Special Issue "Recent Advances in Horticultural Practices for Berry Crops"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. David R. Bryla
Website
Guest Editor
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Horticultural Crop Research Unit, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Interests: irrigation; fertilization; and soil management of berry crops

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue examines recent advances in horticultural practices for economically-important berry crops, including blueberry, blackberry, cranberry, raspberry, and strawberry. Systems used for berry production vary widely and range anywhere from open fields to tunnels, greenhouses, and vertical planting systems. No single practice is best for all situations, and success depends on thorough understanding of how the crop grows and responds to changes in the environment. Growers must focus on improving both yield and fruit quality and are constantly challenged by weather, pests and diseases, and market and labor requirements.

We welcome contributions of both reviews and original research on topics such as soil and site preparation, cultivar selection, planting and establishment, pruning and training systems, mulching, irrigation and water requirements, nutrition and fertilizers, combating pests and diseases, and fruit harvest and handling. New information on practices for organic and soilless systems are also encouraged. Ideally, the contributions will cover many of the major growing regions from around the world and will include research from temperate, subtropical, and tropical climates.

Dr. David R. Bryla
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Fruit quality
  • Irrigation
  • Mulch
  • Nutrient management
  • Pest management
  • Plant disease
  • Raspberry
  • Soil management
  • Strawberry

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Foliar Calcium Corrects a Deficiency Causing Green Fruit Drop in ‘Draper’ Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.)
Agriculture 2019, 9(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9030063 - 24 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
‘Draper’ northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is a widely-planted mid-season cultivar with excellent fruit quality. Under the climatic conditions of Southwestern British Columbia, Canada, and Northwestern Washington, USA, it expresses a physiological disorder causing spontaneous green fruit drop (GFD) of up [...] Read more.
‘Draper’ northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is a widely-planted mid-season cultivar with excellent fruit quality. Under the climatic conditions of Southwestern British Columbia, Canada, and Northwestern Washington, USA, it expresses a physiological disorder causing spontaneous green fruit drop (GFD) of up to half of the developing crop just prior to onset of the fruit coloring phenophase. Reduction of economic losses due to GFD required identification of the cause of this disorder and development of an agronomic solution that would reduce fruit drop. In 2014, two initial experiments were conducted to compare three foliar Ca products under a range of N fertilization rates. In 2015 and 2016, three locations were used in a first step to optimizing rates and timings of foliar Ca application. Initial experiments determined that higher N fertilization rates exacerbate GFD but that foliar Ca corrects the condition. Multi-site, multi-year trials identified key rates and timings for foliar Ca application to provide an agronomic solution for commercial growers. These trials identified an acute fruit Ca deficiency as the cause of GFD, and that foliar calcium applied frequently at high concentration from mid-bloom onward can be effective in reducing GFD, often to negligible levels. This condition has now been reported in several production regions around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Horticultural Practices for Berry Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Modified Over-the-Row Machine Harvesters to Improve Northern Highbush Blueberry Fresh Fruit Quality
Agriculture 2019, 9(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9010013 - 08 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Improved blueberry mechanical harvesting (MH) equipment that maintains fresh market quality are needed due to rising costs and decreasing availability of laborers for harvesting by hand. In 2017, a modified over-the-row (OTR) blueberry harvester with experimental catch surfaces and plates designed to reduce [...] Read more.
Improved blueberry mechanical harvesting (MH) equipment that maintains fresh market quality are needed due to rising costs and decreasing availability of laborers for harvesting by hand. In 2017, a modified over-the-row (OTR) blueberry harvester with experimental catch surfaces and plates designed to reduce fruit bruising was evaluated. The catch surfaces were made of neoprene (soft catch surface; SCS) or canvas (hard catch surface; HCS) and compared to hand-picked fruit (control). Early- and early/mid-season ‘Duke’ and ‘Draper’, respectively, were evaluated in Oregon, while late-season ‘Elliott’ and ‘Aurora’ were evaluated in Washington. Harvested berries were run through commercial packing lines with fresh pack out recorded and bruise incidence or fresh fruit quality evaluated during various lengths of cold storage. The fresh pack out for ‘Duke’ and ‘Draper’ were 83.5% and 73.2%, respectively, and no difference was noted between SCS and HCS. ‘Duke’ fruit firmness was highest among MH berries with SCS, but firmness decreased in storage after one week. Firmness was highest among hand harvested ‘Draper’ followed by MH with SCS. For ‘Elliott’ and ‘Aurora’, fruit firmness was the same across harvesting methods. ‘Draper’ exhibited more bruising than ‘Duke’, but bruise ratings and the incidence of bruising at ≤10% and ≤20% were similar between hand and MH ‘Draper’ with SCS after 24 h of harvest. ‘Aurora’ berries had similar bruise ratings after 24 h between hand harvesting and MH with SCS, while ‘Elliott’ showed more bruise damage by MH with both SCS and HCS than hand harvested fruit. Although our studies showed slightly lower fresh market blueberry pack outs, loss of firmness, and increased bruise damage in fruit harvested by the experimental MH system compared to hand harvested fruit, higher quality was achieved using SCS compared to HCS. We demonstrated that improved fresh market quality in northern highbush blueberry is achievable by using modified OTR harvesters with SCS and fruit removal by either hand-held pneumatic shakers or rotary drum shakers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Horticultural Practices for Berry Crops)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Pruning and Training Systems Impact Yield and Cold Hardiness of ‘Marion’ Trailing Blackberry
Agriculture 2018, 8(9), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8090134 - 01 Sep 2018
Abstract
The floricane-fruiting, trailing blackberry (Rubus L. subgenus Rubus, Watson) cultivar Marion was evaluated in two plantings for the impact of floricane pruning date. This included leaving the dead canes unpruned and training new primocanes over the dead wood (new-over-old), primocane topping [...] Read more.
The floricane-fruiting, trailing blackberry (Rubus L. subgenus Rubus, Watson) cultivar Marion was evaluated in two plantings for the impact of floricane pruning date. This included leaving the dead canes unpruned and training new primocanes over the dead wood (new-over-old), primocane topping and suppression date in alternate year (AY) and every year (EY) production systems at various planting densities. The presence of primocanes during fruit development did not affect yield of the floricane in the current season but suppressing primocanes to June 30 in Oregon, USA, led to insufficient time for primocane growth, reducing yield of the floricane the following year by 36% relative to no primocane suppression. Pruning out senescing floricanes immediately after fruit harvest or later—thus allowing more time for remobilization of nutrients or reserves—had no impact on yield. However, yield in the new-over-old system was higher, likely due to less training damage to primocanes in this treatment. All of the AY treatments studied led to lower berry weight compared to EY production but this has not been an issue in the processed fruit market to date. Plants in AY production produced more canes per plant than in EY but at the industry standard spacing of 1.5 m, AY plants yielded only 60% to 66% more than EY plants in these studies, despite evidence of plants in AY production having greater cold hardiness. There was no significant effect of planting at higher density (0.6 and 0.9 m) on cumulative yield over 4 years. However, planting at 0.6 m and topping the primocanes to the top trellis wire (1.8 m) increased yield significantly compared to other AY treatments. This alternative production system may offer economic advantages to the 1.5 m EY or AY production systems through reducing management costs and allowing for mechanical pruning and training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Horticultural Practices for Berry Crops)
Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Concentration of Leaf Nitrogen over the Season Affect the Diagnosis of Deficiency or Sufficiency in Strawberries in the Subtropics
Agriculture 2018, 8(8), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8080126 - 10 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Optimum leaf nitrogen (N) concentrations have been identified for strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) in temperate and Mediterranean areas, but whether these values are appropriate for the subtropics is unclear. Two experiments were conducted for 2 years to determine if the seasonal [...] Read more.
Optimum leaf nitrogen (N) concentrations have been identified for strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) in temperate and Mediterranean areas, but whether these values are appropriate for the subtropics is unclear. Two experiments were conducted for 2 years to determine if the seasonal changes in the concentration of leaf N affect the diagnosis of deficiency or sufficiency of strawberry plants in Queensland, Australia. In 2014, ‘Festival’, ‘Fortuna’, and ‘Winter Dawn’ were planted in early April and grown with and without N for the entire season. Then, ‘Festival’ was planted the following year in mid- or late April and, again, was grown with and without N. Yield was slightly lower with N in 2014, but higher with it the following year, particularly in the early planting. The concentration of total N in young, fully expanded leaves decreased from 3.0% to 2.0% as leaf, crown, and root dry weight increased, while the concentration of nitrate-N (NO3-N) decreased from 1200–3200 to 50–500 mg/kg. These changes in leaf N were large enough to affect the diagnosis of N deficiency or sufficiency. The concentration of leaf N was less variable than the concentration of leaf NO3-N and, therefore, better for estimating the nutrient status of strawberry plants in the subtropics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Horticultural Practices for Berry Crops)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Cold Hardiness and Options for the Freeze Protection of Southern Highbush Blueberry
Agriculture 2019, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9010009 - 04 Jan 2019
Abstract
Southern highbush blueberries (SHB; Vaccinium corymbosum interspecific hybrid) are a low chill species of blueberry that are commercially grown in sub-tropical climates. Due to the nature of SHB, the flowering and fruit set occur in mid-winter to early spring and are susceptible to [...] Read more.
Southern highbush blueberries (SHB; Vaccinium corymbosum interspecific hybrid) are a low chill species of blueberry that are commercially grown in sub-tropical climates. Due to the nature of SHB, the flowering and fruit set occur in mid-winter to early spring and are susceptible to freeze damage. The most effective use of freeze protection is based on climatic conditions. Identification of advective or radiative freeze, intensity of the freeze event, and the equipment deployed are the key elements for deciding if the crop can be protected and justifying the expense to operate the system. Of the various methods used in frost protection, applying overhead irrigation water is the most promising. During a freeze event, an application of 6.3 mm ha−1 (0.10 in A−1) of water per hour is required to protect blueberries from −2.8 °C (27 °F) temperature with winds from 0 to 16 km h−1 (0 to 10 mph). This is 25.4 kL h−1 ha−1 (2715 gal h−1 A−1) of water. Overhead irrigation freeze protection is dependent on large volumes of water. This paper will review methods of freeze/frost protection, importance of weather patterns, and critical temperatures based on phenology of flowering to fruit set. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Horticultural Practices for Berry Crops)
Open AccessReview
Weed Management in Cranberries: A Historical Perspective and a Look to the Future
Agriculture 2018, 8(9), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8090138 - 08 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Integrated weed management (IWM) has been part of cranberry cultivation since its inception in the early 19th century. Proper site and cultivar selection, good drainage, rapid vine establishment, and hand weeding are as important now for successful weed management as when the industry [...] Read more.
Integrated weed management (IWM) has been part of cranberry cultivation since its inception in the early 19th century. Proper site and cultivar selection, good drainage, rapid vine establishment, and hand weeding are as important now for successful weed management as when the industry first started. In 1940, Extension publications listed eight herbicides (e.g., petroleum-based products, inorganic salts and sulfates) for weed control. Currently, 18 herbicides representing 11 different modes of action are registered for use on cranberries. Nonchemical methods, such as hand weeding, sanding, flooding, and proper fertilization, remain integral for managing weed populations; new tactics such as flame cultivation have been added to the toolbox. Priority ratings have been developed to aid in weed management planning. Despite many efforts, biological control of weeds remains elusive on the commercial scale. Evaluation of new herbicides, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), image analysis, and precision agriculture technology; investigation of other management practices for weeds and their natural enemies; utilization of computational decision making and Big Data; and determination of the impact of climate change are research areas whose results will translate into new use recommendations for the weed control of cranberry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Horticultural Practices for Berry Crops)
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