Source: MICHIGAN STATE UNIV submitted to
ENHANCING PROFITABILITY OF BERRY PRODUCTION IN MICHIGAN
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
REVISED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0175668
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
MICL01839
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
May 1, 2012
Project End Date
Apr 30, 2017
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Hanson, E.
Recipient Organization
MICHIGAN STATE UNIV
(N/A)
EAST LANSING,MI 48824
Performing Department
Horticulture
Non Technical Summary
Berry crops (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries) are nutritious, high value products that can add income and diversity to farms, and spread labor requirements over longer periods of time. This project seeks to improve the efficiency of berry crop production so that these crops can be grown profitably by more farmers. We will conduct studies of various production practices on farms and university property. As an outcome, growers will be able to identify crop enterprises that are most likely to add income to their businesses, and learn efficient production practice for those crops.
Animal Health Component
80%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
80%
Developmental
20%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
20411291060100%
Goals / Objectives
A. Develop production methods to increase net returns to Michigan berry producers. 1. Investigate methods of increasing the efficiency of berry production in Michigan. 2. Investigate the effects of high tunnels on production of brambles and strawberries. B. Investigate the potential for organic production berry crops in Michigan. 1. Develop production recommendations for organic raspberry production under high tunnels. 2. Develop organic nutrient and weed management practices for Michigan blueberries.
Project Methods
This work will be conducted in the laboratory, on grower fields and at MSU research stations, depending on the needs of the specific study. A. Develop production methods to increase net returns to Michigan berry producers. Inhibition of fruiting on young blueberry plants. One impediment to establishing blueberry plants quickly is the cost of manually removing fruit or flowers during the first two seasons (hastens establishment of plants). We will conduct field studies to determine if gibberellic acid (GA) sprays can effectively inhibit flower initiation on young blueberry plants Herbicide efficacy. We will conduct field trails to determine the efficacy of new herbicides for control of troublesome blueberry weed species, concentrating on species that produce berries that can potentially contaminated mechanically harvested blueberries. Investigate the effects of high tunnels on production of brambles and day neutral strawberries. Studies will be conducted to identify heat tolerant day neutral strawberries and test whether plastic mulch colors and shade cloth can mitigate high summer temperatures. Additional studies will be conducted to identify suitable primocane fruiting raspberry types for production in high tunnels, evaluate the efficacy of primocane suppression with postemergent herbicides, and to test whether potted planting systems can provide early production under tunnels. B. Investigate the potential for organic production berry crops in Michigan. A certified organic primocane fruiting raspberry trial will be used to test the feasibility of organic production under high tunnels. Goals are to develop organic fertility approaches and investigate management approaches for potato leaf hopper and spotted wing drosophila, the two most troublesome pests at this site. Organic nutrient and weed management strategies will be studied in blueberries. Nutrient treatments being tested include compost, organic fertilizer, and conventional fertilizer. Weed management strategies include 10 surface mulch treatments.

Progress 10/01/13 to 09/30/14

Outputs
Target Audience: Commercial berry producers and potential producers in Michigan and elsewhere. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? A tour and educational meeting was held for prospective and current tunnel berry growers in Michigan during 2013. a written report were provided to the Michigan State Horticulture Society. Results were shared with growers during 3 Extension outreach meetings. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Studies on high tunnel culture of berries will continue. Specifically, we will repeat comparisons of double cropping systems for primocane fruiting raspberries, and assess the effects of different high tunnel plastics on light quality and plant performance in tunnels.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? The purpose of this project is to improve the profitability of berry production in Michigan by testing new growing techniques that may increase revenues or reduce production costs. One general approach is the use of high tunnels. High tunnels alter crop environments and can improve raspberry yields and quality, expanded the harvest season, and facilitated organic production options. Currently, we are investigating organic growing methods and containerized red raspberry systems under tunnels. Yields have been lower in the organic trial (6,000 to 12,000 pounds per acre) than conventional high tunnel culture, but high organic prices result in similar net returns. Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) management is the primary impediment to organic culture. In 2014, we began double cropping primocane fruiting cultivars to see if berries produced on the second year floricanes would avoid SWD due to their earlier harvest times. Floricane yields were low (1,500 to 3,000 lb per acre) due to cold injury to the canes, but berries mostly ripened before SWD populations became serious. Raspberries in 3 gallon pots have yielded over 3 lb per plant (equivalent to 20,000 lb per acre), but costs of potted culture are very high. In 2014, we retained floricanes on these plants (double cropping) to describe the harvest periods of several cultivars.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Hanson, E.J., Gluck, B.I. and Schilder, A. 2013. High tunnels for organic raspberry production in the midwestern US. Acta Hort. 1001:73-77.


Progress 01/01/13 to 09/30/13

Outputs
Target Audience: Coommercial fruit growers in Michigan and elsewhere. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? The results have been shared with grower audiences through presentations at several conferences and articles in grower outlets. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Work with potted raspberries will continue by investigating the potential for double cropping primocane-fruiting raspberries in pots.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? The goal of this project is to improve the profitability of berry production in Michigan. The general approach has been to test new growing techniques that may increase revenues or reduce production costs. We have been working for several years on methods for growing berries under multi-bay high tunnels. High tunnel environments improved raspberry yields and quality, expanded the harvest season, and facilitated organic production options. Currently projects include organic and containerized red raspberry production in tunnels. Yields have been lower in the organic trial (6,000 to 10,000 pounds per acre) than conventional high tunnel culture (12,000 to 20,000 lb). Raspberries in 3 gallon pots have yielded over 3 lb per plant, or the equivalent of about 20,000 lb per acre. Costs of potted raspberry culture are higher than culture in the ground, but fruit quality is very high. We have been testing methods of accelerating establishment of young blueberry plants. Since fruiting reduces growth on young plants, we have studied the utility of gibberellic acid (GA)in the summer/fall to inhibit floral initiation. Multiple sprays of GA inhibited initiation by up to 50%. Blueberry shoot growth patterns and floral bud positions were described in order to determine when floral initiation might occur, and why GA applications are only partly effective in inhibiting initiation.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Gluck, Benjamin and E. Hanson. 2013 Effect of drip irrigation and winter precipitation on distribution of soil salts in three season high tunnels. Acta Hort. 987:99-104
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Barnes, T., C. Smigell, J. Strang, D. Wolfe, S. Wright, N. Ward, P. Byers, K. Demchak, M. Ellis, G. Gao, E. Hanson, R. Isaacs, D.Johnson, E Stafne. 2013. Midwest Blueberry Production Guide. University of Kentucky Extension Publication.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Demchak, K. and E. Hanson. 2013. Small fruit production in high tunnels in the U. S. Acta Hort. 987:67-69.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Hanson, E.J., Gluck, B.I. and Schilder, A. 2013. High tunnels for organic raspberry production in the midwestern US. Acta Hort. 1001:73-77.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Lang, G., E. Hanson, J. Biernbaum, D. Brainard, M. Grieshop, R. Isaacs, A. Montri, V. Morrone, A. Schilder, D. Conner, and J. Koan. 2013. Holistic integration of organic strategies and high tunnels for Midwest/Great Lakes fruit production. Acta Hort. 1001:47-55.


Progress 01/01/12 to 12/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The primary goal of this project is to improve the profitability of berry production in Michigan. The general approach has been to test new growing techniques that may increase revenues or reduce production costs. We have been working for several year on methods for growing berries under multi-bay high tunnels. High tunnel environments improved raspberry yields and quality, and expand the harvest season. Primocane fruiting blackberries produced very low yields in tunnels and do not appear economical. Floricane fruiting blackberries were much more productive in tunnels with Chester and Triple Crown producing the equivalent of over 20,000 pounds per acre. Currently projects include organic and containerized red raspberry production in tunnels. Yields have been lower in the organic trial (8,000 to 10,000 pounds per acre) than in the containerized system (8,000 to 20,000 lb), but costs are much higher for the containerized system. We have been testing organic weed and nutrient management strategies in field grown blueberries, and methods of accelerating establishment of young plants. Since fruiting reduces growth on young plants, we have studied the utility of caustic chemicals (hydrogen cyanamide) as a means of removing flowers, and applications of gibberellic acid (GA)in the summer/fall to inhibit floral initiation. Multiple sprays of GA inhibited initiation by up to 70%. Hydrogen cyanamide has not been as effective since flower removal is inconsistent and is sometimes accompanied by damage to vegetative growing points. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: Commercial berry producers PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
This work has provided producers economic data on costs and potential returns from high tunnel raspberry production so that they can make educated decisions about high tunnel investments.

Publications

  • Greishop, M., E. Hanson, A. Schilder, R. Isaacs, D. Mutch, C. Garcia-Salazar, M. Longstroth, and J. Sadowsky. 2012. Status update on organic blueberries in Michigan. Inter. J. Fruit Sci. 12:232 to 245.
  • Sadowski, J., A. Schilder, and E. Hanson. 2012. Root colonization by ericoid mycorrhizae and dark septate endophytes in organic and conventional blueberry fields in Michigan. Inter. J. Fruit Sci. 12:169 to 187.
  • Hanson, E. 2012. Primocane-fruiting blackberry performance in high tunnels in cold regions. Acta Hort. 946:347 to 402.
  • Heidenreich, C., M. Pritts, K. Demchak, E. Hanson, C. Weber and M.J. Kelly. 2012. High tunnel raspberries and blackberries. Dept. of Hort. Pub. No.47 (2012 rev.). On line at: http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/berry.html


Progress 01/01/11 to 12/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The primary goal of this project is to improve the profitability of berry crops grown in Michigan by testing new production techniques that may increase returns to growers or reduce production costs. An on-going effort is to test berry production methods under multi-bay high tunnels. We showed previously that high tunnel environments can improve raspberry yields and quality, and expand the harvest season. Analyses indicate that these benefits can pay for the costs of tunnel purchase and construction in less than three years. Six genotypes of primocane fruiting blackberries were grown for four years in high tunnels. Yields were very low, due apparently to poor fruit set, inconsistent flowering, and crown gall infections. Other studies in progress include evaluations of floricane fruiting blackberries and organic red raspberry production under high tunnels. Several studies are underway to enhance profitability of blueberry production. An ongoing organic blueberry project is testing mulches for weed suppression and compost and organic fertilizer for nutrient sources. Compost has been the most effective nutrient source based on plant nutrient levels. Blueberries in Michigan often require eight years to reach full production. We are testing ways of inhibiting fruit production on young plants because fruiting suppresses growth. Gibberellic acid sprays in the late summer and fall reduced flower bud initiation by up to 50%. Spring applications of hydrogen cyanamide injured flowers as well as vegetative buds, but concentrations high enough to remove most flowers also appear to cause excessive injury to shoots. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audience for this work is farmers who currently grow berries under high tunnels or are considering doing so. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
This work has provided producers economic data on costs and potential returns from high tunnel raspberry production so that they can make educated decisions about high tunnel investments and management.

Publications

  • Hanson, Eric, Mike Von Weihe, Annemiek C. Schilder, Ann M. Chanon and Joseph Scheerens. 2011. High tunnel production of floricane- and primocane-fruiting raspberries. HortTechnology 21:412-418.
  • Hanson, E., R. Isaacs and A Schilder. 2011. Blackberry varieties for tunnel production in northern areas. The Bramble 25(4):14-15.
  • Hanson, E. 2011. Spring herbicide choices for blueberries. Michigan State University Extension News http://news.msue.msu.edu/news/article/) 30 March, 2011
  • Hanson, E. 2011. Time to fertilize blueberries. Michigan State University Extension News http://news.msue.msu.edu/news/article/) 10 May, 2011
  • Hanson, Eric, Mark Longstroth and Bob Tritten. 2011. Time to renovate strawberries. Michigan State University Extension News http://news.msue.msu.edu/news/article/) 12 July, 2011.
  • Hanson, Eric and Mark Longstroth. 2011. Irrigating is necessary in Michigan blueberries. Michigan State University Extension News http://news.msue.msu.edu/news/article/) 26 July, 2011.
  • Hanson, Eric. 2011. Take advantage of fall weed management in blueberries. Michigan State University Extension News http://news.msue.msu.edu/news/article/) 29 Aug., 2011.
  • Hanson, Eric and Bernie Zandstra. 2011. Choosing fall weed management options for strawberries. Michigan State University Extension News (http://news.msue.msu.edu/news/article/) 9 Sep., 2011.


Progress 01/01/10 to 12/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Primocane- and floricane-fruiting blackberry varieties under high tunnels were evaluated for a third and second season, respectively. A new tunnel range was constructed and planted to primocane-fruiting raspberries in East Lansing, in order to test different varieties and nutrient additions for organic production. Changes in soil nitrogen levels were monitored through the season. Nutrient treatments and mulches were compared for a third season in an organic blueberry planting on the MSU campus. Trials were also conducted to test methods of hastening establishment of new blueberry plantings. Tow trials were conducted to see if flowers could be removed from young plants by treating in the spring with hydrogen cyanamide. Gibberellic acid treatments were applied to three blueberry cultivars to test whether floral initiation could be inhibited. Trials were initiated on two commercial blueberry farms to test whether fumigation or compost applications will hasten growth of young plants on replant sites. Results of this project were reported at the North American Blueberry Research and Extension Workers Conference in Kalamazoo, Mich., and at 10 grower conferences. Two field tours were hosted for interested growers. PARTICIPANTS: Co-investigators in these projects include John Biernbaum, Rufus Isaacs, Greg Lang, and Annemiek Schilder from MSU. Students involved in the projects were Sonya Plude and Ben Gluck. Partnering organizations include the Michigan State Horticulture Society, the North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association, and The Ceres Trust. TARGET AUDIENCES: The audience includes researcher in other institutions conducting similar work, and current and potential berry producers, primarily those in the Midwest. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
We learned that currently available primocane-fruiting blackberries have low yield potential under tunnels in Michigan. Floricane-fruiting blackberries were much more production and have more commercial potential. Blueberry plants fertilized with compost grew more and contained high leaf nitrogen concentrations than plants receiving conventional or organic fertilizers. Three Michigan farmers invested in high tunnels for raspberry production in the last three years, based partly on information from this project.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/09 to 12/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The goal of this project is to increase the profitability of berry crops grown in Michigan by researching new production techniques that may increase returns to growers or reduce production costs. An on-going effort is to test berry production methods under high tunnel protective structures. Results to date indicated that high tunnel environments double or triple raspberry yields (compared to field plantings), increase berry size, and reduce berry rot by 70-80 %. Fall-fruiting raspberries have more profit potential under tunnels than summer-bearing types. Similar studies are underway to test the performance of blackberry types (primocane- and floricane-fruiting) in high tunnels. Plants are very vigorous in tunnels. A project was started in 2008 to investigate organic methods of managing weeds and blueberry nutrition. Mulches and organically approved herbicides are being tested for weed management. Compost and organic fertilizer are being compared as nutrient sources. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: Audience includes current and potential berry crop producers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
This work has provided producers economic data on costs and potential returns from high tunnel raspberry production. Similar information is being compiled for tunnel culture of blackberries.

Publications

  • Hanson, E.J. 2009. Response of highbush blueberry to postemergent herbicides. Acta Hort. 810:425-428.
  • VonWeihe, M., E. Hanson, and R. Black. 2009. Raspberries can make money under high tunnels. Fruit Grower News, January p. 29.
  • Vonweihe, M., E. Hanson and R. Black. 2009. Economics of raspberry production under high tunnels. Proc. Amer. Soc. Plasticulture Ann. Meet. State College, PA.


Progress 01/01/08 to 12/31/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The goal of this project is to increase the profitability of berry crops grown in Michigan by researching new production techniques that may increase returns to growers or reduce production costs. An on-going effort is to test berry production methods under high tunnel protective structures. Results to date indicated that high tunnel environments double or triple raspberry yields compared to field plantings, increase berry size, and reduce berry rot by 70-80 %. Fall-fruiting raspberries have more profit potential under tunnels than summer-bearing types. Similar studies are underway to test the performance of blackberry types (primocane- and floricane-fruiting) in high tunnels. Knowledge gained was shared with current and potential bramble producers at several meetings and workshops, through a web-based conference, and published in trade magazine articles and newsletters. A project was started in 2008 to investigate organic methods of managing weeds and blueberry nutrition. PARTICIPANTS: Participants in this project include Annemiek Schilder, Professor of Plant Pathology, Rufus Isaacs, Professor of Entomology, Michael Vonweihe, graduate student in the Department of Horticulture, and Jesse Sadowski, graduate student in the Department of Plant Pathology. The Michigan State Horticulture Society is a funding partner. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audience for this work is current and potential berry producers as well as the community of agricultural researchers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
This work has provided producers economic data on costs and potential returns from high tunnel raspberry production.

Publications

  • Hancock, J., P Callow, S. Serce, E. Hanson, and R. Beaudry. 2008. Effect of cultivar, controlled atmosphere storage and ripeness on long term storage of highbush blueberries. HortTechnology 18: 196-319.
  • Vonweihe, M. and E. Hanson. 2008. Cold hardiness of red raspberry cultivars grown in high tunnels and the field. HortScience 43:1112 (abstr.).
  • Zandstra, B. and E. Hanson. 2008. New herbicides registered for blueberry. Michigan State University C.A.T. Alert 23(3):4.
  • Hanson, E. 2008. Manipulating blueberries with Gibberellin. Michigan State University Fruit C.A.T. Alert 23(7): 6-7.
  • Hanson, E. and M. Longstroth. 2008. Irrigating blueberries. Michigan State University Fruit C.A.T. Alert 23(11):6-7.
  • Hanson, E. 2008. Mid-season weed control in blueberries. Michigan State University Fruit C.A.T. Alert 23(11):5-6.
  • Hanson, E. 2008. Time to collect leaf samples for nutrient analysis. Michigan State University Fruit C.A.T. Alert 23(15):3.


Progress 01/01/07 to 12/31/07

Outputs
This project seeks to increase the profitability of berry crops grown in Michigan by researching new production techniques that may increase returns to growers or reduce production costs. An ongoing effort is to test strawberry and bramble production methods under high tunnel protective structures. Results to date indicated that high tunnel environments double or triple raspberry yields compared to field plantings, increase berry size, and reduce berry rot by 70-80 percent. Similar studies were begun to test different blackberry types (primocane- and floricane-fruiting) performance in high tunnels. Short-day and day-neutral strawberries did not respond consistently to tunnel environments. Yields were slightly increased, but berry size and rot incidence were not significantly affected. In other projects, we are testing the use of gibberellic acid as a means of inhibiting flower bud production on young blueberry plants, and organic blueberry production practices for Michigan.

Impacts
This work has provided producers economic data on costs and potential returns from high tunnel production.

Publications

  • Hanson, E.J., Berkheimer, S.F. and Hancock, J.F. 2007. Seasonal changes in the cold hardiness of highbush blueberry flower buds. J. Amer. Pomol. Soc. 61:14-18.
  • Hanson, E.J. and Rodriquez. L. 2007. Chlorine dioxide to control postharvest decay and extend shelf life of berries. HortScience 42:898 (abstract).


Progress 01/01/06 to 12/31/06

Outputs
This project deals with the management of the mineral nutrition of fruit crops, with emphasis on methods of increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use. We are continuing work to determine parameters that can be used to judge the nitrogen (N) status of grapevines and assist growers in determining appropriate N rates. Niagara grapevines have been fertilized with 0 to 200 lb N per acre for five years. Vine growth has increased with N rate. Nitrate-N and total N in petiole tissues in June and August have been measured to determine if they have value as means of judging vine N status. Nitrate-N levels in August show some promise as indicators of vine N status, but more data are needed to determine why levels are much lower some years than others.

Impacts
This study will provide grape growers an analytical tool that allows them to judge critically whether their rates of N are appropriate for specific vineyards. The potential impact is improved N use efficiency so that appropriate rates are used to optimize yields.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/05 to 12/31/05

Outputs
This project deals with the management of the mineral nutrition of fruit crops, with emphasis on methods of increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use. We are continuing work to determine parameters that can be used to judge the nitrogen (N) status of grapevines and assist growers in determining appropriate N rates. Nitrate-N and total N in petiole tissues in June and August have been studied. Nitrate-N levels in August show some promise as indicators of vine N status, but more data are needed to determine why levels are much lower some years than others. Work to determine if excessive boron (B) levels contribute to soft sour cherry fruit, a sporadic problem in Michigan. High application rates of B occasionally reduced firmness, but do not appear to be a primary cause.

Impacts
These studies provide sour cherry producers guidance on how to apply B without reducing fruit quality. Grape growers should have an analytical tool available to allow them to critically judge whether their rates of N are appropriate for specific vineyards.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

Outputs
Nearly all fruit plantings in Michigan are fertilized annually to maintain productivity and plant health. Fertilizers need to be used efficiently to reduce production costs and avoid adverse environmental impacts of off-target movement of nutrients. We have shown that grapevines absorb nitrogen (N) fertilizer more efficiently when it is applied in the summer compared to the spring. This knowledge has resulted in a change in fertilization timing by growers. Michigan grape growers also have limited ability to judge whether vines are receiving adequate or excessive N rates. We are currently assessing the value of four measurements of plant N status (nitrate-N in tissues in June and August, total-N levels in June and August). Nitrate-N in tissues in August appear to reflect N application rates consistently.

Impacts
Most crops need to be fertilized for optimum production, but inefficient use of fertilizer wastes money and can pollute water. This work has shown that Michigan grape growers can use nitrogen more efficiently by changing the application time from budbreak to bloom. This switch will eventually reduce the amount of fertilizer needed in Michigan vineyards.

Publications

  • Vos, R.J., Zabadal, T.J. and Hanson, E.J. 2004. Nitrogen application timing affects N uptake by Vitis labrusca in a short-season region. J. Amer. Soc. Enol. Vitic. 55:246-252.
  • Hanson, E.J. and Berkheimer, S.B. 2004. Effect of soil calcium applications on blueberry yield and quality. Small Fruits Rev. 3:133-139.
  • Bronick, C.J., Mokma, D.L. and Hanson, E.J. 2004. Recementation of crushed ortstein by leaf extracts, selected organic acids, and a soil amendment. HortTechnology 14:218-222.


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
The goal of this project is to develop ways of optimizing the nutrient status of fruit crops while using fertilizers efficiently. We completed a project on juice grapes that compared nitrogen(N)application times and ways of measuring vine N status. Vines were fertilized with labeled N at different times between May and August, excavated in October, and analyzed for N isotopes. Vines treated later in the season absorbed more fertilizer N than those treated at budbreak. Later applications also resulted in more residual soil N, which may contribute to vines during the following season. Comparisons of total N and nitrate-N levels in petiole tissue in June and August indicate that nitrate-N levels in August hold promise as a measure of vine N status; levels are very responsive to N application rates and relatively consistent from year to year. Other studies in progress under this umbrella project involve the boron nutrition of sour cherry and soil pH management in cranberry production.

Impacts
Most crops need to be fertilized for optimum production, but inefficient use of fertilizer wastes money and can pollute water. This work has shown that Michigan grape growers can use nitrogen more efficiently by changing the application time from budbreak to bloom. This switch will eventually reduce the amount of fertilizer needed in Michigan vineyards.

Publications

  • Vos, R.J. 2003. Effect of the timing of nitrogen application on soil nitrogen and nitrogen use efficiency of Vitis labrusca in a short-season region. M.S. Thesis. Michigan State University.
  • Berkheimer, S., Hanson, E. and Hancock, J. 2003. Effects of windborne deicing salts on highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.). HortScience 38:659 (abstr).
  • Hanson, E., Marquie, S. and Fogiel, A. 2003. Effect of drainage control on the movement of chlorothalonil and chlorpyrifos out of cranberry (Vacciniun macrocarpon) beds. HortScience 38:794 (abstr).


Progress 01/01/02 to 12/31/02

Outputs
This project deals with the management of the mineral nutrition of fruit crops, with emphasis on methods of increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in small fruit culture. We are continuing work to determine the effect of application time on recovery of labeled nitrogen fertilizer by mature grapevines. Vines were fertilized at different times between May and August, excavated in October, and analyzed for N isotopes. In 2001, time of application did not affect recovery of N by vines. In 2002, later applications appeared to result in more N uptake by vines, but overall recovery was low. We began work in 2002 to determine how the time of application of boron sprays affects B partitioning to sour cherry fruit. This work was initiated out of concerns that high levels of B in cherry fruit reduce fruit firmness.

Impacts
These studies provide blueberry growers guidelines for applying calcium based on the likelihood of economic benefits. The enhanced nitrification capacity associated with blueberry production may explain, in part, when N fertilization is relatively inefficient. Results of N studies in grapevines will provide growers guidance on efficient times to apply fertilizer.

Publications

  • Hanson, E.J., P.A. Throop, S. Serce, J. Ravenscroft, and E.A. Paul. 2002. Comparison of nitrification rates in blueberry and forest soils. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 127:136-142.
  • Connor, A.M., J.J. Luby, J.F. Hancock, S. Berkheimer, and E.J. Hanson. 2002. Changes in fruit antioxidant activity among blueberry cultivars during cold-temperature storage. J. Agric. Food Chem. 50:893-898.
  • Schilder, A.M.C., R.O. Olatinwo and E.J. Hanson. 2002 Fruit rots are common in commercial cranberry beds in Michigan, USA. Acta Hort. 574:91-93.


Progress 01/01/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
This project deals with the management of the mineral nutrition of fruit crops, with emphasis on methods of increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in small fruit culture. We have observed through laboratory incubation tests that nitrification rates in soils from older highbush blueberry fields are higher than those in similar soils from forested areas. Populations of autotrophic nitrifying bacteria are also higher in blueberry than forest soils, indicating that blueberry production induces higher nitrification potentials, which may affect the efficiency of nitrogen fertilization practices. We began work to determine the effect of application time on recovery of labeled nitrogen fertilizer by mature grapevines. Vines were fertilized at different times, excavated in October, and are being analyzed for N isotopes. We concluded a study to see if lime or gypsum applications on a low pH, low Ca soil affect the yield or keeping quality of blueberries. Treatments altered soil pH, and soil and leaf Ca concentrations, but fruit yields, berry firmness, size, or susceptibility to fungal decay were not affected.

Impacts
These studies provide blueberry growers guidelines for applying calcium based on the likelihood of economic benefits. The enhanced nitrification capacity associated with blueberry production may explain, in part, when N fertilization is relatively inefficient. Results of N studies in grapevines will provide growers guidance on efficient times to apply fertilizer.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/00 to 12/31/00

Outputs
This project deals with the management of the mineral nutrition of fruit crops, with emphasis on methods of increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in small fruit culture. We have observed through laboratory incubation tests that nitrification rates in soils from older highbush blueberry fields are considerably higher than those in similar soils from forested areas. We found this year that populations of autotrophic nitrifying bacteria are also higher in blueberry than forest soils. Results suggest that blueberry production induces higher soil nitrification potentials, which may affect the efficiency of nitrogen fertilization practices. A four year study of the response of highbush blueberries to boron (B)concluded that foliar B concentrations greater than about 17 ppm are sufficient for `Jersey' and `Bluecrop' varieties. Since the alkalinity levels of water sources used for cranberry production in Michigan are high, a survey was conducted to describe water characteristics in the major cranberry producing areas of the world. Water pH and alkalinity levels varied in each region, but Michigan sources on average contained the highest alkalinity levels. Alkaline water may increase soil pH above desired levels. An ongoing study is investigating the effects of ground applications of calcium (lime, gypsum) on blueberry quality. Four years of results have shown no benefits of lime or gypsum applications on berry firmness, size, or susceptibility to fungal decay.

Impacts
These studies provide blueberry growers guidelines for applying boron and calcium based on the likelihood of economic benefits. The enhanced nitrification capacity associated with blueberry production may explain, in part, when N fertilization is relatively inefficient. The work also provides information to assist cranberry growers in working with alkaline irrigation water.

Publications

  • Hanson, Little, E.B., DeMoranville, C., McArthur, D., Painchaud, J., Patten, K., Roper, T., Vorsa, N., and Yarborough,D. 2000. Chemical characteristics of water used for cranberry production. HortTechnology 10:603-607.
  • Hanson, E.J. 2000. Response of highbush blueberries to foliar boron applications. Small Fruits Review 1:35-41.
  • Hanson, E.J., Hancock, J.F., Van Ee, G.R., Ramsdell, D.C., and Schilder, A. 2000. Effect of sprayer type and pruning on fruit rot control in blueberries. HortScience 35:235-238.
  • Van Ee, G., Hanson E.J., Ledebuhr, R., and Hancock, J.F.. 2000. Spray deposition patterns and light distribution in highbush blueberries. HortTechnology 10:353-359.


Progress 01/01/99 to 12/31/99

Outputs
This project deals with the management of the mineral nutrition of fruit crops, with emphasis on methods of increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in small fruit culture. A study concluded in 1999 was a comparison of the effects of nitrogen (N) rates (0.5 to 4.0 time recommended rates) and application methods (single broadcast application on the soil surface vs continual injection through a trickle irrigation system) on early growth of blueberry. Over 6 years, yields and leaf N levels have increased with N rates, but injection and broadcast applications have resulted in similar yields and leaf N concentrations. The limited effectiveness of fertigation may have resulted from a 10 to 50 cm deep clay layer that may have impeded the downward movement and loss of N. We observed that nitrification occurred relatively rapidly in acidic blueberry soils. Laboratory incubation tests of soils from blueberry fields and others from adjacent, non-cultivated areas indicated that nitrification was consistently higher in blueberry soils than non-cultivated soils. We are currently characterizing the nitrifier populations in these soils. Studies were concluded to describe the effects of alkaline irrigation water on the chemical characteristics of cranberry soils. Soil column studies demonstrated that water high in alkalinity increased soil pH and calcium (Ca) to levels unacceptable for cranberries, but that acidifying water prior to application maintained acceptable soil pH and Ca, and improved levels in an alkaline soil. Also in progress are studies on the effects of ground applications of calcium (lime, gypsum) on blueberry firmness susceptibility to fungal decay, and the effect of irrigation scheduling on the incidence of fungal rots.

Impacts
These studies provide guidance to blueberry growers about the possible economic returns of injecting N fertilizers through irrigation systems, and the impact of long-term fertilization practices on microbial populations and N transformations in blueberry soils. The work also provides information to help blueberry growers to minimize fungal fruit rots and assist cranberry growers in working with alkaline irrigation water.

Publications

  • Hanson, E.J., and A. Stein. 1999. Effect of water use on the chemical characteristics of cranberry soils. J. Plant Nutr. 22:427-434.
  • Zabadal, T., and E. Hanson. 1999. Blueberry establishment studies. Mich. St. Univ. Southwest Mich. Res. And Ext. Center Ann. Rpt.


Progress 01/01/98 to 12/31/98

Outputs
This project deals with the management of the mineral nutrition of fruit crops, with emphasis on methods of increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in small fruit culture. One ongoing study is a comparison of the effects of N rates (0.5 to 4.0 time recommended rates) and application methods (single broadcast application on the soil surface vs. continual injection through a trickle irrigation system) on early growth of blueberry. Over five years, yields and leaf N levels have increased with N rates, but injection and broadcast applications have resulted in similar yields and leaf N concentrations. We observed that nitrification occurred relatively rapidly in acidic blueberry soils. To study the possible effect of blueberry culture on nitrification rates, we compared nitrification in soils from blueberry fields to those in similar soils from adjacent, non-cultivated areas. Laboratory incubations indicated that nitrification was consistently higher in blueberry soils than non-cultivated soils. Also in progress are studies on the effect of lime and gypsum on blueberry quality, the effects of cranberry culture on nutrient residues in drain tiles, the effects of alkaline irrigation water on the chemical characteristics of cranberry soils, the response of cranberries to boron nutrition, and the effect of pruning on the incidence of fungal rots in blueberry fruit.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Throop, P.A., Hanson, E.J. 1998. Nitrification and utilization of fertilizer N by highbush blueberry. J. Plant Nutrition 21:1731-1742.
  • Hanson, E.J. 1998. Trends in leaf nutrient levels in Michigan blueberries. Proc. 8th Annual North American Research Extension Work Conference, Wilmington, NC. pp 149-155.


Progress 01/01/97 to 12/31/97

Outputs
This project emphasizes methods of increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in small fruit culture. The effects of N rates (0.5 to 4.0 times recommended rates) and application methods (single broadcast application on the soil surface vs continual injection through a trickle irrigation system) on blueberry establishment are being studied. Over five years, injection has resulted in yields and leaf N concentrations similar or higher than broadcast applications. Yields and leaf N levels have increased with N rate. For two years, we have compared nitrification rates in soils from blueberry fields to those in similar soils from adjacent, non- cultivated areas, by incubating soils in the laboratory. Nitrification rates have consistently been higher in blueberry soils than non-cultivated soils. Although soils varied in pH from 4.0 to 5.6, nitrification rates and pH were not correlated. In a separate study, nitrate levels have been monitored in the sub-surface tiles draining two commercial blueberry fields. Levels varied widely through three seasons, and ranged from 0 to 15 ppm nitrate-N. High levels were associated with periods of high rainfall and drainage. Other studies in progress are investigating the effect of lime and gypsum on blueberry quality, the effects of cranberry culture on nutrient residues in drain tiles, and the effect of pruning and sprayer type on blueberry fruit rot control.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Hanson, E.J., and M. Mandujano. 1997. Nitrification rates in Michigan blueberry soils. Acta Hort. 446:507-512.
  • Hanson, E.J., G.R. VanEe, D.C. Ramsdell, J.F. Hancock and J.A. Flore. 1997. Improved sprayer technology to reduce fungicide use in blueberry production. Acta Hort. 446:439-445.
  • Hanson, E.J., and A.J. Stein. 1997. Simulated effects of water alkalinity on the nutrient content and pH of sand. Proc. North Amer. Cranberry Res. Extension Work. Conf. Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Oct 9-11.
  • Hanson, E.J., and A.J. Stein. 1997. Estimating the cost of managing pH in potential cranberry soils. Proc. North Amer. Cranberry Res. Extension Work. Conf. Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Oct 9-11.
  • Throop, P.A., and E.J. Hanson. 1997. Effect of application date on absorption of 15n by highbush blueberry. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 122:422-426.