Navigation Links
New research informs California strawberry production practices

SALINAS, CA--In the coastal valleys of central California, where more than 80% of the United States' strawberry crops are grown, there is developing concern about the impact of these vast production systems on groundwater contamination. According to a study published in the August 2013 issue of HortScience, changes in growers' cultural practices and the introduction of new cultivars has increased strawberry yields in the region by 140% during the past 50 years. But as crop yields have increased, water quality has diminished; water quality monitoring in these coastal valleys has shown that groundwater often exceeds Federal drinking water standards. Strawberry growers are facing increasing regulatory pressure to improve their management practices in order to protect groundwater.

Looking for ways to help strawberry producers address these critical issues, Thomas Bottoms and Timothy Hartz from the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, along with Michael Cahn and Barry Farrara of the University of California Cooperative Extension in Salinas, studied nitrogen (N) fertilization and irrigation management practices in fall-planted annual strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) fields. Their multidimensional research was designed to determine soil mineral nitrogen, monitor irrigation applied, and estimate crop evapotranspiration. They also surveyed growers regarding their nitrogen (N) fertilization practices. "Our primary objective was to document plant and soil nitrogen dynamics (in annual strawberry production) under the environmental conditions and current grower management practices of the central coast region of California," said corresponding author Timothy Hartz. "Additionally, we evaluated strawberry response to preplant controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) application rates in three commercial field trials."

The researchers determined that strawberry biomass nitrogen accumulation showed a consistent pattern across fields with limited N accumulation from fall transplanting through March, followed by a consistent rate of crop N uptake through the rest of the production season. "Our research determined that current nitrogen fertilization practices did not efficiently match the crop N uptake pattern observed," Hartz said. He explained that in California's central coastal region, most strawberry fields are planted after vegetable crops. "These fields typically have significant residual soil mineral nitrogen. Therefore, justification for preplant controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) in this production system appeared to be to ensure N availability throughout the winter, when NO3-N leaching by rainfall is possible. However, the replicated trials showed that preplant CRF rates had a minimal effect on strawberry nitrogen accumulation through the June sampling, by which time the vast majority of controlled-release fertilizer nitrogen had been released."

The researchers' evaluation of irrigation practices showed that efficient drip irrigation management was demonstrated in many fields. "In only one of the nine highest-yielding fields was seasonal irrigation more than 120% of evapotranspiration. The consistency of crop N uptake over the spring and summer provided a guideline for N fertigation. Adjusting for higher fruit yield potential under California conditions, this supports prior research that found N fertigation averaging 0.5 to 0.9 kg/ha per day to be adequate for peak production."

"Our results suggest several ways in which N management could be improved in this production system," the authors wrote. "The replicated controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) rate trials indicated that routine use of high CRF rates was not an efficient practice. Reducing CRF rates, particularly in heavier textured soils that are less easily leached, could substantially improve N use efficiency."


Contact: Mike W. Neff
American Society for Horticultural Science

Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover innate virus-killing power in mammals
2. CNIO researchers delve into the behavior of cohesins
3. AgriLife researcher Xiuren Zhang receives National Science Foundation CAREER grant
4. Garvan Institute receives grant to research role of long non-coding RNAs in Parkinsons disease
5. Rensselaer researchers propose new theory to explain seeds of life in asteroids
6. Parkinsons Surgery Research wins NSF Grant
7. UT Dallas researchers find early success in new treatment for stroke recovery
8. LSUHSCS OCHOA 1 of 10 chosen by NIH director for Transformative Research Award
9. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Exercises Option with Pfenex Inc. To Extend Contract and Increase Funding for the Development of a Recombinant Protective Antigen (rPA) Based Anthrax Vaccine
10. University of Utah researchers receive NIH Directors New Innovator Award
11. $1.5 million NCI Grant to aid Huntsman Cancer Institute researcher study melanoma, sun damage link
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( ... age and identity verification solutions, announced today they will ... 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... International Trade Center. Identity impacts the ... in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... -- RAM Group , Singaporean based technology ... biometric authentication based on a novel  quantum-state ... perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on a ... Group and its partners. This sensor will have widespread ... security. Ram Group is a next generation sensor ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, ... in analytical testing are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its national board ... Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based Advanced ... for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER Labs is ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most personal eye ... first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and likely quicker ... eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, getting anything ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... today it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is ... , on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: