Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/28/2007
Publication Date: 7/2/2007
Citation: Bryla, D.R., Kaufman, D., Strik, B.C. 2007. Effects of irrigation method and level of water application on fruit size and yield in red raspberry during the first year of production. HortScience. 42:1022.
Technical Abstract: A study was done to determine the effects of irrigation method and level of water application on early production of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.). Two cultivars, ‘Meeker’ and ‘Coho’, were irrigated by overhead sprinkler or subsurface drip at 50, 100, and 150% of the estimated crop evapotranspiration (ETc) requirement. All measurements were made during the first year of production (year 2), which is often referred to as the “baby crop” year. Irrigation method had no significant effect on total yield per plant in either cultivar during the “baby crop” year. It did, however, have a significant effect on the number of floricanes per plant and the yield per cane. Essentially, floricane number was higher with sprinklers than subsurface drip, but the amount of fruit produced per cane was less. Plants irrigated by sprinklers also produced smaller fruit than those irrigated by drip. Similar differences were observed between plants irrigated at 50, 100, and 150% ETc. Like sprinklers, less irrigation at 50 and 100% ETc increased floricane production (or primocane production the previous year) but reduced the amount of fruit produced per cane. In addition, fruit were smaller when plants were irrigated at 50% ETc (i.e., under-irrigated) than at 100 and 150% ETc. Both cultivars had a similar response to the irrigation treatments, but ‘Coho’ produced larger fruit than ‘Meeker’. These early results suggest that irrigation method can have a significant effect on fruit production in raspberry, especially when plants are under-irrigated; however, we are uncertain how the treatments will affect mature plants. Next, we will prune treatments to approximately the same number of floricanes per plant to account for any effect floricane number per plant might have on yield.