ROLAND, Ark. (KTHV) -- You pick them, you eat them, and this year they’re even more delicious. Blackberries are having an exceptional year, according to Arkansas farmers.
Farmers are crediting the mild winter, warm spring, good rains, and even more varieties of berries to its successful season.
“Right now we have the Ouachita's which are medium size to large berries,” said Beth Eggers with Wye Mountain Berry Farm.
Eggers has been growing berries for six years. She said that while this year has been great, Arkansas blackberries are always a treat.
“Arkansas is world-renowned for our blackberry plants. They’ve been developed at the University of Arkansas and sold world-wide,” said Eggers.
The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture said the school has one of the largest blackberry breeding programs in the country, located in Clarksville.
“Blackberries are really well adapted to be produced here in Arkansas. They’re actually a native plant here,” said Amanda McWhirt with U of A Horticulture.
The program offers new classes on the berry and conducts researching projects including one on a new trellis system.
“It’s not a static trellis, it moves back and forth," said McWhirt.
A University of Arkansas blackberry demonstration effort is stretching across the state to show the best methods for blackberry production, helping Arkansas grow as a blackberry state. Blackberry season typically runs through mid-July, but Eggers said you can expect to get the berries until the end of July.
Saturday, Wye Mountain Flowers and Berries is holding a fundraiser from 9 a.m. until noon. Proceeds benefit the food bank.
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