Optimising plant density in long cane cultivation of red raspberries

L. Linnemannstöns, S. Schrey
Planting material for cultivation of red raspberries (Rubus idaeus L.) with cooled canes is expensive. Therefore, it is important to determine how different planting densities impact yield and which planting density is optimal. A trial with 6, 5 and 4 canes m‑1 with ‘Lagorai Plus’ was conducted over 2 years. In 2019, reducing the number from 6 to 4 canes resulted in the single cane yield of class 1 to significantly increased by 34% from 1.47 to 1.97 kg cane‑1, while the yield per unit area decreased by 11%. Single fruit weight was improved by 5% with the lower number of canes. In 2020, single cane yield significantly improved by 28% at 4 canes m‑1 and by 15% at 5 canes m‑1 compared to 6 canes m‑1. Area yields were respectively reduced by 15 and by 4%. The reason for the increased cane yield is the additional fruiting on better exposed laterals at lower planting density. In 2019, by reducing the planting density from 6 to 4 canes m‑1, the number of laterals m‑1 was reduced from 130.8 to 76.8. At the same time, the number of fruits lateral‑1 was increased by 44% from 11.9 to 17.1 fruits due to better light exposure. In a complementary trial, a planting density of 6 canes m‑1 with variation in lateral numbers was evaluated. Compared to the control with 130.8 laterals m‑1 and a yield of 8.83 kg m‑1, the variant with 72 laterals had a similar yield of 8.62 kg m‑1 and a fruit weight that was 10% higher. Economic evaluation showed higher contribution margins with reduced planting density, leading to the recommendation of managing only 4 to 5 canes m‑1 with ≈70 laterals instead of 6 canes m‑1.
Linnemannstöns, L. and Schrey, S. (2024). Optimising plant density in long cane cultivation of red raspberries. Acta Hortic. 1388, 145-150
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2024.1388.22
Rubus idaeus, cultivation methods, number of laterals, production costs, production efficiency

Acta Horticulturae