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Studies show the importance of proper soil moisture for wild blueberries

Figure 1. Location of the survey site: (a) Map of Maine, USA (light blue). The locations of the major wild blueberry producing areas (Washington and Hancock County) are shown in dark blue. (B) Map of major wild blueberry producing areas in Maine. Shows 89 wild blueberry fields of red polygons in this study with an area of ​​over 0.06 km2 (250 m x 250 m). (C) Wyman’s Airport and Baxter Wild Blueberry Fields in Deblois, Washington County, Maine, USA. Credit: DOI: 10.3390 / cli9120178

Wild blueberries are one of Maine’s most iconic and important native cash crops. New studies show that proper soil moisture management is even more important than previously thought to help wild blueberries breed in all kinds of conditions, especially in the long run. increase.


According to a UMaine study conducted in collaboration with Millbridge-based wild blueberry company Jasper Wyman & Son, wild blueberries, which are considered relatively drought-resistant crops, are more sensitive to drought. Water condition Over a long period of time.Studies published in the journal climateEmphasizes the importance of effective plant water management, especially as warming climates are projected to dry soil in Maine.

The study examined changes in monthly drought conditions over 71 years in 89 wild blueberry fields in Washington and Hancock counties in Maine. Researchers have seen changes in drought related to the health of wild blueberry vegetation in the same region, measured using satellite-based remote sensing data from Google Earth Engine for 21 years from 2000 to 2020. I looked it up. Researchers also used data from the US Department of Agriculture and Jasper Wyman & Son to analyze how water quality affects wild blueberry yields.

As a result, drought has not increased significantly in these areas for the past 70 years, but the areas are warming rapidly, resulting in future reductions in soil moisture due to increased evaporation and increased crop water loss. It is expected that. .. This study does not investigate precipitation frequency, but shows that long-term water quality is more likely to affect the vitality and yield of wild blueberry crops than short-term conditions. We also showed that the drought situation affected less irrigated fields more than irrigated fields.

“Wild blueberry fields should be well-prepared and introduced into effective irrigation management systems to mitigate the effects of projected future warming conditions.” Biology and ecology that led the study. Kallol Barai, a master’s student at the school of scholarship, says.

However, it is difficult to maintain the proper amount of water because the soil of wild blueberry fields cannot retain water evenly even in the same field. Therefore, researchers use technology to schedule and target watering in wild blueberry fields at the right time and place as a way to efficiently and effectively manage the water needs of their crops. He emphasized the importance of the irrigation system.

“By adopting precision agriculture, the wild blueberry The fields can be divided into management zones, each receiving customized management input.Precision irrigation management To predict crop water demand in real time, crop water stress needs to be monitored on a regular basis.To that end, future research should focus on efficient development. water “Stress monitoring technology, especially for wild blueberries,” says Baray.


New research reveals wild blueberry fields in Downeast that warm faster than the entire state of Maine


For more information:
Kallol Barai et al, Is Drought Increased in Maine Affecting Wild Blueberry Production? , climate (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / cli9120178

Quote: According to a survey, wild blueberries obtained on February 16, 2022 from https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-importance-proper-soil-moisture-wild.html (February 16, 2022) The importance of proper soil moisture (day) has been shown

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Studies show the importance of proper soil moisture for wild blueberries

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