Particle Film Application Influences Apple Leaf Physiology, Fruit Yield, and Fruit Quality

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, 45 Wiltshire Road, Kearneysville, WV 25430
  • 2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, 1104 N. Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 988001-1299
  • 3 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, 5230 Konowac Pass Road, Wapato, WA 98951
  • 4 Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias Centro regional de Investigacion. Casilla 439-3, Santiago, Chile
  • 5 Rice Fruit Company, 2760 Carlisle Road, Gardners, PA 17324-0066

Particle film technology is a developing pest control system for tree fruit production systems. Trials were performed in Santiago, Chile, and York Springs, Pa., Wenatchee and Yakima, Wash., and Kearneysville, W. Va., to evaluate the effect of particle treatments on apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh) Manst.] leaf physiology, fruit yield, and fruit quality. Leaf carbon assimilation was increased and canopy temperatures were reduced by particle treatments in seven of the eight trials. Yield and/or fruit weight was increased by the particle treatments in seven of the eight trials. In Santiago and Kearneysville, a* values of the fruit surface were more positive in all trials although a* values were not increased in Wenatchee and Yakima. Results indicate that particle film technology is an effective tool in reducing heat stress in apple trees that may result in increased yield potential and quality.

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