CHEMICAL THINNING OF `SURECROP' PEACH WITH LATRON AG-98 SURFACTANT

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL 36849
  • 2 Chilton Area Horticulture Substation, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL 36849

Latron AG-98 (formerly named Triton AG-98) was applied to 8-year-old `Surecrop' peach trees on Lovell rootstock at 0%, 2%, 4%, and 6% (v/v) on 13 Mar. 1990 and 1992 and 28 Mar. 1991. Our objective was to determine the effect Latron AG-98 had on percentage of blossoms removed, fruit set, total fruit count and yield, and marketable fruit weight. The percentage of blossoms removed increased with increasing rates of Latron AG-98. The 4% and 6% rates removed the greatest percentage of blooms in all 3 years. The number of fruit per 50 cm of shoot length, number of fruit removed by hand-thinning, percent fruit set, total fruit number, and total fruit yield decreased with increasing rates of Latron AG-98 in 1990 and 1992 but not in 1991. The marketable fruit weight increased with increasing rates of Latron AG-98 in 1990 and 1992 but not in 1991. Latron AG-98 was not effective in 1991 because of a 2-day delay in application. Latron AG-98 was effective in removing blossoms from `Surecrop' peach at all three rates. However, the 4% and 6% rates reduced the yields below a commercially acceptable level. The 2% rate of Latron AG-98 could be useful as a tool to reduce the labor required to hand-thin peaches.

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