AUTOMATED IRRIGATION FOR STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION

B.L. Goulart, P.H. Heinemann, T. Stombaugh, K. Demchak, C.T. Morrow
Irrigation is used for many purposes in strawberry production. Aside from alleviating water stress, water is applied for frost protection during bloom and for evaporative cooling to alleviate heat stress during the bearing season. Currently, the determination of when to apply water is largely dependent on the perceptions and convenience of the individual grower. While research has been conducted in automating irrigation for frost protection of apple, peach and citrus (Duffy, 1984; Heinemann and Morrow, 1986; Perry, et al., 1980; Phillips, 1982), little work has been done on strawberry, and still less on the use of such a system for evaporative cooling. Goulart and Gardner (1987) found that an automated system was feasible for both control of and monitoring temperature in strawberries, and found that berry size was increased when plants were sprinkled, as compared to simple application of water to the soil surface.

The objective of this experiment was to develop and evaluate an automated multi-purpose irrigation system for strawberry production. In spring of 1989, a 0.61 ha plot of alternating rows of ‘Lateglow’ and ‘Earliglow’ strawberries was planted in a Hagerstown silt loam soil at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, Pennsylvania. Plants were maintained according to standard recommendations (Goulart, et al., 1989). An irrigation system was installed which utilized all polyvinyl chloride (PVC) components, and was equipped with an injector. A thorough description of the system and experimental design can be found in Heinemann, et al., 1989 and Stombaugh, et al., 1992.

Goulart, B.L., Heinemann, P.H., Stombaugh, T., Demchak, K. and Morrow, C.T. (1993). AUTOMATED IRRIGATION FOR STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 348, 196-206
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.348.31
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.348.31

Acta Horticulturae