Page last updated at 04:28 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Marionberry denied Oregon honour

Archive photo of marionberries, courtesy of Oregon Department of Agriculture
The marionberry is a hybrid blackberry grown largely in Oregon

A proposal to name the marionberry as the official berry of the US west coast state of Oregon has been scuppered by a grower of a rival berry type.

The Oregonian newspaper said the resolution was removed from the state legislature's agenda at the request of a blackberry farmer, Larry Duyck.

Raspberry, blueberry and strawberry growers had all supported the proposal.

But Mr Duyck was worried that the marionberry would be given an unfair edge over his type of blackberries.

Oregon's Marion County accounts for 90% of the world's marionberry crop, the Oregonian reported.

Marionberries make up half of all blackberry production in Oregon.

"It would be like if the state of Oregon declared the Chevrolet its car," said Mr Duyck, who grows kotata blackberries. "What does that do to the other automakers?"

The Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission withdrew its support for the legislation, not wanting to upset Mr Duyck, the Oregonian reported.

Republican Vicki Berger, who spearheaded the proposal, said she would not pursue the issue.

"In this climate of serious issues, I am not going to go to bat over internal disputes in the berry community," Ms Berger said.

"One would think this would be easy," she added. "Nothing in this process is easy. Ever."

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