February 25, 2018

2017 Results

Yields in lbs/acre was the lowest it’s been since 2013 for our day-neutral low tunnel strawberry project here at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris.

The spring planting date of these day-neutral strawberries was average and the plants appeared healthy. Initially there was some plant loss which may have been a result of dormant strawberry plants being stored at temperatures that encouraged growth before planting (breaking dormancy). We have learned that after plants are received from the strawberry plant nursery, storage temperatures should be at 28 F for optimum storage conditions.

The 2017 strawberry harvest was two weeks shorter when compared to cumulative data from 2013 to 2016, which likely contributes to our lower yield.  Although the strawberry yield was lower than we anticipated, berry quality and size were rated good to excellent (Table 1).

On average, plastic mulch produced higher yields of larger fruit regardless of cultivar, but this difference was especially prominent in Portola. When examining within mulch treatments, Portola showed significantly higher yields and larger fruit than Albion in traditional plastic mulch, but these differences did not appear in biodegradable mulch.