Insects replace fertilizer in raspberry cultivation

Market gardeners can increase raspberry production by using ecosystem services instead of fertilizer.
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According to research by the Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation chair group.

The Wageningen researchers grew raspberries under a range of different conditions, with variations in pollination by insects, the organic matter in the soil and the application of artificial fertilizer. Insect pollination increased yields by 33 per cent and led to raspberries that were 11 per cent heavier. Higher organic matter content in the soil attracted more insects and resulted in berries that were 20 per cent heavier but did not increase yields. Adding fertilizer increased yields and the weight of the fruits but had no effect on insect pollination or the amount of organic matter in the soil.

Interactions

The researchers conclude that market gardeners can use pollination by insects and soil organic matter to raise production levels while reducing the use of artificial fertilizer. This will let the growers bolster nature values and produce food simultaneously. According to the authors, this is the first study to measure the interactions between insects, soil quality and fertilizer in food production. They published their findings in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment.

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