QUANTITATIVE MEASUREMENT OF CLUSTER COMPACTNESS IN SEVERAL TABLE GRAPE CULTIVARS.

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  • 1 Michigan State University, Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center, Benton Harbor, MI 49022.

Cluster compactness can affect fruit quality by influencing pesticide spray penetration into clusters and by predisposing berries to cracking and subsequent decay. Compactness of clusters can be altered through gibberellic acid sprays, flower cluster thinning and pruning severity. Assessment of cluster compactness has often been performed using a visual rating system which may not provide adequate quantitative measurement. Evaluation of cluster compactness by insertion of wedges between randomly chosen pairs of berries on a cluster revealed a high correlation with a visual rating system and a more sensitive measure of cluster compactness than the visual rating system. Several pruning severity treatments were applied to table grape cultivars to determine their influence on cluster compactness. It was possible to measure statistically significant differences in cluster compactness among these treatment using this wedge measurement technique.

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