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Early-season strawberry tested in high elevation conditions
Date:6/22/2011

re determined by transplanting 'Chandler' strawberry plugs at 2-week intervals over 10 weeks. A field planting experiment was added in the second year of the study. Strawberries grown in high tunnels began production 4 to 5 weeks before outdoor production, with higher total seasonal production. Results showed that, over two seasons, the optimum planting dates were approximately the first week of September.

"Both out-of-season yields and greater total seasonal production contributed to the economic benefits of the tunnel system", said Black. "The production window for the in-ground high tunnel planting was approximately 4 weeks earlier than the field-grown plants and increased profitability by $13/m2 of tunnel area. With the increased total yields, and with the early yields sold at a 50% price premium, a 4.3 m x 29.3-m high tunnel using the in-ground production system would generate an additional $2,770 in revenue compared with field production."

The researchers added that, after accounting for the costs of building and managing the high tunnel, and the additional cost of harvesting the fruit, the net income increase would be $1,658 for a 4.3 x 29.3-m area, or $13.16/m2. "This research supports the use of high tunnels as an effective and economical system for extending the growing season for strawberries in the Intermountain West region in the United States", Black concluded.


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

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