525 Advanced Development of Split Trellis for Red Raspberry: Cultural Management and Machine Harvest Studies

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  • 1 Washington State University Research and Extension Unit, Vancouver, WA 98665

In 1998, yield of the split (ST) vs. conventional trellis was again compared in `Meeker' red raspberry with work at Vancouver focusing on advanced trellis development and technology transfer. Field testing was expanded from two to five sites in northern (Lynden) and southwestern (Woodland, Ridgefield, WSUV REU) Washington, with a total of eight trials. These tested a variety of widths (28–51 cm), crossarm styles, and machine harvesters in fields with varied cultural practices. Four trials were machine-picked, and, in Vancouver, harvest efficiency was studied. For widths >43 cm, yields were 10% to 13% greater for ST in four trials, while widths less than 43 cm showed no increase. As in previous years, estimated yield potential was 20% to 59% higher for ST in three of four trials. Differences between actual/estimated yields were due to several factors, including damage to laterals, harvest inefficiency, and poor early fruit release. Yield potential was greater (28%) for ST in a second-year trial, suggesting sustainability. In various trials, numerous data were collected including canopy and primocane measurements, aboveground biomass, light interception and leaf: area, gas exchange, chlorophyll content, fourth derivative spectra, fluorescence, N content, and tissue for anatomical analysis. Results were similar to last year. Increased light within ST causes earlier and larger canopy growth and fruit development. There was a large increase in leaf number, leaf area and berry number. Increases in yield were again associated with higher number of lateral/cane. There was no difference in leaf physiological measurements/leaf area between treatments.

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