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Nicola Dallabetta, Andrea Guerra, Jonathan Pasqualini, and Gennaro Fazio

alternative way to reduce the number of trees per planting and the investment cost is to introduce new rootstock genotypes with slightly higher vigor, tolerant to replant disease and displaying similar or higher yield efficiency as ‘M.9-T337’ ( Reig et al

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James R. Schupp, H. Edwin Winzeler, Thomas M. Kon, Richard P. Marini, Tara A. Baugher, Lynn F. Kime, and Melanie A. Schupp

, fruit size, and quality characteristics using prices obtained from a major local fruit packer. Yield efficiency was calculated by dividing total yield by trunk cross-sectional area at harvest. The cropping portion of the study ended after year 2. During

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Gemma Reig, Jaume Lordan, Stephen Hoying, Michael Fargione, Daniel J. Donahue, Poliana Francescatto, Dana Acimovic, Gennaro Fazio, and Terence Robinson

have gained popularity with commercial growers for having greater yield efficiency, as well as greater tolerance to fire blight ( Erwinia amylovora ) and replant disease than the Malling rootstocks ( Fazio et al., 2015 ; Russo et al., 2007 ). Besides

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Cheryl R. Hampson, Harvey A. Quamme, Frank Kappel, and Robert T. Brownlee

The effect of increasing planting density at constant rectangularity on the fruit yield, fruit size, and fruit color of apple [Malus ×sylvestris (L) var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] in three training systems (slender spindle, tall spindle, and Geneva Y trellis) was assessed for 10 years. Five tree densities (from 1125 to 3226 trees/ha) and two cultivars (Royal Gala and Summerland McIntosh) were tested in a fully guarded split-split plot design. Density was the most influential factor. As tree density increased, per-tree yield decreased, but yield per unit area increased. The relation between cumulative yield per ha and tree density was linear at the outset of the trial, but soon became curvilinear, as incremental yield diminished with increasing tree density. The chief advantage of high density planting was a large increase in early fruit yield. In later years, reductions in cumulative yield efficiency, and in fruit color for `Summerland McIntosh', began to appear at the highest density. Training system had no influence on productivity for the first 5 years. During the second half of the trial, fruit yield per tree was greater for the Y trellis than for either spindle form at lower densities but not at higher densities. The slender and tall spindles were similar in nearly all aspects of performance, including yield. `Summerland McIntosh' yielded almost 40% less than `Royal Gala' and seemed more sensitive to the adverse effects of high tree density on fruit color.

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Wesley R. Autio, Duane W. Greene, and William J. Lord

`Summerland Red McIntosh' apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) on M.9/A.2, O.3, M.7 EMLA, M.26 EMLA, M.7A, OAR1, and Mark were evaluated over 10 years. Trees on M.7 EMLA and OAR1 were the largest, and trees on Mark were the smallest. Trees on M.7 EMLA produced the highest yields per tree, and those on OAR1 and Mark produced the lowest. The most yield-efficient trees were on O.3 and Mark. The least efficient trees were on OAR1. Fruit from trees on O.3, M.26 EMLA, or M.9/A.2 generally were the largest, and fruit from trees on OAR1 generally were the smallest. Red pigment development was inversely proportional to canopy size, with Mark resulting generally in the most red pigmentation and M.7 EMLA and M.7A generally resulting in the least. Methods of presenting productivity were compared. Presentation of yield per land area occupied or projected yield per planted area were biased in experiments where only some trees naturally would exceed the allotted space and, therefore, were containment pruned and where tree-to-tree competition was directly proportional to tree size. Yield efficiency was a less biased estimate. Further, in single-row planting systems with trees spaced at optimal densities, small trees must be more efficient than large trees to obtain similar yields.

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A.J. Daymond, P. Hadley, R.C.R. Machado, and E. Ng

Biomass partitioning of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) was studied in seven clones and five hybrids in a replicated experiment in Bahia, Brazil. Over an 18-month period, a 7-fold difference in dry bean yield was demonstrated between genotypes, ranging from the equivalent of 200 to 1389 kg·ha-1. During the same interval, the increase in trunk cross-sectional area ranged from 11.1 cm2 for clone EEG-29 to 27.6 cm2 for hybrid PA-150 × MA-15. Yield efficiency increment (the ratio of cumulative yield to the increase in trunk circumference), which indicated partitioning between the vegetative and reproductive components, ranged from 0.008 kg·cm-2 for clone CP-82 to 0.08 kg·cm-2 for clone EEG-29. An examination of biomass partitioning within the pod of the seven clones revealed that the beans accounted for between 32.0% (CP-82) and 44.5% (ICS-9) of the pod biomass. The study demonstrated the potential for yield improvement in cacao by selectively breeding for more efficient partitioning to the yield component.

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Ian J. Warrington, David C. Ferree, James R. Schupp, Frank G. Dennis Jr., and Tara A. Baugher

The characteristics of 1-year-old vegetative spurs growing on 2-year-old branches were measured on 28 `Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) strains growing on M.7 rootstocks at Clarksville, Mich., and on 23 strains of `Delicious' on M.7a rootstocks at Kearneysville, W.Va. Spur-type strains typically had densities >20 to 21 spurs/m, and high spur leaf numbers, leaf areas per spur, leaf areas per leaf, and terminal bud diameters, whereas values for standard strains were generally lower. However, for most spur quality characteristics, there was a continuous range of values between the extremes rather than any distinct grouping into either spur or standard type. At both sites, spur density was significantly and positively correlated with yield efficiency. In a related study, the spur characteristics of `Starkspur Supreme' were measured on nine rootstocks: M.7 EMLA, M.9 EMLA, M.26 EMLA, M.27 EMLA, M.9, MAC 9, MAC 24, OAR 1, and Ottawa 3. Spur leaf number and spur leaf area were both high with vigorous rootstocks, whereas spur density was low. The rootstocks MAC 9, M.9, and M.9 EMLA had the highest yield efficiencies.

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Terence L. Robinson

`Empire'/M.26 apple trees which were planted in 1978 and trained to a Y-trellis were pruned differentially from 1989-1993. Trees were dormant pruned by removing from 1-4 scaffold limbs. The annual increase in trunk cross-sectional area (TCA), and the number and length of shoots removed during summer pruning increased linearly as the severity of pruning increased. The number of shoots removed during summer pruning from the most severe pruning treatment was more than double that of the least severe treatment Cumulative fruit number and yield were reduced linearly with increasing severity of pruning while average fruit size was increased only slightly by severity of pruning. Light interception was reduced with increasing severity of pruning. Tree efficiency of converting light energy into fruit (g fruit/MJ PAR intercepted) was linearly reduced with increasing pruning severity. Most of the reduction in conversion efficiency appeared to be due to reduced partitioning of resources into fruit since partitioning index (g fruit/unit increase in TCA) was more highly correlated to pruning severity than to conversion efficiency. Conversion efficiency and partitioning index accounted for a greater portion of the yield variation than did light interception indicating that the influence of pruning on yield was more a function of changing internal physiology than reduced light interception.

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Chuhe Chen, Stephen F. Klauer, and J. Scott Cameron

Two test sites pairing perennially cold-damaged portions of fields vs. controls for a 3rd year were assessed. Winter 1997-1998 was very mild and produced less winter injury than the previous winters. We evaluated continued recovery of the raspberry canopy and cane productivity. In contrast to the last 2 years, the previously cold-damaged plots did not show higher levels of cane dieback, percentage of cane dieback, number of dead or dormant buds per cane, and percentage of dead buds at either site. Very few secondary laterals were produced at either site, which supports previous observations that raspberry compensates for winter injury with increased production of secondary laterals. For the first time, the damaged plots actually produced higher yields mainly through a significantly increased berry number per cane at both sites. Floricane leaves in the damaged plots showed higher photosynthetic rates at the green fruit stage and after harvest at site 2. Cane size was similar across sites, although the previously cold-damaged plants had higher berry numbers per lateral. It seems the newly recovered plants in the previously damaged plots had a renewed vigor, working harder to achieve a higher yield. No differences between treatments was detected in leaf nitrogen for a third year, suggesting this may not be a factor in winter injury here. A high population of weevils was observed at one injured site, suggesting a possible interaction with cold damage.

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Raffaele Testolin

Kiwifruit [Actinidia deliciosa (A. Chev.) C.F. Liang et A.R. Ferguson] crop response to variations in plant density and bud number per surface unit of growing area was studied to determine optimum levels of these factors. Five bud numbers per surface unit (50,000, 100,000, 150,000; 200,000, and 250,000 mixed buds/ha) and four plant densities, obtained by varying the in-row spacings (1.5, 3.0, 4.5, and 6.0 m), were combined in a factorial design and tested in a kiwifruit orchard during two growing seasons on the same vines. Kiwifruit yield increased from 7 to 24 t•ha-1 with increasing bud number per hectare according to a 2nd-order polynomial function. Both the reduction in the mean fruit mass as well as the percentage budbreak caused a decrease in orchard efficiency. No differences between 1.5- and 3.0-m in-row spacings were found; spacings wider than 3.0 m reduced crop efficiency principally by decreasing fruit mass.