These resources detail the process and findings from an applied research project that looked at ways to support expansion of cherry production in the Okanagan Valley while improving soil health and water use efficiency.
This project studied orchard management practices for optimizing water use and enhancing soil biological resilience. The project looked at the effects of adding compost or wood chip bark mulch to soils.
The research report describes findings and two elements of the project:
- The effect of orchard floor management, using composts and mulches, and irrigation method on water use efficiency, water holding capacity, yield and soil health. These effects were compared in new and established orchards.
- The impact of postharvest deficit irrigation (25-27% reduction in water application postharvest) on plant growth, plant water stress, fruit yield and quality, soil chemical and biological properties. The economic cost/benefit of postharvest deficit irrigation was also assessed.
In addition to the full report, research summaries cover the project’s key findings on each of these two sub-topics.
A video provides another look at what the project studied: