Comparison of Foliar and Root-dip Crop Protectants for Strawberry Transplant Establishment

Ixchel M Hernandez-Ochoa, Bielinski Santos

Abstract


During strawberry transplant establishment, the standard practice is the use of sprinklers delivering water at 4.5 gal/min. This activity is highly inefficient due to the use of large volumes of water with only an estimated 3% of the water ending up in the planting holes. The objective of these studies was to determine the effects of using foliar and root-dip crop protectants on strawberry transplant establishment growth, early marketable yield, and water savings. Two studies were conducted to assess the effect of foliar and root-dip crop protectants as alternatives to reduce water volumes used during this crop stage. For the first study, treatments were: 1) 10 days of sprinkler irrigation (DSI) as a control, 2) 7 DSI, 3) kaolin clay, 4) aluminum silicate, and 5) calcium carbonate. The crop protectants were applied on the plant canopy during the morning after 7 DSI. There was non-significant difference among the treatments with yield of 6 tons/acre and 226,000 fruits, except for the treatment with 7 days of sprinkler irrigation, which had the lowest yield (4.7 tons/acre and 187,930 fruits). For the second study, a water absorbent polymer and a biofungicide as root-dip crop protectants were compared with 10 and 7 DSI. Both crop protectants were applied at transplanting and were followed by 7 DSI. There were no significant differences among the treatments in yield, averaging 4.3 tons/acre, except for the 7 DSI control, which was 16% lower than the rest of the treatments. Crop protectants are suitable alternatives to reduce water usage during transplant establishment.


Keywords


Fragaria ×ananassa, kaolin clay, calcium carbonate, aluminum silicate, water absorbent polymer, biofungicide, water management, heat stress

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283