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Research Project: Integrated Water and Nutrient Management Systems for Sustainable and High-Quality Production of Temperate Fruit and Nursery Crops

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Title: Nutrient management of blueberry – Assessing plant nutrient needs and designing good fertilizer programs

item STRIK, BERNADINE - Oregon State University
item Bryla, David

Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2015
Publication Date: 4/1/2015
Citation: Strik, B., Bryla, D.R. 2015. Nutrient management of blueberry – Assessing plant nutrient needs and designing good fertilizer programs. Proceedings from OSU Blueberry School; 2015 March 16-17; Corvallis, OR. p. 79-94.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In this article and presentation, we will address recommended soil nutrient levels for making pre-planting decisions, starting rates of key nutrients to apply, how to assess plant nutrient status to modify fertilizer programs, timing and source of fertilizer to apply, and fertigation. Key questions that need to be answered with regard to any nutrient management program are: How much nutrient should be applied? When is the best time to apply the nutrient? What is the best source of the nutrient for the plant? And what is the best method to apply the nutrient? Blueberry evolved in soils with low nutrient content and therefore can survive with often surprisingly low levels of fertilization. However, a good fertilization program is necessary for rapid plant growth during establishment of the planting and to produce high yields in mature fields. Recommended rates of fertilizer to apply vary with planting age, soil nutrient status, and growth, vigor or planting productivity. Nutrients that are removed in harvested fruit and wood when pruning, in addition to the nutrients needed for plant growth must be considered when planning nutrient management programs.