Developing a cropping system that focuses on improving soil health to restore the yield potential of matted row strawberry fields with a history of strawberry decline

Christine Landry, researcher

Christine Landry

Researcher, agr., Ph.D.

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Description

A cropping system based on adding organic matter through soil amendments and organic fertilizers can restore soil health and strawberry yields by limiting the occurrence of disease symptoms. To test this hypothesis, virus-free strawberry plants were planted in a field where strawberry decline had been present for five years despite the use of recognized agricultural practices aimed at maintaining yields. A control receiving conventional mineral fertilizers was compared to treatments using organic matter. Beef manure compost, high in carbon, and granulated chicken manure were used, each at two different doses.

Objective(s)

  • Restore the yield potential of fields with a history of strawberry decline by adding organic soil amendments and fertilizers to matted row strawberries at planting time
  • Test whether organic soil amendments and fertilizers have an impact on:
    • Growth of plant roots and aerial parts
    • Appearance of symptoms of decline and virus transmission to healthy plants newly established near a virus-infected field
    • Soil biological activity, fertility, and structure
    • Yield
  • Compare the efficacy of a biostimulant to conventional organic amendments and fertilizers
  • Compare revenues and costs in the different cropping systems

From 2015 to 2017

Project duration

Fruit production

Activity areas

Soil health, Fertilizer management

Services

The results of this project will help restore soil health and the yields of strawberry plants that show signs of strawberry decline disease.

Partners

Growing Forward 2 | Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec - Innov'Action Programme | Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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