Berries are a big deal here in the U.S. The farm gate value of strawberries—the No. 1 most popular berry in the U.S. by production volume—reached $2.3 billion in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other top berries include blueberries (330,000 tons used annually) and raspberries (89,000 tons used annually). For growers of fresh berries, crop productivity and crop health are essential factors to meet such strong market demand. Vermicomposting can help berries in the ways they need it most.
In one study, for example, Worm Power Liquid Extract provided strawberry growers with up to 28% yield increase. Growers also report their berry plants are more vigorous, have better fruit color and have larger fruit without decreased Brix (sugar content measurement).
How can vermicomposting provide these benefits? Let’s examine some of the attributes that make this worm-derived substance so helpful.
Simply put, a soil additive derived from worms contributes to a healthier ecosystem that’s often impossible to see with the naked eye. However, that doesn’t mean the microbial community isn’t hard at work. On the contrary, Cornell University research to develop a microbial taxonomy found more than 1,600 organisms living in suspension with Worm Power Liquid Extract. This natural and diverse compilation of microbe life can be ideal for a berry crop.
Beneath the soil, roots reach out into the world, pulling in water and nutrients to help berry plants grow healthy and strong. This is especially important because many berries are perennial, meaning they come back every year. Whether you grow berries and replant, or harvest berries from the same plant over multiple seasons, plant health is essential, and it starts with the roots. X-rays used by the University of Tennessee found Worm Power Liquid Extract boosted root area more than 2.3 times and increased root mass more than 1.9 times. These data points illustrate the ability of vermicomposting to support stronger roots compared to berries without it.
Berry crops can also benefit from vermicomposting’s positive effects in holding up against diseases. Some plants even produce disease-fighting compounds at levels up to 50% more than plants not treated with vermicomposting.
At the end of the day, growers get paid primarily on yield. Vermicomposting helps here, too, as shared earlier. A boost of up to 28% for strawberries is substantial and provides growers with an increased ability to meet market demand and improve their bottom line.
Remember those bigger-than-normal roots? This is where that benefit has a multiplier effect. Bigger roots create greater opportunities to pull micro- and macronutrients from the soil into the plant. You can experience these positive outcomes whether you are a conventional grower or an organic grower.
Nature-based solutions are increasingly important as growers seek to reduce their environmental impact while continuing to meet the needs of their customers. A worm-based soil additive can be just the thing to achieve that objective.
Berry growers keep us well-fed with some of nature’s most decadent crops. If you grow berries, Worm Power Liquid Extract can help you manage your business with excellence using the beneficial byproducts of nature’s workhorses: worms. To learn more about how this additive can help your plant health and productivity, visit Worm Power online or call 855-260-9676.