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OSC Activity F.6

Organic production of strawberries and raspberries under tunnels

Activity Researchers

Name Affiliation
Shahrokh Khanizadeh, Lead Researcher
shahrokh.khanizadeh@agr.gc.ca

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Horticulture Research and Development Centre
430 Gouin blvd.
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC
J3B 3E6

Martine Dorais, Co-applicant
martine.dorais@agr.gc.ca

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Horticulture Research and Development Centre
Envirotron Pavilion, Room 2120
Quebec City, QC G1K 7P4

Yves DesJardins, Co-applicant
Yves.Desjardins@fsaa.ulaval.ca
Department of Plant Science
Pavillon de l'Envirotron
Université Laval
Louis Gauthier, Collaborator
Louis.Gauthier@videotron.ca
Les Fraises de l’île d’Orléans
199 côte Gosselin
St-Laurent d’Orléans, QC G0A 3Z0

Daniel Dupuis, Collaborator
danield@bergerpeatmoss.com

Berger Peat Moss
121 R.R. 1
Saint-Modeste, QC G0L 3W0

Objectives

  1. Develop a commercial system for growing organic day neutral strawberries on platforms.
  2. Develop a commercial system for growing organic raspberries under tunnels.

Activity Summary

The Canadian market for organic strawberries and raspberries is growing, but the vast majority of products sold in supermarkets come from California, where climate conditions are more favourable to organic agriculture. The objective of this project is to design and develop a new system for producing organically grown strawberries and raspberries in tunnels. The growing of strawberries and raspberries in large tunnels will help to reduce the need for plant health products. In the case of strawberry plants, we will develop a system for organic fertilization in containers that is suitable for day neutral strawberries and ensures fruit production over a three‑month period. In the case of raspberry plants, we will develop a system for soil‑based organic growing of raspberries that will involve periodic inputs of soluble organic fertilizer and compost. In the case of both crops, the organic fertilization systems will be compared with conventional fertilization techniques using synthetic fertilizers in order to determine the production potential when nutrients are unlimited. We will measure fertility of the growing mediums, mineral composition of the plants, crop growth and productivity and fruit quality. The project will be carried out in partnership with Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada and Laval University research scientists and Berger Peat Moss experts, who will provide certified‑organic growing medium and provide mineral analysis services.

The achievement of these objectives will make it possible to propose to the Canadian horticultural industry a production system promoting productivity and fruit quality while minimizing the risks associated with conventional field‑grown organic crops. As a result, Canadian consumers will have access to high quality, locally produced organic products.

Results

Background and Supporting Documents