Extension's guide to raspberry farming in Minnesota features useful advice and best practices for berry farmers.
If you are a home gardener, please visit Growing raspberries in the home garden.
Raspberries are a high-value and high-demand crop in Minnesota. In-state raspberry production has trended down in recent years (as of 2021) while demand remains very high, opening opportunities for growers interested in this crop. In particular, the demand for raspberries at direct-to-consumer markets, including farmers' markets and on-farm stands, seems to be consistently high in Minnesota.
Some farms also offer U-pick raspberries. This can reduce labor costs and fill a gap between strawberry and apple U-pick seasons. The demand may vary depending on the local area and what else the farm has available to attract customers. Farmers should research the demand for U-pick raspberries in their particular area by contacting surrounding farms and consider offering this on a smaller scale as a trial before expanding it into a key part of their business.
Raspberries can be grown successfully in both open-field and high tunnel settings. High tunnel raspberry production is becoming more popular across the world and in Minnesota because it increases yield and produces larger, higher-quality berries. It can also be considered a climate change resiliency strategy because it protects the crop from severe weather and rainfall.
Spotted wing drosophila is the most significant limiting factor for raspberry production.
In cold climate regions such as Minnesota, cold winters and a short growing season limit the overwintering potential of some raspberry varieties, but many varieties are still viable here. High tunnel production is a way to expand the growing season and grow some marginally hardy varieties.
Managing a raspberry crop
- Raspberry types and varieties
- Planting raspberries
- Irrigation and nutrient management
- Pruning and training raspberries
- Weed management
- High tunnel raspberry production