Location: Crop Improvement and Protection ResearchTitle: Integrated biological and cultural practices can reduce crop rotation period of organic strawberries Author
Submitted to: Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2013
Publication Date: 1/1/2014
Citation: Muramoto, J., Gliessman, S.R., Koike, S.T., Shennan, C., Schmida, D., Stephens, R., Swezey, S., Bull, C.T., Klonsky, K. 2014. Integrated biological and cultural practices can reduce crop rotation period of organic strawberries. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. 38:603-631. DOI: 10.1080/21683565.2013.878429. Interpretive Summary: Organic production is one of the fastest growing sectors in agriculture. Likewise, in Central Coastal California organic strawberry production is growing to meet consumer demand. This research demonstrated that rotation and other cropping practices can increase yield in organic strawberry production. However, crop rotation limits the number of years that high value strawberries can be grown on a given piece of land. Biological and cultural practices were identified that increased yield in shorter rotations. This should allow growers to increase the number of years a given piece of land is producing organic strawberries. This work provides growers with information needed to increase the quality and availability of organic strawberries for consumers while maintaining high environmental standards.
Technical Abstract: Approached by an organic grower and the land owner, a team of researchers conducted a replicated on-farm experiment with the break period between strawberry crops (continuous strawberries with broccoli residue incorporation, one year break, two year break, three year break, and seven year break) as the main plot and cultivar as the split plot in Moss Landing, California. Although the longer the rotation period the greater the fruit yield, the integration of biological and cultural practices resulted in similar marketable fruit yield at two year break with seven year break at the low Verticillium dahliae pressure field.