Project Description

Strawberry Trial

Vigo™ – Strawberry Trial

 Trial Background

The trial was conducted at Echo Berry Ventures – Piesangkloof Production Farm, Brits, Northwest Province, South Africa during the 2011 production season. The trial would be run during the months of April to September. The trial was conducted and monitored by Echo Berry’s fertilizer, irrigation and research management staff. Vigo™ was supplied by Vigoland (Pty) Ltd.

 Trial Objectives

The objectives of the trial are to determine the effects of Vigo™ on strawberry yield, quality in the presence of a fertilizer reduction.

 Trial Protocol

Yield Trial: Trial blocks comprise 4 hectares per block.

  • Control: A5,6     – untreated under shade-netting

The control block was exposed to the standard fertigation protocol used for commercial production.

  • Vigo™ to be diluted at 1ml per 1600ml water or fertigation constituting a 10-7 M solution.

All blocks are irrigated three times a week with 45000lt fertigation. Vigo™ was applied with two of the three, weekly irrigation applications. 25lt of Vigo™ was injected into irrigation line to be diluted with the 45000lt fertigation. Applications were done in the morning for the entire trial period.

Yield was recorded in the form of weight of fruit per plant. Records were taken on a weekly basis and tabulated monthly.

Fruit Quality Trial: Trial samples sizes of 100 plants were randomly selected for monitoring.

  • Pots which were quality selected plants rooted into pots rather than plug trays prior to transplanting to the field. These plants were planted out within block A5,6.
  • Trays which comprised of plants derived from high quality horticultural specimens planted out within block A5,6.
  • Vigo™ treated sample taken within block A7,8.

Fruit quality was recorded weekly measuring fruit size, weight and brix.

Trial Observations and Results

Plants treated with Vigo™ responded more vigorously after transplanting compared to untreated plants. Plants produced significantly better quality fruit and yielded more fruit when treated with Vigo™.

By the end of the fertigation season, the block treated with Vigo™ in combination with a 30% reduction in fertilizer produced on average 10.5% more fruit when compared to the untreated block.

Figure 1. Fruit quality taken for Block A7,8 and A5,6 Pots and Trays.

Conclusion

In conclusion it can be claimed that Vigo™ has a significant increase on yield in strawberries when subjected to a fertilizer reduction. This increase on yield does not reduce the fruit quality, instead it increases both fruit size and brix.

Figure 2. Yield in grams per plant for blocks A5,6 and A7,8.