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
Exploration of the potential of detecting water stress in lowbush blueberries using a thermal infrared imaging sensor installed on a drone.
Researcher: Carl Boivin
Exclusion nets have proven to be effective against nearly all of these insect pests, which means that it’s possible to develop apple growing practices in Québec that are not only neonicotinoid free, but also devoid of all pesticides (including acaricides, given that mite problems are a consequence of broad-spectrum insecticide use). Although the net exclusion microsystem studied in Québec since 2012 has demonstrated its effectiveness in controlling insect pests, some issues remain to be studied before it can be unreservedly recommended. Among these are the handling times for the nets, i.e., installation/removal and opening/closing, and the system’s profitability and durability over the long haul for various cultivars.
Researcher: Mikaël Larose
This project helped to determine if there is a significant correlation between the number of adult spotted wing drosophila captured and yield losses observed in the field.
Researcher: Annabelle Firlej