Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Developing Nutrient Management Recommendations for Organic Blueberry Production Systems

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Project Number: 2072-21000-048-07-G
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: Sep 11, 2014
End Date: Sep 30, 2017

Objective:
1. Determine the relationship between soil and plant nutrient level and yield for various production systems. 2. Use leaf nutrient concentration data to develop leaf nutrient standards specific to organic blueberry production systems. 3. Determine the impact of nutrient management treatments on plant nutrient uptake and losses. 4. Develop recommended soil properties and nutrient standards for cultivars grown in organic production systems.

Approach:
Leaf samples will be collected from each treatment (240 plots) in late-July/early August each year and analyzed for macro- and micro-nutrient concentration (C, N, P, K, S, Ca, B, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu). A subsample of fruit will be oven-dried for nutrient analysis and percent moisture content; yield data coupled with fruit nutrient concentration will be used to calculate nutrient removal in harvested fruit. Soil samples will be collected each autumn and analyzed for extractable nutrients, organic matter, NO3- and NH4-N, soil pH and EC, and soil carbon. We will use correlation analysis to determine the relationship between yield in the current season with soil and plant tissue levels throughout the coming years. We will determine which nutrients are most correlated (positively or negatively) with yield and whether leaf nutrient status is correlated with soil nutrient status. We will also collect data on the effect of leaf sampling time (during the season) on the leaf nutrient concentration of six blueberry cultivars grown in two certified organic production systems with very different yield and soil properties. Data will be analyzed to determine whether production system and cultivar affect leaf nutrient concentration (for all nutrients) by leaf sampling date and to determine whether recommended sampling times should be adjusted by cultivar. Amendment #3 adds funds to continue the current research objectives and will be used to harvest whole plants, determine nutrient allocation patterns, develop research and extension publications.

Last Modified: 09/22/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page