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  • Author or Editor: Michel Lamarre x
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A new raspberry production system has indicated the feasibility of marketing fresh fruit during August and September, 60-90 days after planting. Full length dormant canes planted late and managed similarly to the strawberry plantings using “waiting bed” plants produced more than 6.0 t/ha. Large canes (>13 mm) produced more laterals and 3 times more fruit than small ones but fruit size was the same. There was little difference between the June 1 and June 20 plantings and `Killarney' outyielded `Festival'. In spite of higher establishment costs, it appears that the higher value for the fruit marketed in late summer and the possibility of using this system for the establishment of a new planting would justify its use.

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A 3-year study was carried out on the use of row covers as a substitute to straw for winter protection of five strawberry cultivars. Seven cover treatments were tested: “Agronet” removed on May 2, 12 and 19; “Kimberlay farms” removed May 19; perforated polyethylene removed May 16; conventionnal straw mulch removed in mid-April, and no row cover protection. Row covers advanced first harvest for all cultivars. There was a 10-day gain in earliness with perforated polyethylene followed in decreasing order by “Kimberley farms”, “Agronet”, straw mulch, and no protection. Treatments favoring early yields tended to shorten the period of production and to reduce total yield. Of the “Agronet” treatments, the May 12 removal increased the yield for the first 4 harvests compared to the May 2 and May 19 removals.

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From 1988 to 1990, the fall fruiting raspberries Heritage, Perron Red, Autumn Bliss and 3413-12 were field evaluated under two cultural systems: conventionnal production and production under plastic tunnel. The plastic tunnel was in place over 4 rows from early September to late October without supplemental heating. Compared to the conventionnal system, the tunnel contributed to a lengthening of 1 to 4 weeks in the fruiting period 2 years out of 3. In spite of the higher day temperatures, the rate of fruit ripening was not increased under the tunnel but fruit size was increased slightly. However, the latter did not translate in higher yield per day since fruit number decreased under the tunnel. Total yield increased only one year when the first killing frost occurred a full month before the second one. Generally, night temperatures were as low in the tunnel as those outside.

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