Pruning and Training Affect Yield but Not Machine Harvest Efficiency of `Meeker' Red Raspberry

in HortScience

`Meeker' red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) cane densities of 5, 10, or 15 canes/hill in a hill system, with canes topped at 2 m or the entire cane length retained and looped, were compared with a 15- or 30-cm-wide hedgerow with canes topped at 2 m from 1995 to 1997. Cane density among all treatments ranged from 2.2 to 9.9 canes/m2 during the study. Plots were harvested by machine every 2 days. Within the hill system, total yield increased with cane density in all years. Looped treatments produced a higher yield/plot than did topped ones in all years except 1996, when the yield difference was insignificant because looped canes had greater winter injury. Weight per fruit ranged from 5.4% to 9.7% less on looped than on topped canes. Hedgerow systems had a lower yield than hill systems in 1996, but a higher yield in 1997. Losses due to machine harvest were not affected by pruning (cane density or topping) or production system (hill system or hedgerow) and averaged 16.2% of total yield in 1997. Thirty-five percent of the loss due to machine harvest occurred between harvests.

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Contributor Notes

e-mail: Strikb@bcc.orst.eduNorth Willamette Research and Extension Center.
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