Strawberry Production Guide for the Northeast, Midwest, and Eastern Canada

Publication Number: NRAES-88
Cost: $45.00
Length: 162 pages
ISBN: ISBN 0-935817-23-9

This is the most comprehensive production guide ever produced for strawberry growers and their advisors. It provides in-depth, up-to-date coverage of every aspect of strawberry culture-from site preparation to harvesting and marketing. The guide focuses on production practices popular in northeastern North America, but it contains pertinent information for anyone involved in growing berries. Topics covered in the guide's 14 chapters include: the history and biology of the cultivated strawberry; site selection and preparation; plant selection; production systems; temperature regulation; water management; nutrient management; insect, mite, mollusc, and vertebrate scouting and management; disease management and physiological disorders; weed management; spray application technology; harvesting, handling, and transporting fresh fruit; marketing; and budgeting. Supplementing the text are 37 figures, 47 tables, and 115 full-color photographs. Many of the color photos will help readers identify pests and diagnose diseases and disorders. The book also features a key to common strawberry pests and problems, a glossary, and a table of useful conversion factors. Budget spreadsheets used in the budgeting chapter are provided on a diskette included with the book at no extra cost. Users can adjust values in the spreadsheets to reflect their actual costs; the program will automatically calculate the effect on total costs and profits. Microsoft Excel, version 4.0 or higher, or a compatible program is required to access the spreadsheets. The Strawberry Production Guide was written by 16 experts representing eight universities. (1998)

If you are a strawberry grower or an advisor to growers, you won't want to miss the Strawberry Production Guide for the Northeast, Midwest, and Eastern Canada, NRAES-88, a publication from the Natural Resouce, Agriculture, and Engineering Service (NRAES). It is the most comprehensive production guide ever produced for strawberry growers. The guide focuses on production practices popular in northeastern North America, but it contains pertinent information for anyone involved in growing berries.

The Strawberry Production Guide is 162 pages long and contains 14 chapters, 37 figures, 47 tables, and 115 full-color photographs. It provides up-to-date, in-depth coverage of every aspect of strawberry culture -- from preparing the production site to harvesting and marketing. It is sure to be a valuable resource for both experienced and novice growers. The guide comes in a three-ring binder.

Chapter 1 traces the history of the modern cultivated strawberry and provides a detailed discussion of the structure and development of the plant and the development of flower clusters and fruit. Chapters 2 through 4 focus on the basics of production: site selection and preparation, plant selection, and production systems. Site preparation procedures such as eradicating weeds and checking soil nutrient levels are covered, and seventeen preplant cover crops are described in detail. The plant selection chapter points out factors to consider when selecting from the smorgasbord of available varieties; 34 popular varieties are rated for important characteristics such as flavor, yield, berry size, and disease resistance. Production systems discussed include matted rows, ribbon rows, waiting beds, annual plasticulture, dayneutral production, and protected cultivation. Organic production is reviewed as well.

Chapters 5 through 7 cover the management of temperature, water, and nutrients. Several strategies for temperature regulation are presented. Two types of irrigation systems, trickle and overhead, are compared, and several methods for determining when and how long to irrigate are discussed. The nutrient management chapter covers the basics and goes into detail about specific soil amendments and nutrients.

The management of troublesome pests, diseases, physiological disorders, and weeds is reviewed in chapters 8 through 10. Many of the color photographs in the book will help readers identify pests and symptoms of diseases and disorders. Several strategies are offered for weed control before and after planting, either with or without chemicals.

Spray equipment for applying crop protectants and nutrients is reviewed in chapter 11. Several types of sprayer nozzles are discussed at length. Methods for calibrating powered and hand-held sprayers are also covered. Chapters 12 and 13 give tips for harvesting, handling, transporting, and marketing fresh fruit. Marketing value-added products such as jelly and wine and setting a fair price for berries are topics discussed in the marketing chapter.

The final chapter, budgeting, guides readers through sample budgets that reflect typical costs as well as costs that many growers overlook. The budget spreadsheets used in the chapter are provided on a floppy disk included with the book at no extra cost. Growers can adjust the values in the spreadsheets to reflect their actual costs, and the program will automatically calculate the resulting effect on total costs and profits. Microsoft Excel, version 4.0 or higher, or a compatible spreadsheet program is required to access the spreadsheets.

The book also features a key to common strawberry pests and problems, a glossary, a table of conversion factors, and information about membership in the North American Strawberry Growers Association.

The guide was written by sixteen experts representing eight universities. It was edited by Marvin Pritts, a horticulturist with the Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science at Cornell University, and David Handley, an extension horticulturist with the University of Maine at Highmoor Farm.


Acknowledgments

About the Authors

Dedication

List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Photographs

Introduction

About This Guide
Getting Started



Chapter 1 The History and Biology of the Cultivated Strawberry

A Brief History
Growth and Development of the Strawberry Plant
Flower Cluster and Fruit Development
Further Reading



Chapter 2 Site Selection and Preparation

Site Selection
Site Preparation
Further Reading



Chapter 3 Plant Selection

Strawberry Variety Descriptions



Chapter 4 Production Systems

The Matted Row System
The Ribbon Row System
Waiting Beds
Annual Plasticulture
Dayneutral Strawberries
Plastic Tunnels and Greenhouses



Chapter 5 Temperature Regulation: Mulches, Row Covers, Frost Protection, and Evaporative Cooling

Winter Temperatures and Cold Injury
Early Spring Temperatures and Row Covers
Spring Frost Protection
Hot Summer Temperatures and Evaporative Cooling



Chapter 6 Water Management

The Need for Irrigation
Irrigation Systems for Frost Protection, Evaporative Cooling, and Chemical Injection
Irrigation Systems for Water Application
Planning an Irrigation System
Water Supply Considerations
Scheduling Irrigation
Irrigation System Components
Equipment Use and Maintenance
Further Reading



Chapter 7 Soil and Nutrient Management

Soil Components
Some Basics
Diagnosing Nutrient Problems
Soil Amendments
Individual Nutrients
Fertilizer Sources



Chapter 8 Insect, Mite, Mollusc, and Vertebrate Scouting and Management

Bees
Fruit Damage
Leaf Damage
Root Damage
Further Reading



Chapter 9 Disease Management and Physiological Disorders

Fruit Damage
Leaf Damage
Root Damage
Winter Injury
Further Reading



Chapter 10 Weed Management

Integrated Weed Control
Reducing Weeds Prior to Planting
Herbicides
Weed Control without Herbicides: Use of an Alternative Planting System
Using Cover Crops in Established Plantings
Geese for Weeding
Summary
Further Reading



Chapter 11 Spray Application Technology

Some Terminology
Power Spraying Equipment
Equipment Components
Sprayer Calibration
Sprayer Operation
Spraying Equipment for Small Plantings
Hand Sprayer Calibration
Hand Sprayer Operation
Sprayer Maintenance



Chapter 12 Harvesting, Handling, and Transporting Fresh Fruit

Preharvest Considerations
Harvest Management
Postharvest Considerations
Cooling Methods
Transporting Berries to Market
Further Reading



Chapter 13 Marketing Strawberries

Pricing
Marketing Options
Advertising Basics
Forms of Advertising
Dealing with the Media
Timing and Quantity of Advertising



Chapter 14 Budgeting

Strawberry Profit Spreadsheet Template
"What If?" Scenarios



Appendix A Key to Common Strawberry Pests and Problems

Appendix B Approximate Strawberry Ripening Seasons in the United States

Photographs

Glossary

Table of Conversions

Suggested Readings

An Invitation to Join: The North American Strawberry Growers Association

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