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Growing methods for labor saving and high profit in rock-wool culture of strawberry I design of the structure, height and arrangement of growing bed



Growing methods for labor saving and high profit in rock-wool culture of strawberry I design of the structure, height and arrangement of growing bed



Research Bulletin of the Aichi-ken Agricultural Research Center (30): 97-104



The advancing age of strawberry farmers and the decrease in their successor are becoming a problem because of inconvenient working position and because of low profit obtained from the business. We attempted to improve the situation by implementing the use of rock-wool and high benchs for strawberry culture. Initial cost was limited to less than 5,000 yen per square meter and a total yield of more than 7t/10a was targetted. This paper talks about the structure of growth beds, and the height and arrangement of benches where the beds were laid on. The basic structure of a growth bed was 20 cm in width and 10 cm in depth. At first we checked for the most suitable depth (10cm, 6cm, 3cm) of a 20-cm wide bed and the appropriate width (20cm, 15cm, 10cm) of a 10-cm deep bed. In 20-cm wide bed, growth and yield in shallow bed such as 3 cm was equal to that in 10-cm deep bed, even though the latter gave a wider temperature range of root area. As to the arrangement of growth benches, beds 20 cm wide must be single beds on each bench to facilitate harvest of fruit. In this case, the planting density would equal that of soil culture, and it was then necessary to increase the yield per area. In beds 10-cm deep, the range of root area for narrow beds such as 15 cm or 10 cm wide was equal to beds 20 cm wide; but the yield was reduced by 10%. As to the arrangement of growth benches, narrow beds such as 10 cm wide could be put parallel to each 50-cm wide bench, in so doing the planting density increased 33.3% in contrast to that where 20-cm wide single beds where put parallel to each bench 25-cm wide bench. We then examined depths 10 cm, 15 cm and 20 cm for a 10 cm wide bed and found no difference, in terms of the growth and yield of strawberries, for beds 15 cm or 20 cm deep and beds 10 cm deep. Total yield (from December to April) of 10cm (W) X 15cm (D) bed was 6 t/10a, and it could be estimated to become over 7t/10a at ordinary period (middle of May) of harvest. Passage width of parallel bed form on each bench was 85 cm, which was 20 cm wider compared to that in the single bed form, hence, the working efficiency was also improved. Working posture in the high bench culture was remarkably improved over the soil culture. The most suitable height was 100 cm for the growing work, and 120 cm for the harvesting work. The initial cost of this system was 4,140 yen per square meter. Therefore, our objectives regarding cost and yield were both attained.

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