Investigating key physicochemical and environmental factors that could account for variable lowbush blueberry yields

Carl Boivin

Researcher, agr., M.Sc.

418 643-2380
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Description

IRDA monitored water extraction by blueberry farms in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region between 2015 and 2018. Our measurements indicate that, under current production conditions, lowbush blueberry crops have relatively low water requirements. Furthermore, measured yields were quite variable, even within a single field, and could be forecast with the monitoring tools developed here. The water extraction measurements also suggest that higher yields could be attained in the monitored blueberry fields. Currently, water extraction is generally 50% below the potential evapotranspiration demand. As part of this project, the soil water status at a chosen blueberry farm will be monitored at 40 spots over the course of the production year. We will seek to identify the relationship between water extraction, physicochemical and environmental factors, and yield levels that could help explain yield variability.

Objective(s)

  • Bolster the “crop water extraction” approach as a valid index for assessing blueberry farm yield potential.
  • Identify environmental conditions, aside from plant genetics, that require greater water extraction.
  • Propose interventions to boost yields in low-producing zones within fields.

From 2019 to 2020

Project duration

Fruit production

Activity areas

Optimal water management

Service

Improved water extraction will help boost blueberry crop yields.

Partners

Ferme forestière Paul Grenon et fils | Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation

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