Interactions between nitrogen rates and cultivar on the yield of strawberry

Eric H. Simonne, John R. Duval, Elizabeth Golden


Water and nitrogen (N) fertilizer are two major inputs in the production of high value strawberries in Florida. Although IFAS recommendations are available for water and fertilizer management, water restrictions and ground water issues in west central Florida require an increasing level of irrigation and nutrient management. The objective of this research was to evaluate the joint effects of water and N fertilizer rates on fruit yields of 'Sweet Charlie' and Camarosa'. Strawberry were produced in 2000/2001 using standard production practices. Rates of N fertilizer were 0.50 (N-1), 0.75 (N-2), and 1.00 (N-3) Ib/acre/ day (66,100, and 133% of the recommended rate for Feb.-Mar., respectively). Water application rates were 100% or 80% of the recommended yearly average IFAS rate (11,500 gal/acre/week) for 1-1 and I-2, respectively. Water and fertilizer rates were created simultaneously by using different numbers of drip tapes under the polyethylene mulch. Fruit were harvested 24 times between 19 Dec. and 15 Mar., graded as marketable and nonmarketable, weighed, and counted. A significant (P = 0.01) in-teraction was observed between cultivar and N rate for total and Jan. marketable yield. For each cultivar, the irrigation rate x N rate interaction was not significant (P > 0.69). For 'Camaro sa', total, Feb., and Mar. marketable yields increased linearly as N rate increased. For 'Sweet Charlie', marketable yields response to N rate was quadratic for total and Feb., and linear in Mar. The effect of irrigation rate was not significant for any marketable yields. This supports the current recommended N-rates for strawberry production for 'Camarosa' and 'Sweet Charlie'. However, these preliminary results also suggest that current irrigation recommendations may be reduced by 20% for Camarosa, except in Mar., and for the whole season for 'Sweet Charlie',without significantly reducing marketable yield.

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