Reduced ultraviolet light transmission increases insecticide longevity in protected culture raspberry production
Michigan State University TunnelBerries personnel, Heather Leach and Rufus Isaacs along with colleague John Wise, recently published results from their study examining the effect of UV light transmission through different tunnel plastics on insecticide longevity in the journal Chemosphere. Results of this research indicate that tunnel plastics which block UV light transmission can prolong the effectiveness of insecticides used to manage insect pests.
We just finished the last harvest of potted raspberries in a high tunnel in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Plants were pruned last winter to two floricanes per plant. The relatively hot summer shortened the floricane harvest and reduced yields, whereas the long warm fall enhanced the primocane crop. Prelude had good yields this year, but produced small berries. For overall yield and fruit quality over the last two years, outstanding cultivars have been Kweli and Imara.
Newer raspberry cultivars being evaluated for both floricane and primocane production in containers under tunnels in Michigan include several standouts: Imara, Kwanza and Kweli all produce fruit that is large, glossy bright to light red, firm and with excellent flavor. Plants are still producing so final yield and fruit quality results for these and other raspberry cultivars will be available once the season ends.
TunnelBerries researchers Kathy Kelley and Kathy Demchak, both Penn State University personnel, will administer two Internet surveys to learn about growers’ experiences with high and low tunnels and consumer behavior and attitudes toward tunnel production. The goals of the two surveys are to gather information on topics related to use of the tunnels and plastics, with additional information related to production and marketing collected from current, former, and future growers of raspberries and strawberries.
By surveying current and previous high/low tunnel growers, the researchers can identify: 1) reasons why they grow/grew berry crops in the tunnels; 2) common obstacles (e.g., financial, marketing challenges, structural issues) they have encountered; 3) how they learn about plastic film features and what factors influence their purchasing decision; and 4) how they handle and dispose of plastic after being removed from the tunnels.
Growers who have not yet produced a berry crop in a high/low tunnel, but have plans to do so, will be asked to indicate: 1) what is primarily influencing their decision to grow berries in tunnels; 2) expectations regarding berry crop yields; 3) new markets they hope to serve with berries they harvest from the tunnels; and 4) any experiences they have had with selecting plastics, growing other crops under plastic films, and disposing of, reusing, and/or recycling plastics.
A survey will be developed and administered to consumers to learn about: 1) their berry purchasing behaviors; 2) attitudes and behaviors pertaining to recycling and local food production; 3) preferences when weighing plastics use vs. potential for reduced pesticide applications; and 4) response to price premiums associated with costs growers may acquire when using tunnels.
Responses to survey questions will yield the following outcomes:
TunnelBerries personnel Becky Sideman and Kaitlyn Orde recently had their strawberry research featured in the Boston Globe: Researchers extend growing season for strawberries>>
Berry Crops Field Workshop: Tuesday, August 29, 2017; 5:00 –7:00 pm
The Berry Patch, 15589 NY-22, Stephentown, NY 12168
This field workshop will cover:
• Plasticulture strawberry production for June bearing & and Day Neutral
• Low tunnel strawberries
• High tunnel raspberry production
• Exclusion netting to control SWD in blueberries
• Using computer models to improve pest management of berry crops
• Collaboration between NEWA and NYS Mesonet
It's field day season! Touring Penn State's high tunnels is one of many activities available at Ag Progress Days:
August 15-17, 2017
Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center
2710 W Pine Grove Rd.
Pennsylvania Furnace, PA 16865
Tuesday, August 15, 2017; 12:30 - 4:30 pm
1791 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Tours cover a wide variety of SWMREC's research projects will include high tunnel bramble production.
TunnelBerries personnel, Kathy Demchak and Matt Cooper, recently worked with students at Pennsylvania State University to construct a high tunnel on the Penn State Student Farm. Students will now have expanded hands-on experience with food production systems using protected culture!
An organic potted raspberry system with various potting media is being tested at the Michigan State University Horticulture Teaching and Research Center. Media being evaluated include: leaf compost and bark, leaf compost with minerals, coconut coir, and vermicompost. Fruit yield and quality will be recorded in addition to determining the economic viability of this production system.
Picking Strawberries in November: University of New Hampshire Researchers Extend NH Strawberry Growing Season
University of New Hampshire researchers working on the multi-state TunnelBerries project were picking day-neutral strawberries in Durham, NH last November. Last year, experiment station researchers harvested strawberries grown in low tunnels for 19 consecutive weeks from mid-July through the week of Thanksgiving. They also found that the low tunnels significantly increased the percentage of marketable fruit, from an average of about 70 percent to 83 percent.
July 12 Vegetable and Fruit Field Day at Penn State University's Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center
The Vegetable and Fruit Field Day on July 12, 2017 in Rock Springs Pennsylvania is offered jointly by Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association and Penn State Extension and Penn State researchers. The Field Day is an opportunity to see and hear about research at Pennsylvania State University on a range of crops including low tunnel strawberry production as well as high tunnel strawberry and raspberry production. This event take place at Penn State's Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center.
TunnelBerries researcher, Marvin Pritts from Cornell University, gives recommendations for day neutral strawberry production under low tunnels in an article in American Agriculturist:
The lowdown on stretching strawberry season
by Kara Lynn Dunn
Our raspberries in 3-gallon bag pots are growing well in the high tunnel in southwest Michigan. Last week we thinned the primocanes to no more than 6 per pot. This took about an hour for 60 pots. One of several labor-intensive management steps for this production system.
K. Hanson: Tunnel Berries Outreach Coordinator