Pollination of Sour Cherries Research

Charlie Bailey, a Masters of Science candidate from the University of Regina, is working with Dr. Cory Sheffield from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and Dr. Mark Brigham from the U of R.  She is researching the pollination of sour cherries.

Despite the growing popularity of dwarf sour cherries in Saskatchewan, we do not know very much about sour cherry pollination, namely, which insects are the most efficient pollinators.  Some producers supplement with honeybees in their orchards, some do not.  I am curious to know how native insects, particularly flower flies, compare to honey bees when it comes to pollination.  I also want to see how different cultivars compare to each other in production and bloom time, and their attractiveness to pollinators.

The attached questionnaire can be completed by sour cherry producers to help Charlie in her research.  The last question asking producers if they wish to participate further in the project by having her sample their orchard.

Cherry trayCanadian Cherry Producers Inc. has initiated and funded several studies and research projects to assist the development of the sour cherry industry.

1.    The Effects of Sour Cherry Juice on Fat Metablism, Exercise Performance, and Recovery is currently underway

2.    Determination of Glycemic Index of Cherry Juice – 2015 Conducted by Dr. Philip Chilibeck, College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan.

Results: University of Saskatchewan cherry juice has a low GI of 45.

Glycemic Index (GI) measures how quickly foods break down into sugar in your bloodstream. Foods are rated as Low if the GI is 0 – 55, Medium if the GI is 56 – 69 and High if the GI is 70 or higher. Higher GIs indicate foods that will cause your blood sugar to rise higher and faster than foods with lower GIs. Low-GI diets have been associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases.

3.    U of S Cherry Constituent Study - 2013 The University of Saskatchewan investigated the levels of Phenolics, Flavonoids, and Anthocyanins and completed generalized antioxidant tests (FRAP, DPPH, and ORAC) of the Carmine Jewel, Valentine, Cupid, Romeo, and Juliet cultivars. Evans cherries, green grapes, raspberries, and frozen sweet cherries were included in the tests for comparative purposes. The University of Saskatchewan sour cherry varieties all scored high for total antioxidants, far better than the sweet cherries, raspberries, and green grapes tested. The Evans cherries scored in the lower range of the U of S sour cherries.

4.    Market Analysis Report (Literature Search)- 2012 An Analysis of the Sour (Tart) Cherry as a Functional Food and Nutraceutical Completed by the International Markets Bureau, Ag and Agri-Food Canada

5.    Variety Variations in New and Existing U of S Sour Cherries - 2009 Funded by ADF (Agriculture Development Fund, Sask Ministry of Agriculture) Six varieties and 10 advanced selections developed at the University of Saskatchewan were tracked during the ripening process to determine the optimum harvest time for high quality fruit and high yields.

6.    Nutritional Facts Label - 2008 CCPI and the Saskatchewan Fruit Growers' Association combined efforts with the University of Saskatchewan to develop the information needed for the "Nutritional Facts" for frozen pitted cherries labeling required on food products.

7.    CCPI Cherry Primary Processing Plant Report – 2008 Prepared by Mallot Creek Strategies Funded by Agricultural Council of Sask (ACS) - ACAAFS - and Long Lake REDA - Regional Enhancement Fund, SK Ministry of Enterprise & Innovation

8.    Branding & Marketing Value Chain Project - 2008 Funding: SK Ministry of Agriculture. Core objectives were to establish a value chain that incorporates growers to consumers and enhances CCPI's internal and external communications and education awareness.

9.    Sour Cherry Marketing Strategy, Phase II – 2006 Prepared by Meyer Norris Penny LLP How to position the University of Saskatchewan sour cherry varieties in the marketplace to maximize returns for the producers

10.    Saskatchewan Sour Cherry Market Assessment, Phase I - 2006 Prepared by Meyer Norris Penny LLP Suggests market opportunities for the University of Saskatchewan sour cherries.