March 24, 2017

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 […]

A visit with a low tunnel strawberries collaborator

As part of this project, we have several collaborating farms that are also growing day-neutral strawberries using a low tunnel system.  One of those collaborating farms is Prairie Horizons Farm  (Luverne and Mary Jo Forbord) in Starbuck, MN.  Steve had the opportunity to visit with them recently about their experience in the 2015 growing season. […]

CCSF Cover Reveal

Since MOSES the public life of our interactive e-book, Cold Climate Strawberry Farming, has been rather quiet. We got a lot of great feedback from everyone at both MFVGA and MOSES and we’ve been diligently working away on the edits that everyone suggested. In addition, we’ve been planning and shooting the myriad of videos that […]

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 […]

Gaining Momentum

The word is quickly spreading of our documented success in extending the strawberry season!   By using day-neutral strawberry cultivars in a low tunnel production system, we’ve not only seen a noticeably sweeter strawberry, but have harvested well beyond the traditional June strawberry season.  Our research project was recently highlighted in the March/April 2014 edition of the […]

Sweet Success

During the late summer/fall picking season at the WCROC site, we tasted a noticeably sweet strawberry.  We randomly took brix levels during the picking season of all six cultivars in the low tunnel and non-low tunnel treatments.  The results showed an average brix level of 7.6 between late July and early October in both low […]

Individual berry weight for day-neutral strawberries

As part of this project, we calculated individual fruit size, in grams, of each cultivar by randomly choosing 20 berries per treatment at each harvest.  At the WCROC, the average berry weight (g) across cultivars within the low tunnel was 15.56 g while the open field average was 14.27 g.  At the St. Paul site the […]

End of season day-neutral strawberry yields

One of the objectives of our project was to determine if the use of a low tunnel system with day-neutral strawberries could provide adequate yields.  Traditional June-bearing strawberry varieties in Minnesota have a baseline yield of 5,500 pounds per acre (lb/A).  As shown below, lb/A of each of the six cultivars in the low tunnel and non-low […]