The questions below result in a composite score ranging from 0 to 100. A score of 0 indicates 'do not plant the crop', while a score of 100 would indicate 'there is absolutely no reason not to plant the crop'. There will be few instances of a score of 100. The icon(s) shown next to each question is meant to serve as a resource for producers relevant to each specified question shown. The questions below are intended to show red flag type concerns.
1. Site requirements for producing strawberries include good soil drainage and air drainage. The location should have no plant residues, stones, sticks or perennial weed pressure, and it shouldn’t have recently grown strawberries, sod or crops susceptible to Verticillium wilt or that may leave herbicide residues. The soil pH level should range from 6.0 to 7.0. Do you have a suitable site?
2. Is your operation willing to invest in irrigation to provide consistent moisture to strawberry plants that have shallow root systems, and in areas prone to frost risk and warm temperatures, are you willing to use sprinkler irrigation as a tool to protect strawberries from frost and offer evaporative cooling benefits?
3. Strawberry production relies on hand labor for activities such as renovating strawberry beds, applying mulch, removing mulch from rows, pulling blossoms and runners from newly planted strawberry plants, controlling weeds and picking berries. Do you have access to sufficient hand labor for activities such as these?
4. Strawberries tend to have a short post-harvest life. Do you have ready access to a market that can quickly make use of strawberries after harvest?
5. Are you willing to identify and choose strawberry cultivars suited to your operation’s local growing conditions?