Particular Soil Treatment Helps Organic Strawberry Production

Brian GermanBerries, Fruits & Vegetables, Industry, Organic

Organic Strawberry

Organic strawberry growers in California can enhance yields and plant health through anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD), a technique pioneered through UC Cooperative Extension research. Initially developed to combat soil-borne pathogens and weeds without synthetic fumigants, ASD involves applying easily digestible carbon sources like rice bran, covering the soil to limit oxygen, and initiating a fermentation process through drip irrigation.

A release from UC ANR notes that results have been promising, with ASD-treated fields showing comparable yields to conventionally fumigated ones and significant increases in organic strawberry productivity, sometimes doubling yields. However, challenges remain, such as the high cost and limited availability of carbon sources like rice bran. Researchers are exploring alternatives like wheat bran, which have shown comparable efficacy at lower costs.

Listen to the report below.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West