Plaid Shirt Farms Ltd is proud to be the Canadian licensee propagator of Black Currant varieties developed by McGinnis Berry Crops Limited. 

Black Currant Varieties

Blackcomb
Blackcomb is a high yielding variety that has high levels of resistance to foliar diseases – mildew, White Pine Blister Rust – , vigorous growth habit and tolerance to late spring frost. Blackcomb has produced yields in replicated B.C. trials that were more than 50% higher than Titania and Ben Alder. Fruit size is 20% larger than Titania. Flowering is late mid-season and this variety has demonstrated better tolerance to late spring frost than Titania. Well suited to machine harvest.

Blackcomb Black currant

Whistler
Whistler has high yields of small to medium sized high quality fruit. It has fair resistance to mildew and good resistance to White Pine Blister Rust. Growth habit is slightly spreading with medium vigor. Flowering is late-mid season with good tolerance for late spring frost. Yields in replicated B.C. trials were more than 50% higher than Titania and Ben Alder. Fruit size is smaller than Ben Alder, .8 grams per berry. Juice quality is excellent. Well suited to machine harvest.
Whistler had yields second only to one of our numbered varieties and the largest fruit size in Montana State University field trials. Also, was rated as the best variety in a study by a graduate student at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada with high yield and large fruit. In most areas Whistler would be suited to hand harvest as well as machine harvest applications.

“We purchased 900 whistler plugs in 2010 and another 2200 plugs in 2012. The plants arrived in excellent shape, packaged neatly in waxed cardboard boxes. Their survival rate was fantastic at >99%. They have grown vigorously and are hardy. We just went through one of the coldest winters on record, and didn’t lose a plant. No sign of blister rust or other significant disease/pest problems as far as we can tell. The fruit is large and has the classic black currant piney pungency. The flavor is what we love the most – an intense sweet-tart berry flavor that makes wonderful jam and fantastic wine!”

– Mark and Kristie Gering, Currant Valley LLC

Whistler Black Currant

Tahsis
Tahsis scored the highest yields in replicated trials in coastal British Columbia. Flowers late mid-season, tolerant of late frost, has high levels of resistance to White Pine Blister Rust, resistant to mildew, and has very large fruit (larger than Ben Sarek). Growth habit is spreading which makes it suitable for hand harvest or U-pick, displays the fruit well, but not suitable for machine harvest. Annual pruning is a must.
Tahsis had yields right behind Whistler and large fruit in Montana State University field trials.

“The Tahsis black currants have caused many of our east European customers to express their amazement at the size and flavor. Black currants are a big deal, for they are considered a strong medical aid for good health, and the Tahsis seem to be current champions of good health. It amuses me to see repeat customers arrive each new picking season, and like school children ask, if the, ” Big berries,” have been picked yet, or if they are the first.”

– Jack Wahlfors, Wahlfors Berry Farm

Tahsis Black Currant

Stikine
New release from the McGinnis Berry Crops Limited breeding program. Stikine’s main features are incredible flavor profile, high levels of resistance to White Pine Blister Rust and other foliar diseases, very high yields and suitability to both hand harvest and machine harvest. One potential drawback is its short hang time.
Stikine is best processed into juice or offered to fresh market customers. The resulting flavor profile is much better suited to North American consumer preferences.

Stikine Black Currant

Red Currant Varieties

Rovada
Very large fruit on extremely long strigs and heavy crops make Rovada an excellent choice for fresh market and U-pick. Very free of mildew and other leaf diseases. Late flowering (May) avoids frost. Flowers and fruits later than Redstart. Harvest begins in mid-August.

Rovada Red Currant

HRON
Extremely vigorous and very attractive upright growth habit, leaves are dark green which contributes to ornamental value, good resistance to foliar diseases, adapts well to variable climate conditions, particularly well suited to higher elevations, high degree of tolerance to late spring frost, very long clusters of bright red fruit, mean yields in European trials 10-12 kg. per bush.

Hron Red Currant

About McGinnis Berry Crops Ltd

Over 34 years McGinnis Berry Crops Limited has evolved by leading the introduction of new and novel varieties of black, red, white and pink currants and gooseberries. From the first importation of Ben Lomond in 1977 the company has been very active in implementing a strategy to scout out the best North American material available, develop close relationships with the world’s best and most active breeders and launch our own black currant breeding program focused on hybrids that are immune to White Pine Blister Rust, resistant to mildew, have high yields and outstanding fruit qualities.

McGinnis Berry Crops has been involved in research in three main areas: variety evaluation and selection; production trials; and food products research. Variety evaluation is an on-going process

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