March 21, 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 […]

Biodegradable Mulch

One of the objectives with our annual day-neutral strawberry system was to compare biodegradable mulch with standard white on black plastic mulch.  During the 2017 growing season, we compared Bio360 biodegradable compostable black mulch film with our standard white on black plastic mulch. As stated from the manufacturer’s website, Bio360 is made of Mater-Bi®, a plastic that […]

Low Tunnel Strawberries at Little Hill Berry Farm

One of our grower collaborator sites for our low tunnel strawberry project was at Little Hill Berry Farm in Northfield, MN.  We partnered with owners Aaron Wills and Molly McGovern Wills on the installation of two 100 foot rows of low tunnel day neutral strawberries.  They later installed an additional eight rows for their pick-your-own […]

Strawberry Fall Harvest

We continue to be impressed with the quality and quantity of strawberries coming from our day-neutral low tunnel system.  As of October 3, we are still harvesting strawberries twice per week with no sign of slowing down in the near future. With the cooler fall weather we’ve been having in the last few weeks, we […]

Fairhaven Farm

Grower collaborators Marsha Anklam and David Macgregor run and own Fairhaven Farm, South Haven, MN. We installed five demonstrations rows of our low tunnel system at their farm.  Marsha and David sell their fruit at local farmers markets, and use the berries for jam production.  They have made the switch from growing June-bearing varieties to […]

Winter Rye as Cover Crop

In the past, we have used landscape fabric as weed control in between the strawberry rows.  This method was an excellent means of controlling weeds, but expensive and not environmentally friendly (uses a lot of plastic).  Since then we have sown winter rye in between the rows right after planting.  There are many cover crops […]

A word from our grower cooperators

Site visits to our three grower cooperators took place during mid-season and again at the end of the growing season.  They assisted with planting, cultural practices, harvest and worked with us to develop and refine the systems in this project, and to assist in educating other growers. Our grower cooperators were: Mary Jo and Laverne […]

2016 Strawberry Economics

During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, we made comparisons between low tunnels and non-tunnels to determine if the extra labor, time and expense in constructing the low tunnel system produces comparable yields, or if yields are significantly higher, making the low tunnel system profitable for growers. At the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) […]

How sweet it is: strawberries in October

Day-neutral strawberry harvest at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, began on July 26, 2016 for both low tunnel and non low tunnel treatments.  We harvested strawberries approximately twice per week until Oct. 6.  We experienced a season-ending frost on Oct. 7 with a recorded temperature of 26 degrees F inside the low […]

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

In the last few years, the University of Minnesota Fruit Research Group’s Strawberry Low-Tunnel Project has spurred several other strawberry projects.  One of them, the Strawberry AMF Inoculation Trial Project, looks at the viability of using commercially available arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal inoculant to improve strawberry yields.  This project is being conducted by Jared Rubinstein, advised […]