|Authors: ||P.A. Dávalos-González, A.E. Jofre-Garfías, M.N. Vázquez-Sánchez, A.R. Hernández-Razo|
|Keywords: ||bare root plant, plug plant, fresh plant, planting system, cultivar selection|
The use of macrotunnels is becoming important for the production of fresh-market strawberries, particularly first quality fruits from October to February in the Irapuato, Guanajuato area.
Use of macrotunnels minimizes the risk of frost and results in increased early production, total productivity, and fruit quality, but its high cost limits its use among low-income farmers.
To maximize adoption of the macrotunnel system, a number of technological components were studied to improve its profitability.
During the 2008 to 2011 period, four to seven strawberry genotypes were evaluated with and without macrotunnels, as well the use of bare root plants versus tray plants, to determine their effect on early fruit yield and total productivity.
The results of the three years evaluated demonstrated that early yield increased on average between 4 and 265% with the use of the macrotunnels, while the use of tray plants increased yield between 32 and 67%. Total yield increased between 20 and 57% and 9 and 34%, for macrotunnels and tray plants respectively compared to the crop in the open field and with use of conventional bare-root plants.
The cultivar ‘Pakal’ and clones 01.7 and 03.72 were the most precocious, and in some cycles ‘Camino Real’ was the most productive.
Other aspects related with quality, such as fruit weight by category, are discussed.
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