TunnelBerries personnel at Penn State University have created a new video released by Penn State Extension that provides information on the types of high tunnels (single and multi-bay) that are commercially available and important features of each to consider. This is especially useful for growers new to tunnel production. Great job Matt Cooper and Kathy Demchak!
Primocane fruiting raspberries produce fruit in the fall, but can be managed to produce both a summer and a fall crop using the techniques described in a newly released TunnelBerries video. "Double Cropping Primocane Fruiting Raspberries" details how to manage raspberries under a high tunnel for production on both floricanes and primocanes.
TunnelBerries personnel from Rutgers University and Penn State University are collecting environmental data from high tunnels to create computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models. These models will help predict the temperature inside high tunnels throughout the year, relative to solar radiation, outside temperature, and wind speed. With this information, farmers will be able to effortlessly manage the temperature within their high tunnels. The photos show the sensor equipment inside a tunnel, a high tunnel outfitted with solar powered roof and sidewall vents, and the solar panel used to power the venting systems.
We began work this year in a high tunnel in Benton Harbor Michigan to observe how a “V” trellis (Trellis Growing Systems, Ft Wayne IN) can improve raspberry cane management. Early this spring, the floricanes on potted raspberries were secured below 45 degrees on the right trellis arm. This caused the fruiting laterals (branches) to grow upwards on one side of the floricanes. This week, as the flower buds were visible on the laterals, the canes were secured in a vertical position on the left arm. The goal is to position the fruit on one side of the floricanes for easy picking, and keep the developing primocanes on the opposite side so they do not obscure the fruit.
Tabletop Strawberry Production System at the Michigan State University Agriculture Innovations Day, Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center, June 28th.
In Michigan, TunnelBerries personnel have set up a trial with a table-top strawberry system supplied by Haygrove Tunnels (thank you Haygrove!). We are planting day neutral varieties Albion and two MSU types (Redstart, Wasach) in coconut coir media.The trial is in a high tunnel in Benton Harbor, Michigan and will be on display during the MSU Ag Innovations Day on June 28. Come visit on the 28th and see how they are doing!
TunnelBerries researcher, David Conner of the University of Vermont, conducted interviews of 11 growers who utilize tunnels for berry production. Preliminary results suggest that tunnels can be very effective tools, particularly on smaller scales and with farms who sell directly to consumers.
TunnelBerries graduate, Heidi Anderson, joins the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to work on invasive insect project.
Congratulations to TunnelBerries graduate student, Heidi Anderson, who recently finished her degree at the University of Minnesota and landed a job with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture! In her new position, Heidi will be working on a project to improve the understanding of wood product import pathways in the state of Minnesota. Her main task is to develop and implement an educational and monitoring program for rustic wood products that will help vendors identify and intercept imported materials infested with potentially invasive wood boring insects. Best wishes Heidi! MDA is lucky to have you on their team!
TunnelBerries Advisory Board member Dale-Ila Riggs, has been having success protecting blueberries from Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) by using exclusion netting at her farm, The Berry Patch in Stephentown, New York. In this YouTube video, Dale describes how she completely prevented SWD infestation in her blueberry crop.
Congratulations to Heather Leach, a graduate student on the TunnelBerries project who recently completed her degree at Michigan State University and will be moving to her new job with the Pennsylvania State University! Heather will be an extension associate responsible for providing coordination to Spotted Lanternfly outreach and response efforts. Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive insect currently found in Pennsylvania that is capable of reaching highly damaging populations and can feed on many hosts - much like spotted wing drosophila. Best wishes Heather - Penn State is lucky to get you!
Seasonal Occurrence of Key Arthropod Pests and Beneficial Insects in Michigan High Tunnel and Field Grown Raspberries
TunnelBerries personnel Heather Leach and Rufus Isaacs recently published an article on their work describing insect communities in high tunnel versus field grown raspberries in the journal Environmental Entomology. Results show that the tunnel environment significantly alters populations of insect pests, natural enemies and pollinators. The complete article Seasonal Occurrence of Key Arthropod Pests and Beneficial Insects in Michigan High Tunnel and Field Grown Raspberries can be viewed at:
Double-cropping raspberries is a way to get two crops per season from one planting. The first crop is produced on floricanes in the summer and the second crop follows in the fall on primocanes. The V-trellis is one way to manage two sets of canes on one planting. This TunnelBerries’ video explains how to manage double-cropping with V-trellises.
The 2018 North American Raspberry and Blackberry Growers Association Conference (NARBA) in Ventura County, Southern California Feb. 21-24 was an excellent opportunity for growers and researchers to learn about berry production methods in this region of the U.S. Conference attendees toured several farms and the Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center. In the video clip below, C&N’s “Bug Vac” was demonstrated in the raspberry tunnels as one way to manage insect pests. Thanks to NARBA’s Debby Weschler and her California colleagues for another outstanding conference!