Strawberry cultivar performance in high tunnels under sustainable and organic production practices in three climatic regions of Arkansas
Several research projects were conducted to determine cultivar performance for off-season strawberry production utilizing high tunnel (HT) technologies at three different locations in Arkansas, USA. During the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, utilizing sustainable practices, cultivar trials were established at Fayetteville (Hardiness zone 6b) and Hope (Hardiness zone 8a). In 2013, a project was established to test cultivar performance under organic production practices at Clarksville (Hardiness zone 7a). At Fayetteville cultivars 'Albion', 'Elyana', 'Radiance', and 'St. Festival' were tested. At Hope, cultivars 'Albion', 'Elyana', 'Camino Real', 'Radiance', and 'St. Festival' were tested. In Clarksville, cultivars 'Camarosa', 'Chandler', 'St. Festival', and 'San Andreas' were tested. Under sustainable practices at Fayetteville, 'Albion' had higher yields than 'St. Festival' during the 2010-11 season, but when compared to other cultivars in 2011-12, it had lowest yield compared to the other cultivars. In Hope, 'Albion' had lower yields than all cultivars except 'Elyana', though the difference was only significant with 'Radiance'. 'Radiance' had significantly higher yields than all other cultivars. Although 'Radiance' had the highest yields in Hope, and 'Albion' is a great flavor cultivar, they both had pest problems. Under organic management, there were no significant differences among cultivars tested except for berry weight. Although 'St. Festival' did not have the highest yields at any location, it was rated the best performer due to its lower pest susceptibility, consistent production, and berry quality. Regardless of system utilized, botrytis fruit mold and powdery mildew were the main disease problems. Two-spotted red mite was the major arthropod problem, preferring 'Albion'.
Garcia, M.E., Ernst, T., Johnson, D.T. and Dickey, D.A. (2017). Strawberry cultivar performance in high tunnels under sustainable and organic production practices in three climatic regions of Arkansas. Acta Hortic. 1156, 549-554
strawberries, cultivars, high tunnels, sustainable, organic