October 23, 2017

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.    

Mid-September Harvest

Even though cooler night temperatures in mid-September caused a decrease in fruit yield, the quality, appearance, size and flavor of these day-neutral strawberries remains excellent, as documented in our September 18 harvest:   Harvest began in early August for day-neutral varieties in both the low-tunnel and non-low tunnel systems, with two pickings per week.  The […]

Western flower thrips causes damage to non-low tunnel fruit

During the August 2014 harvest period, we noticed fruit damage from western flower thrips.  Western flower thrips are slender, very small insects, about 0.03 inch long when mature.  Adults have feathery wings and vary in color from yellow to dark brown; nymphs are white or yellowish with small dark eyes. Thrips feed on strawberry blossoms, […]

Cold Climate Strawberry Farming Now Available for FREE on Inkling.com

Strawberry farming can be successfully accomplished on a commercial scale throughout much of Minnesota, and strawberries are also well suited for small-scale and part-time farming operations. Although the number of acres in Minnesota is relatively small, the value per acre can provide a significant amount of revenue for Minnesota growers. Now, breaking into commercial strawberry […]

Looking ahead to the 2014 growing season

 Now that all of the data has been collected and analyzed for our 2013 growing season, we look forward to a 2014-2015 growing season!  Hear Steve’s final thoughts on the project for 2013.      

What we learned

With one growing season under our belt, we now have a better idea of where we need to focus our research efforts in year two in order to improve the low tunnel system.  Watch as Steve Poppe shares his thoughts and ideas for improvements for the 2014 growing season.        

The economics of growing low tunnel strawberries

   Establishment costs for creating a low tunnel system are important to consider for any strawberry grower.  Based on our 2013 growing season, we developed the following table (see below) using our actual costs for creating a low tunnel day-neutral strawberry system.  Establishment Costs Variable Costs per 100 feet Fertilizer $11.67 Fertigation injector (2 gal) $73.00 Pesticides […]

Feedback Sessions at MOSES Conference

After reading more about Cold Climate Strawberry Farming, are you interested in checking it out? While it’s not quite ready to be released to the public yet, we are doing feedback sessions at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference on February 28 in La Crosse, WI. We are looking for feedback from people with all levels […]