Impacts and comparisons of pruning and sanding on cranberry uprights and yield production
Summary. In Spring 2003, 6 study beds were selected at one site in Rochester, MA and one site in South Carver, MA. The six treatments are: pruning + 0, 20, 40, or 60 lb/A nitrogen, sanding + 30 lb/A nitrogen, and no pruning + 30 lb/A nitrogen. The sites received pruning and nitrogen treatments as proposed. However, the first South Carver site was abandoned in 2003 due to the grower’s management decision to renovate the section of cranberry bog (poison ivy infestation). Another site in South Carver was selected in 2004 and 5 of the 6 treatments were applied to both Rochester and the second South Carver site in 2004. The sanding treatment was planned for the winter 2004-05. However, the grower was unable to apply the sanding treatment. It is hoped that the treatment will be applied during Winter 2006. Upright samples (for vine density) and fruit were collected from both sites in 2005 and are currently being evaluated. Treatment effects must be interpreted carefully as one of the treatments has not yet been performed (sanding). Various treatment effects were noted in a few of the measured variables, but overall, no negative effects of pruning were noted. Treatment effects on yield were also variable, but overall, nitrogen had a minimal negative effect on yield. Pruning did not seem to adversely affect yield production.
• 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.
Accomplishments/Results and Discussion/Milestones.
Demonstration beds were selected and monitored.
Treatments (pruning and nitrogen rates) were applied by the grower.
Baseline (spring) and post-treatment (late summer) upright samples were collected from 2 sites by research personnel.
Fruit samples were collected in the fall.
One site was dropped from the study in 2003. This is certainly an unfortunate event as we lost one year of data. However, the site was quite compromised by poison ivy infestation and may have affected treatment results. The grower assigned a new site to the project in 2004. Three years of data have been collected for the Rochester site and two years of data for the new Carver site.
Sanding was not accomplished in Year 2 or Year 3 due to labor shortage and management choices on the grower’s part. The grower has informed the PI that he will try to sand the selected beds will occur during the winter of 2005-06.
The PI contacted SARE (D. Holm) in November 2005 to discuss concerns with the “non-application” of the sanding treatment. The project was due to end in 2005 and the inability of the grower to accomplish this task earlier in the project has delayed treatment comparison in accordance to the timeline established in the proposal. The goal of the project was to compare sanding vs. pruning for at least 1-2 years after the sanding treatment. Since this treatment has not yet occurred, it has caused us to continue to collect data and expend costs and efforts to maintain the study in the hopes that the treatment will be applied the next year. Should sanding not occur in 2006, the PI would contact SARE to seek advice on steps to be taken for possible termination of the project.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
This is the third year of a 3-year study (PI has asked for a no-cost extension. This has been granted until 12/31/2007). We interacted with our farmer-cooperator in Years 1-3. Impacts on the grower community and audiences are anticipated to occur in the latter stages of the project.