Carrington Research Extension Center


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North Dakota’s Aronia Crop


Aronia is one of the hottest new crops in the US and in North Dakota. It has been grown in Eastern Europe for a long time because the first crosses of North American Aronia and European Sorbus were made by Ivan Michurin, the great plantsman from Russia, in the early 1900s. The aronia grown today is actually Aronia mitschurinii despite old labeling as A. melanocarpa on many websites. Poland is generally recognized as the producer of 90% of the world’s supply. Interestingly and unfortunately, Poland took over for Ukrainian production due to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident which contaminated the soils of Ukraine.

Developing Aronia fruit.

There is great interest in aronia growing in North Dakota! The aronia interest group in the North Dakota Grape and Wine Association counts 62 parties involved with aronia. In 2016, there were 18 growers with almost 90 acres of aronia. (4 growers had registered 70 acres with the Farm Service Agency.)  This is approximately an 800% increase in crop acreage in the state in the last five years and 4% of total registered aronia production in the US.  Several Pride of Dakota members make and sell jam, jelly and barbeque sauce from aronia berries. There are 15 licensed wineries in North Dakota and many of them produce aronia wine, too. However, additional markets will be needed as the plants mature; the current acreage has the capability of producing 1 million pounds of fruit at 5 years of age. 

Each year, the CREC Fruit Project receives inquiries from landowners about growing aronia in North Dakota. Since 2010, the fruit project has had contact with over 10,000 people and many of them learn about aronia here. Let us know if you grow and sell aronia.  The CREC can put you in touch with the ND aronia growing group.

Kathy Wiederholt
Fruit Project Manager

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