- Crop Management
- John Kempf
This example AEA program is representative of the products and rates that continually result in improved crop production for berry growers across the country and is appropriate for any perennial cane or bush fruit, like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, etc. For the small grower, these product applications are an excellent start to regenerative management. There is no one size fits all solution, though. Programs should be fine-tuned based on soil and sap reports, crop advisor recommendations, actual plant performance, and where appropriate, organic certification requirements. AEA can arrange for customized consulting to better maximize performance on your acreage.
AEA’s crop nutrition management program can bring higher yields and improved resistance to insects and disease through optimized nutrition resulting in greater economic returns.
We have found that a low PH of 4 to 4.5, thought to be the ideal PH to grow blueberries, is in fact, not the ideal PH at all. This hypothesis gained popularity because blueberries have a very high requirement for manganese and iron, and these elements are most available at a PH of 4.5.
While it is true that blueberries have a high requirement for manganese and iron, it is also true that in order to grow large, high quality, disease-resistant blueberries we also need to have calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and potassium moving into the plants. If we reference a chart of nutrient availability in relation to soil pH, we see that at a PH of 4.5, calcium is hardly available. The very elements that are needed to grow blueberries resistant to diseases such as mummy berry are made unavailable by the low PH.
We have found that blueberries grow best in soil with only a slightly lower PH (5.8 to 6.2) combined with supplementing additional manganese and iron in a reduced form. This approach gives the plants available manganese and iron, regulated in your nutritional program, while allowing them to pull calcium, phosphorous and potassium from the soil. With this approach, we have been able to grow blueberries resistant to insect pests, and diseases.
Blueberry fruit set increase
John, I followed your advice and split 8 kg of Accelerate/hectare in four applications between bud break and bloom. The fruit set was 50% higher with these applications. I intend to move my three farms completely on to your system, starting before harvest this season. Thank you very much! ~Franscisco Alvarino
Overcoming anthracnose through nutrition in strawberries
Missed the early applications that are usually needed for a strong yield response. First product application was on March 18th.
Note difference in root mass on treated vs. untreated plants.
Planted November 7. Severely infected with Anthracnose. 30% replanted
Yield increase in black raspberries