Announcements

Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




US (NH): Extending the strawberry growing season

Kaitlyn Orde, who graduated in May with a masters in agricultural sciences, conducted research with New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station scientist Dr. Becky Sideman. Learn about why she chose UNH for her graduate studies, what she researched, and what she's gained from her research experience.



Why did you decide to pursue your graduate degree at UNH?
I came to UNH for graduate school both to work with my advisor Dr. Becky Sideman and because I wanted to conduct research that was applicable to the Northeastern United States. I was excited about the collaborative multi-state project (TunnelBerries) that focused on strawberry production under protective low tunnel structures and using day-neutral varieties that Dr. Sideman was about to begin. At the time, I was working with the same varieties in a tissue culture lab at UC Davis, so I thought it would be very exciting to see how they performed in the Northeast, where I am from.

What was the focus of your research interests and why?
My research has focused on extending the strawberry fruiting season with day-neutral strawberry varieties and using low tunnel protective structures to protect fruit marketability. Currently, the typical strawberry season lasts for only about 4-6 weeks each year in the Northeast, and growers can experience a significant crop loss from rain or hail during this time. We have showed that day-neutral varieties can extend the season to 20 weeks each year, and low tunnels significantly increase the percentage of marketable yield.

What was it like having experiment station researcher Dr. Becky Sideman as your mentor?
As I mentioned above, one of the reasons I came to UNH was to work with Dr. Sideman. Dr. Sideman is well connected to the agricultural community which ensures our research is relevant to growers in the region. Dr. Sideman has taught me A LOT over the last three years about all kinds of things, and she has provided me with so many new experiences. I have also been fortunate to have many opportunities to share and publish my research. Dr. Sideman has been a very supportive graduate advisor.


Kaitlyn Orde and her mentor Dr. Becky Sideman

What would you tell prospective graduate students about your research experience? What do you feel you gained most from it?
Well, I very much enjoyed conducting my research at the NH Agricultural Experiment Station. It is a collaborative and friendly environment and a beautiful place to spend your days. I had about six years of field research experience prior to beginning graduate school, which I think helped me greatly in planning and executing my experiments, but even for students without any research experience, there are many knowledgeable people here to support your success and offer guidance.

I would advise prospective students to be very organized, keep detailed records, and anticipate your needs. You also cannot take too many pictures! My personal policy is to shoot for perfection as often as you can because if you are on top of your research when challenges pop up, you will be far less likely to fall behind or make a mistake.

Through my research, I have gained a deep understanding of all aspects of crop production, especially for strawberry and spinach. I have also made so many professional connections around the country and world, which has been really fun and exciting.

What are your plans now after graduation?
I will continue working as a Research Assistant for Dr. Sideman for the time being, as I have several projects that are on-going.
 
Source: University of New Hampshire (Lori Wright)

Publication date: 8/7/2018

 


 

Other news in this sector:

8/14/2018 Four climatic zones in organic greenhouse Reichenau-Gemüse
8/14/2018 Project calls for women entrepreneurs in Africa to build intelligence network
8/13/2018 North Alabama man grows tomato that looks like a duck
8/13/2018 Kenya: Wheat grower switches to greenhouse tomatoes
8/13/2018 Slovakia: Coating helps tomatoes get through hot summers
8/10/2018 CAN (ON): Local grocers carry produce from new greenhouse tomato grower
8/10/2018 US (NE): Immigrant workers arrested at tomato greenhouse
8/10/2018 Video: Educational organic greenhouse trials cucumber cultivation
8/9/2018 "I'd rather it's too dry than too wet, but this is too much"
8/9/2018 New Zealand: Young Growers to face off in final
8/9/2018 "Rootstocks: the most common thing in organic pepper cultivation"
8/8/2018 Sweden: Former wood factory transformed into vertical farm
8/8/2018 Dutch lettuce grower installs LEDs in 29,000 m² greenhouse
8/8/2018 US: "Horticulture industry’s age problem bigger than you think"
8/8/2018 US (OK): Beggs couple pioneers in aquaponic farming
8/7/2018 "Our mini pepper acreage doubles every year"
8/6/2018 Quantifying hand-harvested produce and its growing conditions
8/6/2018 Government helps young Canadians gain experience on the farm
8/6/2018 Pick up for free: 6 million snack tomatoes
8/6/2018 CAN (ON): Greenhouse grower announces second phase of strawberry expansion