ORGANIC FERTILIZERS IN SUSTAINABLE CRANBERRY PRODUCTION

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  • 1 University of Massachusetts Cranberry Experiment Station, E. Wareham, MA 02538 (CD and AA)
  • | 2 Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., Lakeville-Middleboro, MA 02349 (JD)

The two major determinants in sustainable cranberry production are productivity and preservation of water quality. Productivity and water quality were studied using composted chicken manure (CM) and fish hydrolysate fertilizer (FH). In whole bog field trials, soluble granular fertilizer (SG) was replaced with organic fertilizer. At all locations receiving FH, cranberry yields were maintained or improved. The yield results from bogs receiving the CM were mixed, partially due to the quality of the experimental sites. Based on water samples taken from bogs receiving FH, there was no P output and less NH output than from bogs receiving SG. Leaching properties of CM, FH, and SG in cranberry soils were investigated in the laboratory. Concentrations of N03-, P04-, and K+ were greatest in the leachate from columns receiving SG, indicating that organic fertilizers are less likely to lead to the leaching of nutrients into cranberry bog water.

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