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Ed Mashburn

In North America for many years the commonly held solution to white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fischer) (WPBR) was to eradicate all currants and gooseberries (Ribes L.). That approach was tried to no avail. Can currants and gooseberries be successfully grown in North America? You bet they can! Vast areas of the United States and Canada are ideal for Ribes production. Black currants (Ribes nigrum L.) are a processed fruit and production may compare to that of grain. Many of the areas that presently grow other berries could easily grow Ribes. The main barriers for production in North America are state restrictions and the availability of up-to-date information and data for growers, processors, legislators and the consuming public. I suggest that this conference and the people herein form that task group and initiate the cooperative dialogue and set forth a process to approach the WPBR problem in a holistic manner.