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Organic Open-Field and High Tunnel Strawberry Cropping Systems for Long-term Viability in the Southeastern Industry


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2014 National Sustainable Strawberry Initiative Project Leader Meeting

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Organic Open-Field and High Tunnel Strawberry Cropping Systems for Long-term Viability in the Southeastern Industry

  1. 1. Organic Open-field and High Tunnel Strawberry Cropping Systems for Long-term Viability of the Southeastern Industry Carlene Chase, Xin Zhao, Oscar Liburd, Zhifeng Gao, Mickie Swisher, & Sanjun Gu
  2. 2. University of Florida Carlene Chase Weed Scientist Xin Zhao Horticulturist Oscar Liburd Entomologist Mickie Swisher, Director Center for Sustainable and Organic Food Systems Zhifeng Gao Economist
  3. 3. Collaborators Sanjun Gu Horticulture Specialist Marty Mesh Executive Director Sambhav Applied Research Manager
  4. 4. The long-term goal  Expansion of organic strawberry production in the SE US beginning with Florida & N. Carolina  Focus: open-field and high tunnel systems  Environmentally & economically sustainable  Resilient to weeds, pests, and diseases
  5. 5. Assess the use of off-season cover crops for weed and nematode suppression Sunn hemp Hairy indigo Jointvetch Short-flower rattlebox PI - Carlene Chase
  6. 6. Cover Crop Performance  Sunn hemp & hairy indigo have greater potential for biomass production and weed suppression.  Stakeholders requested more research with these 2 species.  Stakeholders recommend cover crops that also give a marketable product. Weed biomass suppression cc c a b c c bc b a
  7. 7. Conference Posters and Presentations  Cover crops for organic strawberry cropping systems. Weed Science Society of America 2014  Going organic to diversify and sustain the strawberry industry. Florida State Horticultural Society (FSHS) 2014  Engaging stakeholders to refine research objectives for grant proposals. American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) 2014
  8. 8. Assess the performance of commercial strawberry cultivars & advanced selections in organic systems Citra Plant City High tunnel (Citra) Co-PI: Xin Zhao
  9. 9. ‘Albion’, ‘Camarosa’, ‘Strawberry Festival’, ‘Florida Radiance’, ‘Winterstar’, ‘Treasure’, ‘Proprietary #1’, & ‘Proprietary # 2’ 2 advanced selections and ‘Florida Sensation’ in high tunnel 8 commercial strawberry cultivars evaluated in high tunnel and open-field systems for plant growth, fruit yield and quality
  10. 10. Almost all the cultivars showed higher total marketable yields in the high tunnel than in the open field. ‘Albion’ in open field (Feb. 17, 2014, Citra) ‘Albion’ in high tunnel (Feb. 17, 2014 Citra)  The magnitude of the impact of high tunnel on fruit yield differed among cultivars.  Fruit quality attribute differences between cultivars also varied with the production system.
  11. 11. Spider mites Powdery Mildew Production problems differed in high tunnel and open-field systems High tunnel Open-field Fruit rot Fruit cracking
  12. 12. Yield performance of strawberry cultivars under organic production in high tunnel and open field (FSHS 2014 Annual Conference) High tunnel production of organic strawberry in northern Florida: opportunities and challenges (ASHS 2014 Annual Conference) Presentations
  13. 13. Biological control of twospotted spider mites Neoseiulus californicus Twospotted spider mite Co-PI: Oscar Liburd
  14. 14. Sampling for twospotted spider mites
  15. 15. Bigeyed bug, Geocoris spp. Minute pirate bug, Orius spp. Beneficial insects recorded in strawberries Hemiptera AnthocoridaeLygaeidae Thripidae Sixspotted thrips Scolothrips sexmaculatus
  16. 16. Monitoring for spotted wing drosophila (SWD)
  17. 17. Training growers to identify SWD
  18. 18. Strawberry injury resulting from Neopamera bilobata (Say)
  19. 19. Presentation Abundance of insect pests and mites on strawberry varieties grown in high tunnel and open field. FSHS 2014 Conference
  20. 20. Assess consumer preferences for tangible and intangible qualities of strawberries and consumer willingness to pay for these traits Obj. A • Assess consumer preference and WTP for tangible attributes Activity • Sensory test with strawberry cultivars Status • Statistical analysis was conducted Obj. B • Assess consumer preference & WTP for intangible attributes Activity • National online survey Status • Online survey is complete and ready for distribution Co-PI: Zhifeng Gao
  21. 21. 100 participants were recruited, 50 with local information (strawberries produced within 100 mi), and 50 without this information Participants rated 3 boxes of strawberries for color, freshness, shape and uniformity Participants tasted strawberries and rated flavor & texture WTP for 3 strawberry cultivars was assessed before and after tasting
  22. 22. Take home messages Only color matters for purchase before tasting/ purchasing strawberries. After tasting/purchasing, only flavor and texture matter. Local information does not matter at all in consumer choice of berries. Implications for breeder, producer, and marketing??
  23. 23. Presentation Does Local Label Bias Consumer Taste Bud and Choice Behavior: Evidence of a Strawberry Sensory Experiment (ASHS 2014 Annual Conference)
  24. 24. High tunnel cultivar evaluation in Greensboro, NC. Co-PI: Sanjun Gu 10/08/2013
  25. 25. High tunnel in Greensboro, NC collapsed due to snow accumulation in February
  26. 26. Field day at Hickory, NC – April 15
  27. 27. High tunnel workshop on 3/3/2014 Gu presented on Fall strawberry production
  28. 28. Stakeholder Assessment of Research Co-PI: Mickie Swisher  Growers, extension agents, strawberry breeder, Driscoll’s  3 assessments: Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group conference, Mobile AL
  29. 29. High Tunnel Stakeholder Assessment at Citra
  30. 30. Open-field Stakeholder Assessment  On-station at Citra  On-farm in Plant City
  31. 31. Extension and Outreach  Short videos of the research will be released to the UF IFAS website, YouTube, & extension training venues.  Professional presentations of results to researchers, extension agents, and growers.  Publication of results in refereed research journals, conference proceedings and industry publications.
  32. 32. Strawberry industry leadership outcomes 1. Understand the potential impacts of the factors assessed in this research on profitability and the environment. 2. Better able to provide long-term guidance for research and extension programs about organic strawberry production. 3. Committed to continued involvement in future research and outreach programs with an organic focus.
  33. 33. Strawberry industry leadership outcomes 4. Assumed active roles in promoting research and outreach efforts about organic strawberry production. 5. Identified experimental practices most likely to reduce costs of production and increase profitability for producers.
  34. 34. Economic Sustainability  High tunnel production system that is a potentially viable option to expand fall organic strawberry production in the Southeast.  Identified emerging and existing pests that pose high potential threats to organic strawberry production systems.  Identified, through grower input, ways to improve the economic viability of using cover crops to suppress weeds and nematodes and comply with this requirement of the National Organic Standards.
  35. 35. Social Sustainability  Involvement of Extension faculty members, other local service providers, and growers.  Inclusion of representatives of and professionals who work with limited resource and minority farmers, such as the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists’ Association.  Expansion of the grower community involved in research and extension programs addressing organic strawberry production.
  36. 36. Environmental Sustainability Identified potential technologies & management practices that are economically feasible to control arthropod pests, weeds and nematodes. Applicable to organic strawberry systems, but have potential applicability in conventional systems as well.
  37. 37. Acknowledgments This project is funded by a grant from the Walmart Foundation and administered by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability.