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ITRC Paper No. P 11-003.  Stuart W. Styles and Chuck Bates

Strawberry Transplants: Modifying Irrigation Methods for Establishment

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The purpose of the project is to develop an analysis of the current irrigation practices of strawberry growers on the Central Coast of California. The primary research evaluation centers on the time period during the establishment of transplants where sprinklers are used even though drip irrigation is available, often due to salinity concerns. The specific objectives of the project are to: (1) Set up research areas and control plots on a demonstration scale, (2) determine the key factors that affect the problems in early growth of transplanted strawberries, (3) determine relationships between the use of irrigation water and the control of salinity, and (4) provide a multi-year analysis to determine long-term salinity impacts on yields. This project examines the motives, methods, and need for sprinklers on strawberries, and is designed to determine the conditions where growers can conserve water by minimizing or eliminating sprinkler use on strawberries. This project targets drought management and aims to reduce runoff as a potential source of contaminants reaching waterways. The results of this study have demonstrated on a block scale that yields can be increased by up to 10%, water use decreased by 10%, and runoff eliminated by heavily reducing or eliminating sprinkler use.


Styles, S.W. and C. Bates. 2011. Strawberry Transplants: Modifying Irrigation Methods for Establishment. Presented at Irrigation Association Conference. 18 pp.

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