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Cloud Mountain receives Farm Fund grant for strawberry trials

Jun 1st, 2013 | Category: News

EVERSON – A recent grant from the Community Food Co-op supports a trial by Cloud Mountain Farm Center to grow and propagate organic strawberries, which may provide a local source of plugs for fall planting. In trials by Washington State University and Cornell University, fall-planted strawberry plugs – small plants with roots and soil intact, planted in plastic cells – had higher yields of larger strawberries than bare-root strawberries planted in spring, the customary season for bare-root planting. While bare-root strawberries grow into healthy plants, their yields can be 20 percent less with smaller-sized fruit than plants started from plugs in the fall. Most farmers use plugs from out-of-state. Cloud Mountain is working with several varieties of day-neutral strawberries, which are not affected by amount of daylight they receive. They produce fruit over a longer period of time, from late spring through fall, with the potential to yield a greater income to farmers than June-bearing plants.

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