Submitted to: Blueberry Research Extension North American Workers Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/2003
Publication Date: 1/1/2004
Citation: Seymour, R.M., Starr, G.C., Yarborough, D.E. 2004. Wild blueberry response to irrigated and rainfed conditions. Blueberry Research Extension North American Workers Conference Proceedings.Small Fruits Review; Vol 3:45-56 Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The drought experienced in 2001 in New England has spurred wild blueberry grower interest in irrigation as a means of insuring more consistent yields. As other cultural practices improve yields, adding irrigation to the regimen becomes a reasonable option for growers. This study was conducted to compare irrigated and non-irrigated blueberry yields and quality parameters in Jonesboro, ME. Irrigation was applied for both the prune and harvest years (2000 and 2001) on irrigated plots, and non-irrigated plots received no irrigation for both years of production. The irrigation system was a (hand-moveable) aluminum pipe system with risers along each line spaced 40 ft apart. With sprinklers that could irrigate partial circles as well as full circles, plots were delineated by the square pattern of a parallel sprinkler layout. Plots were 40 ft by 40 ft with 6 replications of the irrigated and the non-irrigated treatments. Irrigated plot yields were on average 43% greater than the non-irrigated yields. Quality differences for the two treatments were also detected from harvest samples. Irrigation increased yield substantially, but both yield and quality differences should be considered when planning wild blueberry water management.