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Effects of biennial cropping and controlled shoot density on yield performance and fruit quality in red raspberry (Rubus idaeusL.)

Sonsteby, A., Roos, U. M., Heide, O. M.
Journal of horticultural science & biotechnology 2019 v.94 no.2 pp. 243-250
Botrytis, Rubus idaeus, ascorbic acid, color, cropping systems, crops, fruit quality, internode length, juices, primocanes, raspberries, shoots, titratable acidity, total soluble solids, yields
Effects of annual versus biennial cropping with varying shoot densities on plant structure, berry yield and quality were studied in ‘Glen Ample’ raspberry over a period of four seasons (two cropping years). In the vegetative phase, primocane height and internode length were larger in the annual than in the biennial cropping system. These parameters as well as Botrytis infestation increased with increasing shoot density. In both cropping years, berry yields per unit area were about 20% higher in the biennial cropping system, whereas yields per shoot were not significantly different in the two systems. In both cropping systems, yields per shoot strongly declined with increasing shoot density, while yields per metre row increased slightly. Regardless of cropping system, yields per metre row did not increase with increasing shoot density beyond eight shoots per metre. The concentrations of dry matter, soluble solids, titratable acidity and ascorbic acid as well as the intensity of juice colour all declined with increasing shoot density. We conclude that under controlled shoot density conditions, there is little scope for biennial yield increases that fully compensates for the lost crops every second year. However, the system greatly facilitates berry harvest and eases plant disease pressure.