Submitted to: Strawberry International Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/6/2004
Publication Date: 9/6/2004
Citation: Black, B.L., Stevens, M. 2004. Comparing the sustainability of strawberry production systems. Strawberry International Symposium Proceedings, September 6-10, 2004, Coolum, Australia. p. 51.
Technical Abstract: An experiment was conducted to compare the sustainability of three cold-climate strawberry production systems. Replicated field plots of conventional matted row, advanced matted row, and cold-climate plasticulture, were established in 2002 and managed according to commercial standard practices for the region. Data were collected to compare the following components of sustainability: economic viability and efficiency, environmental impacts, and public acceptance. Marketable yields for the first harvest season in Spring 2003 were lower than normal due to above average rainfall and high disease incidence. The conventional matted row was the highest yielding at 17,381 kg/ha, followed by the advanced matted row and plasticulture with 13,219 and 11,786 kg/ha, respectively. During the establishment year, soil loss from rain induced surface runoff was more than 4-fold greater in conventional matted row, and 1.5x greater in plasticulture compared to advanced matted row. To simulate preference of pick-your-own customers, volunteers harvested fruit from subplots in each system and completed questionnaires. Overall, the volunteers indicated a preference for plasticulture.