The effect of cropload (kg yield/kg pruning weight) on yield components and fruit composition of 17 eastern European grapevine cultivars was evaluated from 2000 to 2004 in a vineyard, at the research station in western Kentucky, characterized by a long and warm season. There was a cubic relationship between number of clusters retained per vine and the cropload (R2 = 0.6374, P < 0.0001). Similar relationship was evident between yield per vine and cropload (R2 = 0.5908, P < 0.0001). Of the observed variation in cluster weight, 28% was attributed to variation among predictions, based on the value of cropload in a quadratic relationship (P < 0.0001). As cropload increased, pruning weight per meter of row decreased (R2 = 0.4513, P < 0.0001). However, there was very little effect of cropload on the percentage of total soluble solids and juice pH measured at harvest. Optimum cropload values fell in between 13–18 (kg yield/kg pruning weight) depending upon cultivar evaluated, based on optimum ranges for pruning weight per meter of row for optimum vine balance in the lower Midwest.
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