Impacts and comparisons of pruning and sanding on cranberry uprights and yield production
The practice of sanding cranberries—adding up to an inch of sand to the production surface every three or four years—is expensive. Sanding is also described as an unusual form of pruning, which has led producers to wonder if mechanical pruning can replace or reduce the need for sanding.
Plots that received six treatments comparing sanding and pruning of cranberry vines were established in the Spring of 2003. Two sites received pruning and nitrogen treatments as proposed. However, one of the sites was abandoned later in the season due to the grower’s management decision to renovate the section of cranberry bog (poison ivy infestation). The sanding treatment is planned for the winter 2003-04. Upright samples and fruit were collected and evaluated from one site. In the first year, no treatment effects were seen for any upright parameter measured; no negative effects of pruning were noted. Treatment did affect yield in Year 1. The Low-N + pruning combination had higher yield than the Med-N + pruning treatment. Again, since this is the first year’s data, the difference may likely be ascribed to variation from section to section, rather than a true treatment effect.
- Comparison of sanding (common practice) and mechanical pruning (uncommon practice) as horticultural practices to increase cranberry vine vigor and improve canopy architecture.
Determine if pruning has any negative impacts on yield or general plant health.
Evaluate interaction of pruning and various nitrogen management plans on cranberry productivity.
Treatments (pruning and nitrogen rates) were applied by the grower.
Baseline and post-treatment upright samples were collected from 1 site by research personnel.
Fruit samples were collected in the fall.
One site was dropped from the study. This is certainly an unfortunate event as we will lose one year of data. However, the site was quite compromised by poison ivy infestation and may have affected treatment results. The grower is planning to assign a new site to the project in 2004.
Sanding could not be accomplished in Year 1 due to the prolonged wet cold spring weather. Equipment could not be utilized in the field without incurring significant vine damage. The grower opted to wait until the winter of 2003-04 to apply the sanding treatment. This is not a serious set back as sanding is typically done only once every 3 to 5 years and within the scope of this project, would have only occurred once in any event.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
This is the first year of a multi-year study. We interacted with our farmer-cooperator only in Year 1. Impacts on the grower community and audiences are anticipated to occur in the latter stages of the project.