Agricultural Research Coordinator Gary Obenauf oversees Production Research for the CPB

Growers continue to face numerous challenges, from growing conditions to a lack of labor. The California Prune Board is committed to helping members today – and for many future harvests – through production research.

From mechanical pruning, which could help offset increasing labor costs and the severe shortage of workers, to rootstock anchorage that will hopefully extend the life of orchards, the Prune Board had 13 production research efforts underway in 2019.

Production research includes looking at new varieties of plums that could become prunes. There is some early promise with a handful of University of California Cooperative Extension-bred cultivars, though their potential release is at least a few years away. One is a larger, yellow fruit (known as G2S-8) typically ready for harvest a week after Improved French, and has consistently high quality and taste. Another cultivar, H13S-58, has been a top-five performer in taste trials with growers.


Project Researcher Location
Prune Cultivar Evaluation and Development Ted De Jong UC Davis
Development of molecular markers associated with Self-compatibility in dried plum (Prunus domestica) Richard Dodd UC Berkeley
Field Evaluation of Prune Rootstocks Luke Milliron Butte County
Field Evaluation of Prune Rootstocks Katherine Jarvis-Shean Wolfskill
Managing Heat at Bloom Franz Niederholzer UC Sutter County
Mechanical Pruning Trial in French Prune Rich Rosecrance CSU Chico
Establishing a year-round system to test Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) on fruit set using ‘FasTrack’ plums (Prunus domestica) Franz Niederholzer UC Sutter/Yuba County
Epidemiology and management of brown rot and rust of prune – Development of an integrated program with new fungicides and optimal timing Jim Adaskaveg UC Riverside
Diagnosis, Epidemology and Management of Canker Diseases in Dried Plums Themis Michailides UC Parlier
Investigating Incidence and Type of Wood Decay Fungi in Stone Fruit Bob Johnson UC Davis
Characterizing current rootstocks of the dried plum industry for host status to plant-parasitic nematodes Andreas Westphal Kearney/Parlier
California Dried Plum Research Reports Database Julia Stover UC Davis
Spatial Variability Assessment for Precise Orchard Management Andre Daccache UC Davis
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Prune Production Elias Marvinney UC Davis

To view the 2018 Prune Research Report, click here.

The 2019 report will be available in January 2020 and available on the California Prunes website under “Reports & Resources.”


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