Adding organic matter and biostimulants to restore and maintain soil health and yields in a matted row strawberry field with a history of decline

Christine Landry, researcher

Christine Landry

Researcher, agr., Ph.D.

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Contact Christine Landry

Description

The project complemented a study started in 2015 in a matted row strawberry field with an eight-year history of decline. The initial project covered the period from 2015 to 2016, and covered the planting year and the first of two production years. The objective was to determine whether the addition of two types of organic fertilizers or biostimulants would produce more vigorous plants less subject to decline. Given the limited funding available for the initial project, “classic” disease monitoring i.e., visual detection of phytophthora and detection of aphid and whitefly viral complexes in the leaves was conducted on a single composite sample per treatment. For financial reasons, no soil health analyses (quantity and diversity of beneficial microorganisms and pathogens in the soil) were carried out. However, the results in the planting year suggested that it would be appropriate to monitor soil and plant health in more detail in 2016‒2017.

Objective(s)

  • Determine whether improving soil health can check strawberry decline and more specifically, verify the impact of adding compost and organic fertilizers at planting time and applying biostimulants every year on:
    • Microbial diversity in the soil and the rhizosphere
    • Incidence of plant disease
    • Yields in the first year of production
  • Determine whether commercial biostimulants have an effect and are worth buying—an important consideration given their high cost—and whether on-farm soil amendments and organic fertilizers are as good or better

From 2016 to 2017

Project duration

Fruit production

Activity areas

Soil health, Fertilizer management

Services

This project helped assess the effects of commercial products.

Partners

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec | Ferme Marivil | Réseau de Lutte Intégrée Bellechasse

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