On October 31, 2006 the Project Improvement of Logistics and Marketing Channels for SMEs in Agriculture is organizing a seminar aimed at familiarizing of Ukrainian berry producers with up-to-date techniques of strawberry and raspberry growing. The seminar titled Improvement of strawberry and raspberry production efficiency and profit margin: varieties, technologies and marketing will be at the Institute of Vegetables and Horticulture, UAAN, Kharkiv oblast. More than 40 private farmers will participate at the seminar, as well as representatives from food processing enterprises, research workers and other parties concerned from Kharkiv oblast and eastern areas of Ukraine, the European Commission's Delegation in Ukraine reports.

The agenda of the seminar includes presentation of the strawberry and raspberry growing techniques: strawberry growing techniques for processing industry; growing of off-season products; crop protection, feeding; fresh products market; assortment (new varieties); irrigation; protection and growing of everbearing and hedgerow raspberry varieties.

Strawberry is a fast-growing and high-yield crop. A yield up to 50 tonnes/ha can be harvested provided all the requirements for the techniques and growing and the selection of appropriate varieties are met. The main issues in the strawberry growing techniques are proper soil preparation, optimal plant placement, growing of high-yielding varieties and efficient protection from pests and diseases. The preliminary enrichment of the soil with feeding agents is an important prerequisite to obtain a high harvested crop. An average of 80-100 tonnes/ha of pus or compost and 90-120 kg/ha of phosphorus and potassium should be placed under the turned up bed. Individual rates of fertilizer applications are established depending on the available feeding agents in the soil, however, these rates should not exceed 300 kg of feeding agents per 1 hectare.

The hedgerow raspberry growing techniques contributes to better exposure of the leaves to light and their assimilation activity, improved yield, quality and grading of the berries and the reduction of harmful effect of pests and diseases. This technique requires certain expenditures for installation of trellis and tying up of the footstalk that will definitely be compensated by the additional profit. The biological property of everbearing raspberry is the ability to form reproductive beds on the shoots in the year of their growth and to produce crop before frost. The everbearing raspberry growing techniques with the purpose of obtaining only autumn yields significantly reduces the number of agricultural monitoring activities, particularly limiting to the grading of the shoots, 2-3 sprayings against pests and diseases, installation of the trellis and tying up of the plants to it.

The seminar participants will be given an opportunity to visit Tsvetkov farming enterprise where they will be able to have a look at the activities of the enterprise, to be involved in discussions and to receive answers to wide range of questions.


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