In highbush blueberry production, mulch is spread around the base of the plants to suppress weed growth. Some mulches may release nitrogen as they decompose, while others, including fresh sawdust mulch, require the addition of nitrogen fertilizer because soil bacteria mobilize nitrogen to decompose this mulch, given its elevated C/N content. While aged sawdust mulch may supply nitrogen, this contribution has not yet been quantified.
Since the current body of information was generated outside Québec, it is necessary to conduct studies under our own climate conditions. We therefore selected two study sites, one in Montérégie and the other in Chaudière-Appalaches, which will receive no mulch, fresh mulch, and aged mulch blended with four nitrogen doses (0, 30, 60, and 90 kg N/ha). Lastly, this study will determine the nitrogen contribution of mulch mineralization in highbush blueberry cultivation so that mineral nitrogen fertilizer applications can be better tailored to actual crop requirements.
From 2019 to 2022
This project will enable growers to customize their mineral nitrogen fertilizer applications to more effectively meet highbush blueberry crop requirements.
Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation | Groupe Pleine Terre
The data generated by this project was used to develop a new NPK fertilization chart that reflects technical, agronomic, and environmental issues.
Researcher: Christine Landry
Exclusion nets have proven to be effective against nearly all of these insect pests, which means that it’s possible to develop apple growing practices in Québec that are not only neonicotinoid free, but also devoid of all pesticides (including acaricides, given that mite problems are a consequence of broad-spectrum insecticide use). Although the net exclusion microsystem studied in Québec since 2012 has demonstrated its effectiveness in controlling insect pests, some issues remain to be studied before it can be unreservedly recommended. Among these are the handling times for the nets, i.e., installation/removal and opening/closing, and the system’s profitability and durability over the long haul for various cultivars.
Researcher: Gérald Chouinard
In a high density strawberry crop grown in sod covered with plastic mulch, evaluate the toxicity of bioinsecticides for controlling tarnished plant bugs and strawberry blossom beetles and of bioherbicides for controlling weeds in and between crop rows.
Researcher: Daniel Cormier