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Research Project: Development of Alternate Fertilization Programs to Mitigate Nutrient Problems Found in Long-term Organic Production Systems

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Project Number: 2072-21220-003-21-G
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: Sep 1, 2017
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

Study the impact of alternative Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)-approved fertilizers to mitigate the negative impacts observed with long-term use of composts and fish fertilizers as nutrient courses in organic blueberry.

A long-term trial was established in October 2006 at NWREC in Aurora, Oregon. The site has been certified organic (Oregon Tilth) since the first fruiting season in 2008. There are 48 treatments in the trial arranged in a 2 x 4 x 6 split-split plot design with five replicates and includes two planting configurations (flat ground and raised beds) as main plots, four fertilizer treatments as subplots and two cultivars (‘Duke’ and ‘Liberty’) and three mulch treatments as sub-subplots (240 plots). The planting is flanked by two guard rows, each containing 10 cultivars. The experimental design is a split-plot with amendment–mulch treatment as the main effect and cultivar as the split plot with two replicates. The study will be done in these treatment plots, because some of the long-term mulch and fertilizer source trials have had a negative (or positive) impact on yield. Data will be collected on: yield, leaf nutrient concentration; and soil nutrient status. Correlation analysis and analysis of changes in nutrient status will be evaluated for the 270 treatment plots.