Information Exchange With Grower Who Does “Strategic Forcing” in N. Augusta, SC (10:52am, 2/16.17)

— Written By Barclay Poling
en Español

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Dear growers, agents, agronomists and others,

Earlier this week, before I headed down from VA to NC for some site visits and to make a brief appearance at the NCSA board meeting (yesterday morning), I had this exchange with Clyde Gurosik about his practice of applying row covers to his crop at this time in the season.

I told him I caught one heck of a cold coming back from my research work in Florida late last week…and he makes some very appropriate comments about the risk of flying at this time of year! Also, please note in his final sentence a very key point about the “duration” of his covers this season (due to warmer temps).

I was meaning to ask Clyde about his fertility practice in conjunction with this strategic forcing program, and maybe he will get a minute later today or tomorrow to address that question.

Dr. Poling,

Sorry to hear you caught a cold. The re-circ and replenishment air balance on planes can spread things like a thunderstorm spreads Anthracnose.

Yes. We’ll proceed with planned forcing to elevate the bloom and further open up those tight canopy plants quickly for improved wind driven pollination and improved air circulation and internal drying capabilities. We crop protected 100% of the plants today. We canon air blast ENGULFED all foliage, bloom and berries with Captan and Switch, prior to row cover deployment, as always. Attempting to grow off early bloom w/o crop protecting is NOT A GREAT IDEA!! We don’t need more bloom, but want the ones there and DEVELOPING to turn into QUALITY product, not culls or FEO FRESAS, that we have to pay to discard. We have learned that just because an early bloom looks big and fine, does NOT assure it will produce a fine berry, especially when it is TOO LOW and Under a TIGHT CANOPY, with less than 11 hours of day-length. Although we’ve had CRITICAL GROUND TEMPERATURE above the 50F threshold, those blooms have NOT seen a lot of wind or pollinators, as they are TOO LOW and it is still early February, with day-length under 11 hours.

If average daily temperatures continue about 20F above normal, it will probably only take 7 to 14 days to accomplish the desired elongation of petioles and stamens.

I sincerely hope the price holds up for our Florida friends, but fear the market will FLOOD soon. Good luck.
Sincerely,
Clyde

On Feb. 5, 2017, Clyde very kindly shared these documents and photos:

STRATEGIC FORCING STRAWBERRY STRATEGIC FORCING