Horticultural and economic considerations in the sustainability of cold-climate strawberry production systems
Three cold-climate strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) production systems, conventional matted row (CMR), advanced matted row (AMR), and cold-climate plasticulture (CCP), were compared for horticultural and economic aspects of sustainability over a 3-year planting cycle. The systems were tested using a single cultivar, Allstar, to avoid treatment × cultivar interaction. System-specific management operations and materials affected the total production costs of each system. Both CMR and AMR had higher management costs than CCP as a result of labor costs for weed control, but CCP had much higher cost of materials. Overall expenses were lowest for CMR and highest for AMR. Yields in the first fruiting year were highest for CMR at 17.4 Mg·ha−1 followed by AMR and CCP at 13.2 Mg·ha−1 and 11.8 Mg·ha−1, respectively. In the 2004 harvest season, CMR and AMR were the highest yielding at 10.0 Mg·ha−1 and 9.0 Mg·ha−1, respectively, with CCP the lowest yielding at 6.0 Mg·ha−1. Low yield and fruit size in the second year and high material costs for establishment limit the economic viability for CCP when managed as a perennial system.
Stevens*, M.D., B.L. Black, J.D. Lea-Cox, D. Feuz. 2011. Horticultural and economic considerations in the sustainability of cold-climate strawberry production systems. HortScience 46(3): 445-451.