April 29, 2017

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 […]

Growing strawberries interactive eBook

Are you planning to grow strawberries on your farm next season. Then you should download a copy of our eBook, Cold Climate Strawberry Farming. It’s free and available on any device, desktop or mobile. This eBook was developed and reviewed with the help of experienced strawberry growers throughout Minnesota, in order to be sure it […]

Rhizoctonia (Black Root Rot) on low tunnel strawberries

Our WCROC, Morris site had an unexpected disease pop up – Rhizoctonia, or black root rot.  We first noticed some strawberry plants wilting.  Then the underside of the leaves turned purplish, and curled up.  Eventually, the crown of the plants died. In order to properly diagnose, we collected plant and soil samples and sent into the […]

Low Tunnel Tour

The University of Minnesota (U of MN) and the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris, invite you to a tour of our day-neutral low tunnel strawberry plot.  Tours will be held on Thursday, July 30, 2015 beginning at 5:15 pm and again at 7:15 pm, running one hour in length each time. Low […]

Frost damage in day-neutral strawberries

The official air temperature at the West Central Research and Outreach Center on October 4, 2014 was 32 degrees.  Even with the air temperature at 32, the temperature recorded in the low tunnel system was 34 degrees, which prevented the day neutral strawberry flowers and fruit from frost damage.  By comparison, the non low tunnel […]

Spotted wing drosophila

With any fruit crop, it is important to monitor and routinely check for insects and disease.  Once such insect that can be especially devastating to a strawberry crop is the spotted wing drosophila (SWD). In 2014, we changed our trap cup design.  We used a clear plastic quart-size cup, with lid, as seen below.  We […]

Strawberry leaf spot disease

In September, we noticed strawberry leaf spot in the non-low tunnel treatment, but not in the low tunnel.  This occurred at both the St. Paul and Morris locations.  For reasons unknown to us, the leaf spot affected only the non-low tunnel but not the low tunnel treatments.