OSCII Activity C.36

Effect of irrigation regimes on weed control in organic cranberry production

Activity summary

The American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) is one of three berries native to North America. Canada, particularly Québec, is the leading producer of organic cranberries in the world. One of the major issues that compromises organic cranberry production is weed management. When weeds establish themselves in a cranberry field, they compete with the crop for physical space and create shade that adversely affects pollination and delays fruiting in fields under establishment, causing yield losses estimated at more than 25% of production.

Cranberries require a significant amount of water availability when the crop is being established. This water availability fosters the establishment of weeds. Optimized irrigation management should allow the cranberry to establish itself and occupy space while avoiding the invasive establishment of tough perennial weeds.

The purpose of this activity is to test the effect of optimized irrigation regimes on weed suppression in a cranberry field under establishment and in a field in production. The proposed optimized irrigation regimes in this activity consider soil-moisture tension, canopy temperature and the amount of water needed by the cranberry crop to form roots during establishment. The recovery rate of the cranberry and the recovery rate of the weeds will be compared in the different study plots. The identification of weed species based on irrigation regime will be carried out. Cranberry yield based on fruiting will be estimated once the crop is established.

At the end of the activity, recommendations will be made regarding the effect of irrigation management on weed suppression and an innovative, effective solution could be proposed to farm businesses for weed suppression in cranberry crops.

Materials and Results to Date

  • Optimal irrigation for organic cranberries


Activity researchers

Name Affiliation

Mirella Aoun, Activity Leader

Centre d'expertise et de transfert en agriculture
biologique et de proximité (CETAB+)
Jean Caron Université Laval
Sam Chauvette CETAB+
Jacques Painchaud Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de
l'Alimentation du Québec
Marie-Josée Simard Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre

Contributing partners