Strawberries have a special status in Québec. It is the favorite fruit of Quebecers, who consume an average of 3.05 kg per year. In 2011 strawberries were grown on 1,800 ha in Québec, and nearly 10,800 tons were marketed, generating over $36 million in revenues. Therefore strawberry growing has a significant financial impact on the farming community. Unfortunately, recommendations for this major crop were based in part on a limited number of calibration trials conducted in Québec in the 1970s. What’s more, they used data from neighboring states and provinces where growing conditions may be different from those in Québec. Strawberry production techniques have also changed considerably in terms of planting density, cultivars, production systems, more intense irrigation, etc. Recommended NPK dosages therefore needed to be questioned. The agricultural industry is now subject to agroenvironmental standards, and the Agricultural Operations Regulation (AOR) requires most fruit farms to have an agroenvironmental fertilization plan. Yet the fertilization charts were inappropriate not only in light of current production practices, but also given regulations governing Quebec producers. Fertilizer recommendations must reflect environmental concerns, whereas the main fertilization guide available to extension agents and other agricultural stakeholders was not very credible and was poorly adapted to actual production conditions. Due to this lack of information, fertilization programs were not consistent among Québec producers, who do not necessarily consult the same information sources.
From 2013 to 2018
Fertilizer management, Water protection, Soil health
The new strawberry fertilization chart will lead to increased competitiveness in the industry and encourage sustainable development.
Clubs conseils en agroenvironnement | Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec
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Researcher: Carl Boivin
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Researcher: Christine Landry