At the Laimburg Research Centre, research on berries currently focuses mainly on strawberry production. Variety testing and breeding represent the main focus of the research.
Since strawberry is extremely susceptible to pedo-climatic conditions and to the cultivation management, it is fundamental to test every variety in a specific growing area. This allows to determine the suitability of a variety for a certain pedoclimatic condition and to assess if the variety has the potential to provide some economic advantages for the farmers.
The Laimburg strawberry breeding program started in 2010 and it is carried out within the project “La fragola saporita dell´Alto Adige” (The tasty strawberry of South Tyrol), in collaboration with the CREA-OFA (Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l'analisi dell'Economia Agraria, Unitá di Ricerca per la Olivicoltura, Frutticoltura e Agrumicoltura) in Forlí (Italy). The aim of the breeding program is to obtain new superior strawberry genotypes, which should be suitable for the alpine environment (especially regarding the resistance to late frosts), should have an extraordinary quality, a unique taste, should guarantee the profitability to local farmers and it should be pest-disease tollerant, in order to achieve a sustainable production. At present, eight selections reached an advanced selection phase. Last year, one selection was positively evaluated, presenting a very good yield, good fruit size, which was maintained for the whole harvesting period, attractive colour, shape and taste. This year it will be tested by local farmers at a larger scale.
Other berry fruits, such as raspberry, black- and red- currant, blueberry and blackberry play a minor role in South Tyrol.
Research projects on variety testing both on raspberry and Actinidia Arguta are going to be established at the Laimburg Research Centre.