(100) Effect of Cropload, Irrigation, and Fertilization on Yield and Postharvest Bitter Pit Incidence of `Honeycrisp' Apple

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  • 1 Cornell University, Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Geneva, NY, 14456

A factorial field experiment was conducted at the New York State Agricultural Experimental Station in Geneva, N.Y., during 2004 and 2005 with `Honeycrisp' apple trees on M.9 rootstock. The main plot factors were three levels of applied nitrogen (0 kg/ha, 50 k/ha, and 100 k/ha); three levels of applied K2O (0 k/ha, 100 kg/ha, and 200 kg/ha); ± foliar nutrient sprays containing N, B, Zn, and Mg, ± foliar sprays of CaCl2 and ± trickle irrigation. The subplot factor was cropload (3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 fruits/cm2 TCA). Trees receiving irrigation or potassium had higher yields and the effect was greater as cropload was increased. There was no effect of nitrogen fertilization, foliar Ca, and foliar N, B, Zn, and Mg on yield. Irrigation and increased potassium fertilization rate reduced fruit soluble solids at harvest. Foliar calcium applications, foliar N, B, Zn, and Mg applications, and nitrogen fertilization rate did not affect fruit soluble solids at harvest. No treatment factor had an effect on fruit firmness at harvest, but, after 4 months on cold storage, fruits from irrigated trees had greater firmness. Bitter pit incidence was lower on apples from trees that did not receive irrigation compared to irrigated trees. The difference was constant under all cropload levels. Foliar calcium applications, foliar N, B, Zn, and Mg applications, nitrogen fertilization rate and potassium fertilization rate did not affect bitter pit incidence.

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