Sustainable Organic Strawberry (SOS) Cropping Systems for the Southeast
- Assess the efficacy of off-season cover crops on soil health and in suppressing weeds, sting nematodes, arthropod pests, and pathogens.
- Evaluate the performance of strawberry cultivars in open field organic production systems.
- Monitor population of arthropod pests, including the spotted wing drosophila (swd) and twospotted spider mite (tssm), and beneficials.
- Integrate summer leguminous cover crop into nutrient management program for organic strawberry production systems.
- Develop pest management practices for spotted wing drosophila.
- Develop management alternatives for twospotted spider mite.
- Assess the season extension potential of low and high tunnels in organic strawberry production.
- Farmer assessment of response of cover crop and cultivars to on-farm bio-physical and management regimes.
- Evaluate consumer preferences for traditional and recently released strawberry cultivars with regard to sensory attributes like flavor, color, and texture, including consumer willingness to pay.
- Calculate production costs and potential returns of selected management alternatives based on data from the biological research.
- We will engage producer and county extension faculty members in research and outreach planning, implementation and outcomes.
- Demonstrate the feasibility of organic strawberry production in low cost crop tunnels.
- We will provide extension faculty members, other local service providers, and growers with research results and recommendations, including representatives of and professionals who work with limited resource and minority farmers.
This work is supported by Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative grant no. 2015-51300-24134 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.