The raspberries released by the University of Saskatchewan are all summer bearing raspberries. They are higher yielding and more cold hardy than the popular variety Boyne.
We have just started (2009) a cooperative project with Ag Canda's Dr. Andrew Jamieson of Nova Scotia who has crossed his best lines with our favourite varieties.
In 1999, SK Red Mammoth and SK Red Bounty were released.
We probably have the largest collection of synthetic tetraploid and synthetic octoploid hybrid strawberries in the world. These are multispecies hybrids that have rarely been used in breeding strawberries. With a 'Prairie Fruit Genebank' grant from Saskatchewan Agriculture, we plan to make this collection available to other breeders.
Breeding goals of the program are:
- increased disease resistance
- better flavours
The Hazelnuts being bred at the University of Saskatchewan are hybrids between wild prairie and cultivated European types crossed with advanced breeding lines from the Oregon breeding program. The hazelnuts are at an early stage of development and require another generation to begin bearing. Many of our selections are self blanching (the paper is removed during cracking). This characteristic is desirable for baking and candy.
We have not released any cultivars to the general public, but over 5000 hazelnut seedlings have been distributed as part of our ongoing hazelnut cooperative testing program.
On a much smaller scale that the above, we are also breeding and/or selecting saskatoons, plums, pears, apricots, sand cherries, cherry plums, black currents, Missouri currants, pin cherries and choke cherries.
Just about every year we choose one of these 'minor' crops to breed. We consider this long term breeding that we might not see anything worthwhile during our careers but perhaps those who come after us will find this valuable.
Opportunities for fruit production In Saskatchewan by Bob Bors
Popular Fruit Varieties 2010
Plums on the Prairies by Rick Sawatzky