Source: UNIV OF MASSACHUSETTS submitted to
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR PROPAGATING CRANBERRY VINES AND PLANTING NEW CRANBERRY BEDS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0201496
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
MAS00901
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2004
Project End Date
Oct 1, 2010
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Averill, A.
Recipient Organization
UNIV OF MASSACHUSETTS
(N/A)
AMHERST,MA 01003
Performing Department
CRANBERRY SUBSTATION
Non Technical Summary
Massachusetts cranberry growers must increase their cost efficiency to stay economically competitive. New vigorous hybrids are being developed and will be introduced into the industry within the next few years. The establishment of a new planting is among the most expensive operations performed by growers. Renovation and re-planting plans must be wisely decided because cranberry vines may take 3 years before producing a marketable crop. Poor management in the initial years often translates into long-term problems for the life of the planting. The first part of the project examines the interaction of nitrogen, vine planting density, and weed management to determine which combinations(s) will promote fast establishment and encourage rapid fruit production. The second part will examine various combinations of nutritional regimes and pruning practices and determine which will maximize propagation of vines for new planting establishment. Lastly, a Best Management Practices document will be published that provides guidelines for growers who wish to renovate with new hybrid varieties.
Animal Health Component
50%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
50%
Applied
50%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2051121107050%
2051121114050%
Knowledge Area
205 - Plant Management Systems;

Subject Of Investigation
1121 - Cranberry;

Field Of Science
1070 - Ecology; 1140 - Weed science;
Goals / Objectives
I will evaluate the interactions of nitrogen application, initial cranberry vine density, and weed management approach to define which combination(s) would promote successful cranberry vine colonization (from both economic and biologic perspectives). I will determine the best combination of nutritional regimes and pruning options that would maximize propagation of vines for new planting establishment. I will conduct economic analyses encompassing costs associated with a) nitrogen rate, weed management, and vine density, and b) pruning methods and nitrogen management along with potential income from vine sales and/or yield production. I will publish Best Management Practice (BMP) guides to provide resources for growers who were interested in planting new beds, managing nurse beds, or propagating vines for their own use. Objective 5: Using natural products chemistry and analysis and the behavioral characteristics of pests, determine compounds in cranberry that act as or can be exploited as natural insect deterrents. Objective 6: Using natural products chemistry and analysis, the behavioral characteristics of pests, and molecular genetic techniques, examine the host pest interactions of the parasitic weed, dodder in cranberry ecosystems. Objective 7: Determine the importance of weed species for support of or competition with polinators in cranberry systems.
Project Methods
Objective 1. A field trial, using Stevens, has been established in a renovated section of a cranberry bed. The following treatments were included in all combinations: four nitrogen levels, four vine densities, and four weed management options. Biomass, both cranberry and weed, were collected at various times per year (depending on treatment) and at the end of the season (early September). Dry tem and root dry biomass for both groups were determined. Annual tissue samples were collected from low-weed and high-weed pressure areas in the nitrogen treatments. To evaluate the impact of the treatments on yield production once the vines have been established, the plots will be maintained under normal horticultural management for several more years. Annual tissue and fruit samples will be collected and fruit will be evaluated for weight and soundness. Soil samples will be taken to characterize the bed in terms of organic matter, cation exchange capacity and other soil properties. Objective 2. Two growers in Massachusetts will dedicate 0.10 ha (0.25 acres) of established Stevens bog for at least 4 to 5 years. Four nitrogen rates of 0, 56, 112, and 168 kg/ha (0, 50, 100, and 150 lb/A) and four pruning intensities (none, low, moderate, and high) will be evaluated. Pruning will be done with commercial pruners. All efforts will be made to select plots in an area of the bog that has low weed pressure. However, to minimize weed infestations, preemergence herbicides will be applied to the experimental plots in accordance to normal agricultural practice. A granular NPK fertilizer will be used to provide most of the nutrition and the remaining N dose will be supplied by using a nitrogen-only fertilizer. Phosphorus and potassium levels will be supplemented by using 0-25-25. Soil temperatures will be monitored, and fertilizer application will begin when soil temperatures are at least 10 C (50 F) and prior to bud break (and after pruning has occurred). Vines will be collected to determine biomass removed from each pruning treatment in the spring. Vine samples will be collected once from each plot in late summer and will be evaluated for numbers of vegetative and flowering uprights, dry biomass, and yield components. Berries will also be collected. Soil samples will be taken and irrigation records will be obtained from the growers as needed. Objective 3. Economic estimates will be calculated to permit comparisons of the treatment options from Objectives 1 and 2. Cost data will be obtained from local resources. The economic analysis for Objective 1 will be extended to incorporate treatment effects on yield. Costs relating to labor and other expenses for mowing and pruning will be obtained from growers and factored into the analysis for Objective 2. Objective 4. BMPs will be developed for growers interested in planting new beds and dedicating pieces of cranberry bog to vine propagation. Data should also provide information for growers interested in using pruning as a horticultural aid. Additional approachs - 5. We plan to examine the differences in composition of potential insect feeding deterrent phytochemicals in foliage from two cultivars of cranberry. Preliminary data (Averill and Vanden Heuvel, 2006) indicate that gypsy moths and flea beetles prefer not to eat Early Black, suggesting some innate pest deterrent properties. Foliage chemistry of Early Black, a naturally pest-resistant cultivar will be compared to that of a less resistant cultivar, Howes. Compounds showing a significant presence in the pest-resistant cultivar will be targeted for identification and further pest-resistance study including feeding trials. Artificial diet is available for two key insect problems, Sparganothis fruitworm and gypsy moth. Candidate phenolics will be integrated into diet and feeding preference and suitability will be assessed for these two insects. The goal is to generate data on the identity of possible feeding deterrents that will help us design a more extensive study of breeding practices and pest resistance. Additional approachs - 6. We plan to examine host selection and preference behavior of the parasitic cranberry weed, dodder (Cuscuta sp.). Unpublished work by M.J. Else in cranberry in the early 1990s showed that dodder was less successful in establishing parasitic relations when early season hosts were removed (either by hand or by herbicide treatment). We propose to identify several dodder infestations on MA commercial farms early in the season. We will document which weed species serve as the initial (primary) hosts for dodder. Later in the season, we will harvest weed, dodder, and cranberry biomass and will quantify the production of dodder seed from the various weed species as well as the cranberry vines. Depending on the patterns that develop, we will focus on several prominent weed species to determine what (chemical) factors are influencing the selection process. Genetic markers will also be used to examine the specificity of host-pathogen interactions and genetic structure of the weed popluation. Additional approachs - 7. The interactive role of weed species, commonly found within the cranberry production system, with native and migratory pollinators is not known. Recent concerns with the longevity and health of honey bees hives has initiated discussions on how to maximize pollination success on an annual basis. Over 80 species of weeds have been identified as minor, moderate or serious pests of cranberry. Do weed species compete with cranberry with respect to pollinators? Do certain weeds exert more influence on pollinator behavior than others? What is the synchrony of the bloom of dominant weed species with cranberry? Does the presence of weed flowers encourage extended foraging by pollinators? We will conduct a literature search as the basis for designing studies to answer the posed questions and others.

Progress 10/01/04 to 10/01/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Cranberry growers must make choices regarding planting density, nutrient management, and pest management when establishing a new planting. The actual cost of a complete renovation project, depending on access to local materials, equipment, and labor, can range from $10,000 to $25,000 per acre. Growers want to save money by propagating their own vines material. What is the best combination of fertilizer and pruning intensity in terms of biomass production and economics To address this question, plots were established, as part of a multi-year project, on two commercial properties. Four nitrogen treatments (0, 50, 100, and 150 lb/A) and four pruning intensities (none, low, medium, and high) were applied in all combinations at both sites (cultivar Stevens) for 4 years. In addition, another study using four nitrogen treatments (0, 50, 100, and 150 lb/A) and either severe pruning or mowing were applied in all combinations at one site (also cultivar Stevens). Results from these studies were disseminated at the annual UMass Cranberry Station Research Update meeting, incorporated as needed into the annually revised Cranberry Chart Book-Management Guide for Massachusetts, published in UMass Cranberry Station newsletters, included in the IPM Pest Message alert (telephone and web), incorporated and published in relevant Best Management Practices (revised August 2010), and included in the revised publication, Cranberry Production: A Guide for Massachusetts (CP-08). UMass Extension newsletters with relevant articles were distributed to a mailing list of more than 350 persons from across North America. Many of the publication and fact sheets are available in print and on the UMass Cranberry Station's web site. Several peer-reviewed publications were written and disseminated to the scientific community. Abstracts were written, published and presented at professional scientific venues. Information garnered from this project was incorporated into a revision of the Massachusetts Pesticide Certification exam. In addition, a fact sheet helping homeowners propagate vines was also written and posted on the Cranberry Station web site. PARTICIPANTS: Hilary Sandler, UMass Cranberry Station Carolyn DeMoranville, UMass Cranberry Station Krystal Demoranville, UMass Cranberry Station Nancy DePaulo, UMass Cranberry Station TARGET AUDIENCES: Massachusetts cranberry growers Cranberry growers in other growing regions PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
One study compared sanding applied at four depths: control (0 cm), light (1.5 cm), moderate (3.0 cm), or heavy (4.5 cm); pruning was conducted at four severities: control (not pruned), light, moderate, and heavy. Pruning levels had no effect on upright density, but the heavy sanding treatment decreased the number of uprights per unit area. Number of reproductive uprights relative to total uprights decreased in the first year as severity increased for both practices. Cumulative yield and net returns were higher in light severity plots compared to those in the moderate and heavy treatments. Moderate and heavy sanding treatments were associated with lower yields and net returns than those for the untreated controls. In another study, four nitrogen (N) rates (0, 50, 100, and 150 lb per A) and four spring pruning severities (none, low, medium, and high) were applied annually in all combinations at two commercial farms for four consecutive years. Economic analysis indicated that nitrogen rate determined net income revenues; pruning severity did not significantly change net income. N rates of 100 and 150 lb per A led to declines in fruit yield and ultimately, in net income. From data generated in this study, a grower could generate 0.5 ton per A vine cuttings, apply 50 lb per A N and still earn a positive net income on a per annum basis. N rate is the main factor that will influence net income potential for growers who are using nursery beds for vine propagation within their farm business. When deciding on horticultural management options for vine propagation, growers should seriously consider the impact of their fertilizer program on fruit yield. In a third study, vines received varied N rates and were subjected to low or high weed pressure. With few exceptions, leaf tissue levels of N, phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), and boron (B) were sufficient during the 6-year period. Ca and B concentrations in cranberry vines treated with low, medium or high rates of N, were higher in areas with high weed pressure compared to vines in areas of low weed pressure. Levels of Zn and Mn were higher and K was lower in tissue collected from high weed areas in 4 out of 6 years. Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, B, and Fe levels were negatively correlated with increasing N rate Each year at the UMass Cranberry Station Research and Update meeting, as many as 275 cranberry growers heard about the direct-farm application of new practices generated from the research proposed and achieved in this Hatch Project. More than 75 growers implemented at least one of the practical results demonstrated from the research. More than 2000 acres were in receipt of at least one of these new practices. More than 12 growers contacted the PI to inquire about more information to relate this research to their own operations. One grower requested a copy of the preliminary reports to make immediate management decisions.

Publications

  • Sandler, H.A and C.J. DeMoranville. 2009. Economic analysis of nitrogen rate on vine production and fruit yield of pruned cranberry beds. HortTechnology 19(3):572-579.
  • Suhayda, B., C.J. DeMoranville, H.A. Sandler, W.R. Autio, and J.E. Vanden Heuvel. 2009. Sanding and pruning differentially impact canopy characteristics, yield, and economic returns in cranberry. HortTechnology 19:796-802.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2010. Editor. Cranberry Best Management Practices (BMPs) guide-Revision 2010. http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cranberrybmp2010/.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2010. Weed priorities March 2010. http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cranberry_research_repts/2.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2010. Weeds. pp. 21-41 in: M. Sylvia and N. Guerin, eds. Cranberry 2010 Chart Book: Management guide for Massachusetts. UMass Extension Publ.
  • Sandler, H.A. and C.J. DeMoranville, 2008. Editors. Executive Summary for Cranberry Production: A Guide for Massachusetts. UMass Extension Publ. 34 pp.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2008. Integrating conventional and alternative practices into weed management for cranberries. Ninth International Vaccinium Symposium. July 14-16, Corvallis, OR.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2007. Weeds. pp. 21-36 in: M. Sylvia and N. Guerin, eds. Cranberry 2007 Chart Book: Management guide for Massachusetts. UMass Extension Publ.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2006. Using multivariate analysis to describe vegetation patterns in various cranberry-dominated communities. Proceedings of the Northeastern Weed Science Society 60:48.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2006. Weeds. pp. 18-32 in: M. Sylvia and D. Cannon, eds. Cranberry 2006 Chart Book: Management guide for Massachusetts. UMass Extension Publ.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2010. Homeowners guide to cranberry vine propagation. http://www.umass.edu/cranberry/downloads/Homeowner's%20fact%20sheet%2 02010.pdf.
  • Sandler, H.A., M.M. Sylvia, A.L. Averill, C.J. DeMoranville, and F.L. Caruso. 2009. Massachusetts pesticide certification manual: Private applicator specialty-Cranberries, category No. 30. 49 pp.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2005. Weeds. pp. 18-32 in: M. Sylvia and D. Cannon, eds. Cranberry 2005 Chart Book: Management guide for Massachusetts. UMass Extension Publ.


Progress 10/01/08 to 09/30/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Weed management is critical to establishing a cranberry-dominated community on the production surface. Excessive, spot-treatment fertilizer application will likely promote growth of weeds rather than cranberry vines. Sufficient nitrogen, however, is needed to ensure adequate growth of the runners and uprights into the disturbed area; good weed management is paramount. When open spaces do occur in the vine canopy, determination of whether cranberry vines or weeds are first established in the re-colonization process is greatly affected by what vegetation was present before the disturbance occurred. Results were conveyed to 237 attendees at the UMass Cranberry Extension meeting in January 2009. Weed management information was incorporated into recommendations in Extension publications (distributed to 350 people), downloaded by 6 inidviduals on UMass Scholarworks (weed section only) and accessed nearly 1500 times (Chart Book) on the UMass Cranberry Station web site. Newsletters with fertilizer, weed management and new planting information were distributed to 342 individuals seven times during the reporting period. PARTICIPANTS: Hilary Sandler, UMass Cranberry Station Carolyn DeMoranville, UMass Cranberry Station Krystal Demoranville, UMass Cranberry Station Nancy DePaulo, UMass Cranberry Station TARGET AUDIENCES: Massachusetts cranberry growers Cranberry growers in other growing regions UMass Extension newsletters with relevant articles are distributed to a mailing list of more than 350 persons from across North America. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
Various nitrogen rates (0, 28, 56 and 112 kg/ha), vine density (0, 1.8, 3.6, and 5.4 t/ha of the cultivar Stevens), and weed management (preemergence herbicide, postemergence control, inoculation with weed seeds, and untreated) were evaluated as to their impact on the re-colonization of open spaces caused by localized biomass removal in a newly planted commercial cranberry bed. All cranberry and weed biomass was removed from a randomly selected 930 cm2 area in each plot in Year 1. To quantify re-colonization of the disturbed area, the same quadrat was re-sampled and all plant biomass was collected in Year 2. Cranberry biomass in the year after disturbance was positively correlated with cranberry biomass present in the previous year. Weed stem biomass in the year after disturbance was positively correlated with weed stem biomass from Year 1 and negatively correlated with percentage cranberry biomass from Year 1 and Year 2. Less than one-third of the treatment combinations recovered enough to produce at least 200 g/m2 one year post-disturbance (a reasonable expectation of biomass production). Growers who have low weed pressure and extensive cranberry cover on their farms can expect that disturbed areas will be recolonized by cranberry vines when they utilize adequate, but not excessive, nitrogen regimes. More than 235 growers heard a presentation of this research at an Extension meeting in January 2009. At least 40 growers will incorporate the information into their farm operations in 2009-2010. This should represent at least 1,500 acres in 2009-2010.

Publications

  • Sandler, H.A. 2009. Nitrogen rate, vine density, and weed management affect colonization of cranberry beds following disturbance-Preliminary observations. Weed Technology 23(2):324-328.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2009. Weeds. pp. 21-38 in: M. Sylvia and N. Guerin, eds. Cranberry 2009 Chart Book: Management guide for Massachusetts. UMass Extension Publ.
  • Sandler, H.A. and C.J. DeMoranville, 2008. Editors. Cranberry Production: A Guide for Massachusetts. UMass Extension Publ. CP-08. 198 pp.


Progress 10/01/07 to 09/30/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Cranberry growers must make choices regarding planting density, nutrient management, and pest management when establishing a new planting. The actual cost of a complete renovation project, depending on access to local materials, equipment, and labor, can range from $10,000 to $25,000 per acre. Growers want to save money by propagating their own vine material. What is the best combination of fertilizer and pruning intensity in terms of biomass production and economics To address this question, plots were established, as part of a multi-year project, on two commercial properties. Four nitrogen treatments (0, 50, 100, and 150 lb/A) and four pruning severities (none, low, medium, and high) were applied in all combinations at both sites (cultivar Stevens) for 4 years. More than 250 growers heard a presentation of this research at an Extension meeting in January 2008. At least 20 growers will incorporate the information into their farm operations in 2008-2009. This should represent at least 500 acres for this time period. PARTICIPANTS: Hilary Sandler, UMass Cranberry Station Carolyn DeMoranville, UMass Cranberry Station Katherine Ghantous, UMass Cranberry Station Nancy DePaulo, UMass Cranberry Station TARGET AUDIENCES: Massachusetts cranberry growers Cranberry growers in other growing regions UMass Extension newsletters with relevant articles are distributed to a mailing list of more than 350 persons from across North America. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Four nitrogen rates (0, 50, 100, and 150 lb per A) and four spring pruning severities (none, low, medium, and high) were applied annually in all combinations at two commercial cranberry farms (cv. Stevens) in Southeastern Massachusetts for four consecutive years. Vine clippings were collected and weighed each spring after pruning. Across nitrogen treatments at both locations, mean vine biomass (4-yr average) collected from the low, medium, and high severity pruning treatments was 0.17, 0.35, and 0.54 ton per A, respectively. Economic analysis of the data indicated that nitrogen rate determined net income revenues; pruning severity did not significantly change net income. Nitrogen rates of 100 and 150 lb per A led to declines in fruit yield and ultimately, in net income. Currently, cranberry growers plant at a rate of 1 to 2 ton per A, depending on variety, weed management choices, fertilizer rate, and available plant material. Depending on pruning severity, two to eight acres would be needed to provide enough cuttings to plant one acre of new bog. From data generated in this study, a grower could generate 0.5 ton per A vine cuttings, apply 50 lb per A nitrogen and still earn a positive net income on a per annum basis. Nitrogen rate is the main factor that will influence net income potential for growers who are using nursery beds for vine propagation within their farm business. The decision to prune vines on one's own farm for planting within the farm system is certainly an individual management choice and cannot be solely driven by economics. When deciding on horticultural management options for vine propagation, growers should seriously consider the impact of their fertilizer program on fruit yield.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 10/01/06 to 09/30/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Cranberry growers must make choices regarding planting density, nutrient management, and pest management when establishing a new planting. The actual cost of a complete renovation project, depending on access to local materials, equipment, and labor, can range from $10,000 to $25,000 per acre. Growers want to save money by propagating their own vines material. What is the best combination of fertilizer and pruning intensity in terms of biomass production and economics? To address this question, plots were established, as part of a multi-year project, on two commercial properties. Four nitrogen treatments (0, 50, 100, and 150 lb/A) and four pruning intensities (none, low, medium, and high) were applied in all combinations at both sites (cultivar Stevens) for 3 years (and will be continued for a fourth year). More than 200 growers heard a presentation of this research at an Extension meeting in January 2007 (included a make-up session in March). At least 20 growers will incorporate the information into their farm operations in 2007-2008. This should represent at least 500 acres in 2007-2008. This information is presented at small grower workshops as appropriate. PARTICIPANTS: Hilary Sandler was the primary investigator for this portion of the report. Several technicians provided support labor including K. Demoranville and K. Ghantous. TARGET AUDIENCES: Cranberry growers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but this information could be transferred to every growing region in the country and Canada.

Impacts
Vine clippings were collected after the spring pruning operations were completed. Mean vine biomass (3-yr average) from the low intensity pruning was 0.31 t/ha (0.14 ton/A) of plant material, the medium pruning produced 0.69 t/ha (0.31 ton/A), and the high intensity pruning produced 1.16 t/ha (0.51 ton/A). The values seemed to be within the appropriate range of biomass that is produced from typical pruning operations. Vine samples and yield data were collected in late summer-early fall. In Year 2, incremental increases of 50 lb/A N (above 50 lb/A per year) gave ~15% increase in spring biomass production. In Year 3, each incremental increase gave ~45% more biomass. Marketable yield declined markedly in Year 3 with increasing N rate (especially above 50 lb/A) and was unaffected by pruning intensity. Mean income over the 3-year period indicated that the highest net incomes were with the high pruning/0 N combination and low pruning/low N combinations (~$5,000 per acre); net income exceeding the estimate for fruit production alone (~$4,600/A). These data will help growers make better economic decisions when planting renovated farms.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 10/01/05 to 09/30/06

Outputs
Cranberry growers must make choices regarding planting density, nutrient management, and pest management when establishing a new planting. The actual cost of a complete renovation project, depending on access to local materials, equipment, and labor, can range from $24,710 to $61,774 per ha ($10,000 to $25,000 per acre). What is the most economical combination of nitrogen rate, vine density, and weed management that provides satisfactory ground coverage? Are postemergence weed options worth the extra labor costs, especially for growers who opt for organic production? The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost effectiveness of various vine densities, nitrogen rate, and weed management schemes for cranberry bed establishment. A 2-year field trial examined the interaction of nitrogen rate, vine density, and weed management options for establishing new cranberry plantings. Utilizing the vigorous hybrid, Stevens, the cost-efficiency of the treatment combinations was evaluated by combining cranberry and weed biomass data with various economic estimates. The most cost-effective production scheme for establishing new cranberry beds is to plant vines at a low density, use moderate rates of nitrogen, and apply an annual application of a preemergence herbicide. This combination produced substantial vine coverage at very low cost, reduced weed biomass by 85% compared to untreated plots, and gave the best weed control per dollar spent. Growers may opt for other reasonably successful combinations that involve higher labor costs if they can produce their own cuttings (reducing initial costs) or if they are farming with the intent to reduce overall synthetic inputs. The work reported above covered the timeframe prior to 2003. The field experiment used to generate the first two years' data was continued into 2006. Sixty-four different fertilizer, nitrogen, and weed management options treatments were applied in Years 3 and 4 (2003-04). Normal farm practices (uniform fertilizer and weed control) were applied to all plots in 2005-2006. The field portion of this study is now complete. Yield data were collected in all years. These data will be analyzed to augment and complete the economic assessment and impact of the initial years' nitrogen, vine density, and weed management choices.

Impacts
More than 250 growers heard a presentation of this research at an Extension meeting in January 2006. At least 20 growers will incorporate the information into their farm operations in 2006-2007. This should represent at least 500 acres in 2006-2007. Ten growers have inquired for more information to relate this research to their own operations. One grower has requested a copy of preliminary reports to make immediate management decisions.

Publications

  • Sandler, H.A., C.J. DeMoranville, and W.R. Autio. 2004. Economic comparison of initial vine density, nitrogen rate, and weed management strategy in commercial cranberry. HortTechnology 14(2): 267-274.
  • Sandler, H.A. 2004. Factors influencing colonization and establishment of plant species on cranberry bogs. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 271 pp.
  • Sandler, H.A., C.J. DeMoranville, and W.R. Autio. 2003 (abstract). Economic evaluation of various establishment programs for new cranberry plantings. North American Cranberry Researchers and Extension Workers Proceedings, East Wareham, MA.


Progress 10/01/04 to 09/30/05

Outputs
The choice to dedicate portions of active cranberry property to vine propagation can be motivated by several reasons. First, vines can be costly to purchase and if growers want to renovate, they may opt to propagate their own cuttings for use on their own property. Growers need to know the most cost-effective method to achieve this goal. Secondly, over the past few years, some growers have cut back on management of a portion of their properties to remain economically solvent. Some beds may not be profitable for fruit production, but may be able to generate monies by promoting vegetative propagation. In these instances, growers may find the commercial re-sale of vines to others more profitable than producing fruit. Thirdly, it is anticipated that new varieties will become available to the industry. These varieties should contain desirable characteristics such as high yield, improved color, and/or enhanced health-related components. Some may opt to plant these new varieties to provide vines to the industry and will want to maximize vine propagations. In addition, other growers who wish to renovate for fruit production with these new varieties will want to minimize time from planting to production as much as possible. The objectives related to managing a bed for vine propagation differ from objective related to maximizing fruit production. This study would determine the best combination of nutritional regime and pruning option that would maximize propagation of vines for new planting establishment. A Best Management Practice guide will be published to provide a resource for growers who were interested in managing beds in this fashion. Four nitrogen treatments (0, 50, 100, and 150 lb/A) and four pruning intensities (none, low, medium, and high) were applied in all combinations at two sites (cultivar Stevens). Mean vine biomass collected from the low intensity pruning was 0.25 t/ha (0.12 ton/A) of plant material, the medium pruning produced 0.58 t/ha (0.26 ton/A), and the high intensity pruning produced 1.15 t/ha (0.51 ton/A). The values seemed to be within the appropriate range of biomass that is produced from typical pruning operations. Research Highlights (First 2 years): Each increment of 50 lbN/A (above 50 lb/A) gave 14% additional vine biomass in spring prunings. Number, biomass, and % flowering uprights decreased with increasing N rate (especially above 50 lb/A) and were unaffected by pruning intensity. Runner biomass increased with increasing N rate and were unaffected by pruning intensity. Marketable yield declined with increasing N rate (especially above 50 lb/A) and was basically unaffected by pruning intensity. Preliminary economic analysis (mean of only 2 years data) indicated that low-N rate pruning combinations had the highest economic returns (sum of returns from fruit yields plus savings from producing vines for on-farm use). High-N rates consistently had the lowest income, irrespective of pruning intensity.

Impacts
2 growers have been impacted directly with this research since the studies are conducted on their farms. At least 200 growers will hear the progress of this research at an Extension meeting in Janaury 2006. At least 20 growers will incorporte the information into their farm operations in 2006. This should represent at least 500 acres in 2006.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 10/01/03 to 09/30/04

Outputs
New Project

Impacts
No Impact yet.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period