The effect of artificial shade on berry quality parameters for the field-grown black currant cultivar ‘Consort’ were investigated over two growing seasons in Urbana, Illinois. Four shade treatments reduced photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) from 37 to 83%. Shade had no effect on soluble solids in up to 65% PAR reduction but decreased 11% in 83% shade in one of two years. Shade increased titratable acidity up to 23% in both years. The effect of shade on anthocyanin content revealed greater variation between years than treatments. Shade influence on anthocyanin content was only observed in 2017, when cyanidin derivatives decreased 13–14% from open-sun to 83% shade. Shade did not affect delphinidin derivatives in either year. Environmental factors other than artificial shade may impact black currant berry quality in an understory environment. The results of our study indicate that black currants can maintain berry quality with PAR reductions up to 65%, but some berry quality parameters may decrease when PAR reductions exceed 65% of full sun.
- Ribes nigrum
- black currant