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  • Author or Editor: Kris L. Wilder x
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Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) is an important crop in Oregon. However, nutrient critical levels have not been established. Since developing nutrient critical levels usually requires time-consuming and expensive field trials, we chose to use the Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System (DRIS), which can use survey data to determine critical levels. We analyzed 139 cranberry samples collected from the southern Oregon coastal area over a three-year period. Leaf concentrations for N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu, B, and Zn in bearing uprights collected in mid-August were matched with the corresponding yields. DRIS was employed to obtain norms and critical levels from this survey data. To test our DRIS norms and critical levels, we evaluated two published experiments (Torio and Eck, 1969 and Medappa and Dana, 1969) where fertility treatments altered mineral concentrations and affected yield. Both ratio-based and critical concentration diagnoses were useful. Changes in the Nutrient Imbalance Index was a good predictor of yield response.

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Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) require low rates of N fertilizer compared to many horticultural and agronomic crops. Excess N promotes vegetative growth at the expense of yield. Growers desire information about N fertilization to achieve optimum yields without overgrowth, Little information has been published about N rate and timing influence on cranberries in south coastal Oregon. An N rate and timing field experiment with Crowley and Stevens cultivars was established to answer grower questions. N was applied at 0, 18, 36 and 54 kg/ha in various combinations at popcorn (white bud), hook, fruitset, early bud, and late bud. Yield, yield components, (fruit set, number of flowering and total uprights, berry size, flowers per upright and the proportion of uprights that flower), vegetative growth and anthocyanin content were measured. After 2 years of treatments, N rate or timing had little influence on yield or yield components in the previously heavily fertilized Crowley bed. In the previously lightly fertilized Stevens bed, N rate increased yield, vine growth, and the number of flowering uprights, N timing also influenced the number of flowering uprights. The total number of uprights was influenced by the interaction of N rate and timing.

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Little work has been done to establish the rate and timing of nitrogen fertilizer applications to optimize return from fertilizer expenditures and minimize potential for ground and surface water pollution in Oregon cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.). Predicting cranberry N requirements is difficult because cranberries require little N and soil tests for N are not helpful for perennial crops, especially when grown in shallow sandy soils. We used 15N-labeled ammonium sulfate to measure both plant uptake and movement of fertilizer N in a south coastal Oregon cranberry bed. A bed planted to the Stevens variety was fertilized with 15N-labelled ammonium sulfate at two rates (18 kg/ha and 36 kg/ha) applied at five phonological stages: popcorn, hook, flowering, early bud, and late bud. Plant N uptake and translocation were measured throughout the growing season in uprights, flowers, berries, and roots, Initial results indicate that when N was applied at popcorn stage approximately 12% of the N was present in the above-ground vegetative biomass at harvest. Incorporation of fertilizer N into the duff and mineral soil was measured. An estimate of fertilizer N leaching was made by trapping inorganic N below the root zone using ion exchange resin bags.

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