221 Gibberellic Acid Application Timing Effects on Juice Yield and Peel Quality of `Hamlin' Oranges

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0690
  • | 2 Abbott Labs, Orlando, FL 32818

Gibberellic acid (GA) applied in late summer or fall delays subsequent loss of peel puncture resistance (PPR) and development of yellow peel color in many citrus cultivars. Our objective was to determine the optimal time to apply GA for increasing juice yield of `Hamlin' sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.]. Mature trees on sour orange (Citrus aurantium L.) rootstock were sprayed with ≈24 L of a solution of GA (45 g a.i./ha) and organo-silicone surfactant (Silwet, 0.05%). Trees were sprayed on 26 Aug., 9 Sept., 2 Oct. (colorbreak), or 13 Oct. 1997, or nonsprayed (control). Peel puncture resistance, peel color, and juice yield were evaluated monthly between Dec. 1997 and Mar. 1998. Fruit from trees sprayed with GA had peels with higher PPR and less yellow color than fruit of control trees for most of the harvest season. The effect of GA on PPR and peel color lasted about 5 months. Juice yield was usually numerically greater for GA-treated fruit than for nontreated fruit. Fruit treated with GA at color break had significantly greater juice yield when harvested in late February than fruit from control trees. Thus, GA applied at color break appears to be the most effective time for enhancing peel quality and juice yield of `Hamlin' oranges.

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