Researchers looking to develop longer strawberry season

  • Jul. 16, 2017 1:30 p.m.

DURHAM, N.H. — Strawberry season in the Northeast usually lasts only four to six weeks, but New Hampshire researchers have figured out how to stretch the harvest form July to Thanksgiving.

Researchers with the University of New Hampshire harvested strawberries grown in low tunnels for 19 consecutive weeks. They also found that the 3-foot (0.91-meter) tall tunnels significantly increased the percentage of marketable fruit, from an average of about 70 per cent to 83 per cent.

Now in its second year, the research project by the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station is part of a larger, multi-state effort to optimize protected growing environments for berry crops in Northeastern states and the upper Midwest.

The project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The university’s part is focused on improving berry quality and the role ever-bearing, or day-neutral, varieties may play in extending the length of strawberry season in the Northeast.

Graduate student Kaitlyn Orde said the university is growing one of these varieties on three different mulches, “to determine if there are any differences in total production, production patterns, runner production, and fruit characteristics.”

She said they also are investigating the role the plastic covered low tunnels play in improving berry quality. They are evaluating five different plastics for the tunnels.

The strawberry crop is important to New Hampshire farmers. Agricultural researcher Becky Sideman estimates the retail value of the crop is about $1.85 million.

Researchers in Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, and New York have conducted preliminary research on similar systems.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Credentials questioned man at Remembrance Day services

Veterans are crying foul after an alleged faker posed as a former… Continue reading

Canada’s 150 year ends on ice, but no hockey pucks, triple jumps allowed

OTTAWA — No figure skating. No hockey. No racing. No cell phones.… Continue reading

WATCH: Festival of Trees begins

A preview dinner and silent auction was held Wednesday night at Westerner Park

Volunteer with victim services

Learn more at info session on Nov. 27

Updated: Missing Sylvan Lake women found

Women were reported missing earlier this week

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits

A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to… Continue reading

Alberta Party sees growth in Central Alberta

Greg Clark addressed health care needs addressed in Red Deer

Ponoka council freezes Ponoka Fire Department spending

All discretionary spending frozen until full budget numbers are presented

WATCH: Ponoka’s Festival of Trees sees continued support

Three days of celebration and fundraising held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month