Expanding Cherry Production in BC under Climate Change
|Project Lead||UBC Okanagan, Biology|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture, private foundation|
|Other Partners||BC Cherry Association, BC Fruit Growers’ Association, BC Tree Fruits Cooperative, cherry producers, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre|
Download and read the project summary as a PDF: Evaluating Opportunities to Expand Cherry Production.
With warmer temperatures and a longer growing season, the areas suitable for production of sweet cherries in the BC interior are expanding. Cherry producers can increase cherry acreage (in particular for late season cherries) by expanding production northward and by growing at higher elevations. However, water availability and soil pathogen control are key production issues. This project will study and demonstrate orchard management practices for optimizing both water use and soil biological resilience in new orchards.
The project will assess the impact and cost effectiveness of soil amendments and selected irrigation methods on water use efficiency, soil water holding capacity, crop production and soil health in two new orchards and in an established orchard.
Researchers will use greenhouse bioassays of cherry seedlings in ‘old’ and ‘new’ soils to determine whether native soil microbes will enhance or restrict cherry production in the new areas, and whether soil amendments can maintain a high buffering capacity against pathogens in new, non-fumigated soils.
The project results will be shared with BC cherry growers via presentations at annual meetings, grower-focused print publications, fact sheets, labeling of demonstration plots, and field tours.
- Evaluating the Use of Organic Amendments to Maintain Soil Health & Cherry Production Under Climate Change in BC (2018 factsheet) (3 MB pdf)
- Evaluating the Use of Postharvest Deficit Irrigation for Cherry Production Under Climate Change in BC (2018 factsheet) (3 MB pdf)
- Expanding Cherry Production in BC under Climate Change (2018 report) (992 KB pdf)