HomeSearch:
New Additions Funding Opportunities Projects Affiliated Centers Integrated Pest Management Research Publications

Minimizing the Environmental Impact of Growing Raspberries

Grant Recipient:

University of Minnesota
Office of Sponsored Projects Administration
450 McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak Street SE,
Minneapolis, MN 55455-2070
phone -- 612.624.5599
fax -- 612.624.4843

Project Period:

April 1, 2008 to December 31, 2009

Principal Investigator:

Emily Hoover

Description
Raspberry growers in the Upper Midwest grow fall-bearing raspberries, even though in some seasons yields are reduced due to early freezes. The fall-bearing raspberries are planted in May, uses five herbicide applications during the planting year, and three fungicide applications during the fruiting year. Often in this system, yields are low for the planting year. We are working on extending the season for fall-bearing raspberries by growing them in high tunnels. The raspberry plants will not have herbicides or fungicides applied and insecticides will be applied only after scouting. We will use a value-added wool-mulch fabric in the row to effectively suppress weed germination thus eliminating herbicide applications. Fungicides are eliminated because high tunnels protect the flowers and subsequent fruit from water, thus eliminating free water needed for spores to germinate. We will have three trial sites, two on-farm, with high tunnels on their farm. We will work closely with our grower-cooperators to advance adoption and implementation of high tunnel raspberry production. We will install web cams to digitally capture plant growth and give educational virtual tours of the plantings allowing all growers to observe the plantings during the growing season. If adopted, we take one step further towards eliminating herbicide and fungicide applications directly to raspberry plants thus decreasing pesticide exposure to those who consume the product.

Project goals and objectives
The behavior we seek to change is the management system to grow raspberries. The current system is dependent on fungicide applications. Currently almost 100% of growers grow raspberries not under protection of high tunnels. The system we are proposing will have minimal pesticide inputs using wool-mulch fabric within the row of raspberries and use drip irrigation to minimize fungal infection. The raspberry plants are placed in the slits in the wool-mulch which will reduce weed competition.

Of the 30 members of the MFVGA who presently grow raspberries, 50% will be educated on the use of high tunnels, with 3 trialing the system during this program.

Outcomes
The behavior they seek to change is the management system to grow raspberries. The current system is dependent on fungicide applications. Currently almost 100% of growers grow raspberries not under protection of high tunnels. The system we are proposing will have minimal pesticide inputs using wool-mulch fabric within the row of raspberries and use drip irrigation to minimize fungal infection. The raspberry plants are placed in the slits in the wool-mulch which will reduce weed competition.

Of the 30 members of the MFVGA who presently grow raspberries, 50% will be educated on the use of high tunnels, with 3 trialing the system during this program.

Project Links
www.hightunnels.cfans.umn.edu

American Farmland Trust