and marketing. Search keyword raspberry for a publication description and ordering information.
- Red Raspberry Production, Penn State University - This six-page online guide provides information on establishing and marketing red raspberries. It includes three sample budgets for fresh market raspberries.
- Sample Costs to Produce Fresh Market Raspberries, Central Coast, University of California Cooperative Extension, 2012.
- Beach Street Farms, Watsonville, California - This business was established in 1995 by four growers to be a premium quality berry-growing company. In addition to raspberries and blackberries, Beach Street Farms is a grower and exporter of strawberries. The company has since developed packaging to meet customer needs and increased efforts in organic berries.
- Driscoll’s Berries - 100-plus year old California company.
- Hurst’s Berry Farm, Sheridan, Oregon - Established in 1980, the farm includes 450 acres of production in Mexico. The operation, which specializes in the wholesale distribution of fresh berries, now ships and packs berries from many of Oregon’s top growers. All berries shipped throughout the United States and the world are packed in clamshells.
- Planeview Enterprises, Jefferson, Iowa - This diversified, value-added agricultural company has three separate businesses: raspberries, Berkshire hogs and consulting services. Proprietors of the Central Iowa company are Larry and Pam Thomsen.
- Sand Hill Berries, Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania - This family small fruits farm specializes in precooled, packaged raspberries that are shipped to supermarkets in the mid-Atlantic region. In addition to red and yellow raspberries, Sand Hill also grows red, black and white currants, gooseberries and blackberries.
Links checked February 2012.