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Kim Hummer and Donna Gerten

In commercial growing regions the bloom period for currants and gooseberries is critical to crop development because of potentially damaging spring frosts. Breeding programs in northern latitudes include selection for frost avoidance mechanisms such as late blooming tendencies. Corvallis climate is milder than Ribes production regions, with the average winter minimum temperature about 10C and the coldest recorded April temperature of -5C in 1926. The last spring frost occurs by April 14 on average. About 30 cultivars and species selections of currants and about that same number of gooseberries were evaluated for blooming and fruiting at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository. Dates of first bloom, last bloom, first ripening, and last ripening during 1987 through 1989 were collected. The longest ripening period, 93 days, occurred in 1989 on a selection of R. burejense F. Schmidt. The shortest ripening period in 1989 was 70 days, occurring in many black currant cultivars including Black September, Crusader, Coronet, and Invigo. These same cultivars required a range from 62 to 66 days to ripen m 1987. For the years examined thus far, the earliest ripening dates occurred in 1987, starting as early as Julian date 150; the latest ripening date (192, Julian) occurred in 1988. Data from 1990 will be presented. The climate in the Pacific Northwest is favorable for the production of currants and gooseberries.