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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ORGANIC BLUEBERRY PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Project Number: 5358-21000-042-05
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: Sep 18, 2009
End Date: Sep 30, 2013

Objective:
1) Evaluate blueberry plant growth, yield, and quality in various certified-organic production systems in two popular fresh-market cultivars; 2) determine the effect of raised beds on soil and plant water status and plant growth, and production; 3) evaluate and continue to develop organic weed management systems in producing blueberries; and 4) develop and evaluate organic fertilizer treatments to optimize plant growth, production, and quality.

Approach:
Treatments being assessed include planting on raised beds or flat ground, various weed management treatments including weed mat, organic fertilization type and rate, and cultivar. We will collect information on not only the effectiveness of the treatments such as weed mat, sawdust and compost mulches and use of vinegar for weed control on flat ground and raised beds and organic fertilizers and how they interact with sawdust mulch and weed mat, but also the cost effectiveness. We will measure plant growth, yield, fruit quality, weed pressure, soil water status, plant water status, plant tissue and soil nutrient concentration, and organic fertilizer availability. We will make observations on any other pest problems and control them to the best of our ability using organically approved methods. We feel that this study will provide growers with very useful information on the long-term impacts and costs of various organic blueberry production systems during fruiting years. Documents Grant with Oregon State University. Formerly 5358-21000-037-16G.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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