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Craig A. Dilley, Gail R. Nonnecke and Nick E. Christians

The number of herbicides available for use in strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa Duch.) production is limited. Corn gluten hydrolysate (CGH) is a water-soluble extract of corn gluten meal (CGM), a by-product of corn wet-milling. Both CGH and CGM have been shown to inhibit root development of seedlings and can provide nitrogen (N). Four weed control and/or N- containing products were studied: CGH, CGM, urea (46N-0P-0K), and urea applied with DCPA at 8.4 kg·ha-1 a.i. Treatments were applied at N rates of 0, 9.8, 19.5, and 29.3 g·m-2. The 0 g·m-2 of N treatment served as the control. During the 1995 establishment season, all treatments were applied in June, July, and August. Treatments were applied in July and August during the 1996, 1997, and 1998 growing seasons. Dicot and monocot weed number and weed shoot dry weights were determined ≈30 days after both July and August treatments. Strawberry yield data were collected in June. Leaf N data were collected during the first week of July, before renovation. When CGH was applied in July, dicot weed number in August decreased in one of four years, but CGH never affected the number of monocot weeds. CGM application in July, reduced the number of dicot weeds found in plots in Aug. 1995 and 1998. Urea had no effect on dicot weed number from 1995 to 1997. However, in 1998, dicot weed number was reduced by as much as 79% as the rate of urea increased. In all study years, dicot weed number was reduced between 86% and 97%, for the high rate of DCPA + urea, compared with control plots. With few exceptions, rate of N had no effect on leaf N or yield. CGH exhibited limited potential as a natural weed control product; it reduced dicot weed number in one year, but did not affect the number of monocot weeds in any year. Strawberry yield in plots receiving CGH showed a linear increase in one year (1998), but did not show an increase in the other 2 years. Chemical name used: dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate (DCPA)

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Matthew D. Stevens, Brent L. Black, John D. Lea-Cox, Ali M. Sadeghi, Jennifer Harman-Fetcho, Emy Pfeil, Peter Downey, Randy Rowland and Cathleen J. Hapeman

. The conventional matted row system (CMR) is a perennial system and has been the primary method for strawberry production in these regions for much of the past century. More recently, cold-climate plasticulture (CCP) ( http

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Matthew D. Stevens, Brent L. Black, John D. Lea-Cox and Dillon Feuz

in strawberry and can severely limit the development of runners in matted row systems ( Pritts and Kelly, 2001 ). Controlling weeds is especially vital during the establishment year (planting to first harvest) and between harvests in perennial

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Matthew D. Stevens, John D. Lea-Cox, Brent L. Black and Judith A. Abbott

North America with PYO strawberry operations have typically used the conventional matted row production system. Some growers have tested a cold-climate plasticulture system that is thought to offer better weed control and improved fruit size and quality

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Dennis N. Portz and Gail R. Nonnecke

before treatment establishment (in 1996) showed a pH of 6.4 and 2.8% organic matter in the site where strawberry plants were continuously grown in a matted-row system from 1986 to 1995. Treatment plots were established 22 May 1996 in a randomized complete

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Shengrui Yao, Steve Guldan, Robert Flynn and Carlos Ochoa

, the matted-row perennial system is more popular with spring planting and fruit harvesting the years thereafter ( Galletta and Swartz, 1984 ; Hokanson and Finn, 2000 ; Stevens et al., 2009 ; Yao et al., 2009 ). Stevens et al. (2006 , 2007 , 2009

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Barbara J. Smith

matted-row culture to the annual plasticulture production system, as well as to changes in cultivars. Anthracnose diseases are increasing in importance and resulting in major economic losses to strawberry growers worldwide. The objective of this report is

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Brent L. Black, John M. Enns and Stan C. Hokanson

Anticipating the phaseout of methyl bromide, the USDA-ARS small fruit breeding program at Beltsville, Md., discontinued soil fumigation in strawberry breeding and selection trials in the mid 1990s. To address resulting weed and pathogen pests, a modified or advanced matted row system was developed. This system uses matted row-type culture, established on raised beds with subsurface drip irrigation and organic mulch. The mulch is the residue of a killed cover crop that fixes some nitrogen and provides an economical, biodegradable mulch for suppressing weeds and reducing erosion. Since 1996, the small fruit breeding program has conducted replicated performance trials on both advanced matted row and a regional adaptation of annual hill plasticulture. Both of these systems were managed without methyl bromide fumigation or fungicide application. Data from these trials were used to compare advanced matted row and plasticulture for yield, fruit quality and harvest season. Yield for the two systems was genotype dependent, and the advanced matted row system had later production and slightly lower fruit quality.

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Matthew D. Stevens, Judith A. Abbott, John D. Lea-Cox and Brent L. Black

Three cold-climate strawberry production systems, conventional matted row, advanced matted row, and cold-climate annual hill plasticulture, were compared for consumer preference in a pick-your-own (PYO) setting. Replicated 6 × 15 m plots were established in 2002 in Maryland and cropped in 2003 and 2004. To simulate PYO marketing, volunteers were recruited to harvest 3.6-m plots in each of the three production systems and to complete a five-part questionnaire. The questionnaire collected demographic information and allowed volunteers to compare the three systems both prior to and after their harvesting experience. Harvests were carried out twice weekly, with 75 participants in 2003 and 45 participants in 2004. The 2003 season was cool and wet, with frequent rainfall and a high incidence of fruit rot. Spring 2004 was unseasonably hot, resulting in an unusually short harvest season. Consumer preference differed between years and among harvests within a season. The annual hill system was favored early in the 2003 season, with preference shifting to the other systems as the season progressed. The advanced matted row was favored early in the 2004 season. Many of the participants' comments, both positive and negative, were directed at the plastic mulch and raised beds. In several cases, participants indicated that their preferences after picking from each system did not match their initial impressions. Implications of this research to the social components of sustainability will be discussed.

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Joseph A. Fiola and Robert J. Lengyen

High-density, annual, strawberry production systems (“plasti-culture”) have shown high productivity under New Jersey conditions; however, cultural practice and variety research is needed to increase profitability. The system includes raised beds, plastic mulch, trickle irrigation, and double-row 12 × 12-inch plant spacing. Polypropylene floating rowcovers were applied in December and removed in early April when flowers were visible under the cover. Treatments included comparisons of plugs and dormant crowns of the cultivars Chandler and Allstar, planted at multiple planting dates, on white or plastic mulch, in “matted-row” (single row at 18-inch spacing; peg runners through plastic) or high-density production systems. The plug plants were superior to dormant crowns. Black plastic was best all planting dates with plugs; `Allstar' performed best on black on the early planting dates, while `Chandler' preferred the white for the early planting dates. Both `Allstar' and `Chandler' had commercially profitable yield, fruit weight, and quality. “Matted-row” system on plastic is high-yielding but labor-intensive. Late-summer plugs on black plastic is best overall.