The Dirty Work: Strawberry Case Study

Apr 11, 2017
BioFlora Cares for Sensitive Strawberry Plantings
BioFlora’s philosophy, “Nature Knows Best®,” is derived from years of experience working in the field directly with growers. We have seen firsthand which techniques create a symbiosis, between products and applications, and we are committed to developing organic and sustainable solutions to aid this symbiotic relationship. Through the partnership with Integrated Life Science Research Center® (ILSRC), we are able to innovate and create a line of products that not only benefit the grower, but produce higher quality crops that help manage the growing issue of food shortages. The goal through product development and testing, is to increase yield in crop production and further advance technical processes in today’s agricultural industry. If you find yourself curious as to how BioFlora products actually work, please don’t just take our word for it.
Top Right: Treated berry (right) and untreated berry (left). Treated berry is larger with uniform coloring and fully formed calyx.
Top Left: Treated fruit (right) and untreated fruit (left). Treated fruit is finished, the calyx leaves are greener and “hugging” the berry.
Our case studies are a true testament to the continued power of our product line; one such example includes the application of our products to fields yielding one of everyone’s favorite fruit: the strawberry. Case Study 1 Case 1, set out to determine if BioFlora products could improve crop quality and quantity in a field with high salt content in both the irrigation water and soil. The study was conducted in 2011 on a strawberry field in Watsonville, CA by BioFlora personnel. BioFlora utilized a full program for this trial, for a detailed description of application rates and products used, please see the “Our Results” Section.
Bottom Right: Untreated plant base. Conventional program reflects less growth of new fruiting shoots
Bottom Left: Treated plant base. New growth is evident. Showing sustained production of fruiting stems with BioFlora products.
Programs are tailored, event driven application strategies specific to the agricultural area, cropping system, and climate, as well as specific environmental and grower needs. Our Method The experiment was conducted in two side-by-side ten acre fields. The control point (plot one) was treated with a conventional fertilizer program. The BioFlora program was applied on the variable point (plot two) and was applied from March to November. Please see Appendix A for more information. Our Results BioFlora products are designed to increase soil fertility and help restore beneficial soil ecology. Our trials and case studies demonstrate the power of our product line and commitment to creating a partnership between crops and soil. At the end of Case 1, it was concluded that the BioFlora treated crop, had a reduced NPK input of 65% when compared to the control subject. The BioFlora field also produced slightly more berries overall with a higher nutrient density, used very little fungicide or insecticide and had fully-formed fruit calyxes. (The calyx is a collection of sepals, which resemble leaves – that were not quickly shriveled after harvest. The calyx is important to the condition of the strawberry as it encloses and protects the strawberry during the bud stage.) Also, since the sepals (which compose the calyx) contain chlorophyll, they can also synthesize food. Why These BioFlora Products?Humega®: Boosts soil microbial activity and suppresses soil-borne plant pathogens BioFlora Man:Enhances micronutrient uptake GOgreen®:Promotes sodium mitigation and enhances root development DynaMega® 2-1-1: Promotes early season quality growth BioFlora Seaweed Creme®:Trace micronutrients and essential amino acids BioFlora 6-0-0 + 8% Ca: Strengthens and promotes cell growth BioFlora 5-17-4:Supplies P for energy boost of the plant and early season N and K BioFlora 5-3-2:Nutritional boost and micro-nutrient supplement BioFlora 0-0-25: Activated for enhanced absorption Minera™:Provides trace elements Limestone:Used for soil neutralization   Case Study 2 Case 2, took place in 2008 -2009 and was conducted by Holden Research and Consulting in Oxnard, CA. This strawberries were tested to determine if there would be an increase in nutrient uptake by adding Humega, BioFlora Man, and BioFlora 5-3-2 to a conventional fertilizer program. Our Method Case 2, compared a conventional program and a conventional program enhanced with BioFlora products over two years. Application rates and products utilized were: 6 gallons /acre of Humega applied every month via driptape for five months. 42 ounces/acre of BioFlora Man applied every month via driptape for five months. 1 gallon/acre of BioFlora 5-3-2 applied via foliar spray every month for five months. Our Results Case 2, concluded that the field treated with BioFlora initially experienced a 25% increase of strawberry plant blooms and fruit. The overall treated harvest also had more trays picked on a daily basis, resulting in approximately $800 per day higher income when compared to the control field. Graphs below show initial bloom and fruit set, cumulative marketable production by pick day, cumulative marketable return by pick day, net return per acre after picking cost, as well as the iron and nitrate level of the strawberry crop.
Chart 1
BioFlora achieved earlier initial bloom against the conventional fertilizer program; this in turn, led to an earlier fruit set for the treated berries. This occurrence allows growers to receive premium price marketability after harvest.
Chart 2
During this research trial, the BioFlora treated strawberry plantings produced more marketable berries each day over the control plantings. Data was consistently tracked over a four month period, totals were averaged every 5 days.
Chart 3
As evidenced, more berries were picked each day with the BioFlora program treated plantings. This increase in pickings each day leads to an increase in marketable net return. Data shows cumulative return averaged over four months of the strawberry season.
Chart 4
By March 3, 2009 BioFlora achieved a net increase of $833 over the conventional program. By April 29, 2009 BioFlora maintained a net increase of $774 over the conventional program. These figures are based on USDA shipping point prices for each week.
Chart 5
Iron is one of the minerals that is most important in color and vigor. This leads to bigger fruit, better formed calyx and longer shelf life. With BioFlora products, berries maintained a higher level of iron, closer to the optimum quantity than the conventional program.
Chart 6
Soil nitrate reduction is important in agriculture as it lessens excessive amounts of nitrate in runoff that can contaminate groundwater resources. With BioFlora products, the levels of nitrate in the soil is consistently reduced over the growing season.
                                  Case Study 3
Table 1
Highlights that the BioFlora program improved all testing parameters versus the open ground control program. These improvements allow for a fruit with more market value to the grower and more health benefits for the consumer.
Case 3, was a trial conducted in 2012 – 2013 on Albion and Monterey variety strawberries in Central California. This experiment was conducted to determine if weekly applications of a BioFlora program, applied throughout the season, would improve strawberry yield and nutritional value. BioFlora aimed to achieve these objectives by increasing organic matter, enhancing nutrient uptake, reducing plant stress, and increasing fruit set and fruit cell density, through the application of our products. Our Method In Case 3, the BioFlora treatment began with an early March application of Humega and Fulmega™ 1% Mg. Throughout the season, the below products were applied weekly to the soil: Humega, Fish-O-Mega® 4-1-1, BioFlora Man, BioFlora Seaweed Creme, GOgreen, BioFlora Potash. Throughout the season, the below products were applied weekly via foliar: DynaMega 2-1-1, Fulmega 1% Mg, BioFlora Potash, BioFlora Seaweed Creme and BioFlora 6-0-0 + 8% Ca.
BioFlora treated strawberry. Notice thickness of the fruit wall and small fruit cavity.
BioFlora treated strawberries. Notice the substantial sizing of the fruit, improved coloring and large calyxes.
BioFlora treated strawberry crown. Notice increased number of stems, new growth and uniform green coloring.
BioFlora treated strawberry plants. Notice indications of plant vitality, health and vigor during the growing season.
                Our Results Case 3, concluded in an increase in all fruit parameters over the control, including moisture %, protein %, vitamin C %, glucose % and fructose %, pH and yield.
Chart 1
Demonstrates that the BioFlora products used in this study also increased the pH, glucose and fructose levels of treated berries.
In BioFlora fields, pH increased by 3.7%, glucose increased by 1.5% and fructose increased by 1.4%.
About BioFlora BioFlora was founded in 1972 with a goal to conceptualize, develop, manufacture, market, and deliver a proprietary product line to the agricultural community. Through our innovative products and programs, we provide solutions for our customers in both domestic and international markets. Today, we have over 30 unique proprietary products that benefit growers, retailers and consumers alike. Our organic and sustainable agricultural programs maximize the efficacy and efficiency of traditional agricultural inputs, while being mindful of their environmental impact.