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Terence L. Robinson* and Christopher B. Watkins

In 2001 and 2002, we imposed a wide range of croploads (0-15 fruits/cm2 of TCA) on 4- and 5-year-old Honeycrisp/M.9 trees by manual hand thinning soon after bloom to define appropriate croploads that give adequate repeat bloom and also the best fruit quality. At harvest each year we evaluated fruit ripening and quality. Samples were stored for 5 months in air at 38 °F and 33 °F and evaluated for fruit firmness and storage disorders. Cropload was negatively correlated with tree growth, return bloom, fruit size, fruit red color, fruit sugar content, fruit starch content, fruit firmness, fruit acidity, fruit bitter pit, fruit senescent breakdown, fruit rot and fruit superficial scald, but was positively correlated with leaf blotch symptoms, fruit internal ethylene concentration at harvest, and fruit soggy breakdown. There was a strong effect of cropload on fruit size up to a cropload 7, beyond which there was only a small additional effect. Although there was considerable variation in return bloom, a relatively low cropload was required to obtain adequate return bloom. Fruit red color was reduced only slightly up to a cropload of 8 beyond which it was reduced dramatically. The reduced fruit color and sugar content at high croploads could indicate a delay in maturity of but, fruits from high croploads were also softer, had less starch and greater internal ethylene. It that excessive croploads advance maturity. Overall, croploads greater than 10 resulted in no bloom the next year, and poor fruit size, color and flavor, but these fruits tended to have the least storage disorders. Moderate croploads (7-8) resulted in disappointing return bloom and mediocre fruit quality. For optimum quality and annual cropping, relatively low croploads of 4-5 were necessary.

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Paulo Roberto Ernani, Jaques Dias, Cassandro Vidal Amarante, and Diorvania Ribieiro

Calcium sprays have improved quality and storage life of apples throughout the world as a result of Ca prevention of many fruit physiological disorders. The efficacy of Ca sprays, however, varies according to soil, cultivar/rootstock, orchard cultural practices, and weather conditions. This study was carried out from 1998 to 2004 in southern Brazil in order to assess the effect of Ca sprays on quality of `Gala' fruits in an orchard planted in 1988 on a density of 1234 trees/ha. Treatments consisted of 0, 4, 8, and 12 sprays of 0.5% CaCl2. Fruits of same size and maturity level were annually analyzed at harvest and after 5 months of cold storage. In five out of six seasons, fruits from all treatments were free of any physiological disorder, and Ca sprays had no effect on leaf composition and on fruit quality attributes (soluble solids, acidity, starch pattern index, flesh firmness, and concentrations of N, K, Ca, and Mg). In the 2000–01 season, however, when yield was 18 t·ha-1 and fruits had an average weight of 175 g, the incidence of bitter pit plus lenticel blotch pit on stored fruits decreased from 24% in the treatment with no calcium to 2% in that with 12 calcium sprays. Two seasons later, yield was also light (25 t·ha-1) and fruits were big in size (168 g), but they did not show any disorders regardless of Ca sprays. It seems that the incidence of Ca related disorders in `Gala' apples grown on limed soils in Brazil only occurs in seasons with a light crop load as a result of large fruits and a high leaf/fruit ratio, associated with some unknown climatic factor.

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Massimo Tagliavini and Bruno Marangoni

Most deciduous fruit crops in Italy are grown in the north and especially in the eastern part of the Po River Valley (mainly in the Emilia Romagna and Veneto regions) and in the Adige River Valley (South Tyrol and Trento provinces). Soils in the wide Po River Valley, where pear (Pyrus communis), peach and nectarine (Prunus persica), kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa), plum (Prunus domestica and P. insititia), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), cherry (Prunus avium), and apple (Malus domestica) are grown, are alluvial, generally fertile, fine textured, alkaline, often calcareous and well enriched with Ca. Apple plantings are concentrated in the Adige Valley and located on a variety of soil types, including sandy loam, loamy sand soils or sandy clay, sometimes calcareous. Integrated fruit production is gaining importance and represents more than 80% of apple production in South Tyrol and about 60% of peach and nectarine production in Emilia Romagna. Under these conditions, the main objectives of mineral nutrition are to reconcile production and environmental concerns (minimize nutrient leaching, soil pollution, volatile emissions). In particular, fertilization aims to improve external and internal fruit quality and storage ability, reduce production costs, maintain soil fertility, avoid nutrient deficiency and excess and control tree vigor. Nitrogen applications have strongly decreased in recent years and there is a need to improve the efficiency of N fertilizers while avoiding deficiencies. Research is focussing on application technology, timing of N uptake, internal cycling of N and methods for assessing the need for N application (e.g., using estimates of native soil N availability). Early diagnosis of bitter pit is recommended for guiding applications of Ca sprays. Iron deficiency and chlorosis is a major problem in pear, peach and kiwifruit grown in alkaline and calcareous soils and Fe chelates are usually applied annually to the soil or to the canopy. Current research is focused on agronomic means for controlling the problem and on developing rootstocks tolerant to Fe deficiency.

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Frank J. Peryea

Postbloom zinc (Zn) sprays are replacing dormant and postharvest sprays as the primary means for applying Zn in commercial apple (Malus ×domestica) orchards. We conducted a multiyear field study comparing the phytoavailability of Zn in 11 commercially available Zn spray products, plus reagent-grade Zn nitrate and a water-sprayed control, applied postbloom at identical Zn concentrations to `Golden Delicious' apple trees. Two sprays were applied per season (mid-May and mid-June), at per-spray rates of either 0.5 lb/acre in 2000 or 1.0 lb/acre in 2001 and 2002. No sprays were applied in 2003 in order to evaluate carry-over effects. The Zn sprays had no effect on fruit number, bitter pit or russeting, or on leaf green color. Zinc concentrations of detergent plus acid-washed leaves (a procedure used to remove surface residues of the Zn sprays) sampled in August and of unwashed winter buds sampled the following January were used as indices of tree Zn status. Leaf Zn concentration generally increased in the order: Zn phosphate < Zn oxide = Zn oxysulfate < chelated/organically complexed Zn ≤ Zn nitrate. There was little consistent difference among chelated and organically complexed Zn products. Leaf Zn concentration varied considerably between seasons, and was not related to Zn application rate. All of the Zn sprays increased leaf Zn concentrations to desirable levels. Because the inorganic Zn-based products typically are substantially less expensive per unit of Zn, it may be less costly and just as effective to use a higher rate of an inorganic Zn product as to use a lower rate of a more expensive chelated or organically complexed Zn product. On the other hand, use of low rates of highly phytoavailable Zn products minimizes release of the nutritionally essential but potentially ecohazardous metal into the environment. There was no detectable lasting effect of the three previous seasons of Zn sprays on leaf Zn in 2003. Similarly, there was no detectable effect in any year of the Zn spray treatments on bud Zn concentration the following winter. These results suggest that the amount of Zn supplied by the sprays at the tested rates was insufficient to promote substantial Zn accumulation within the trees, thereby validating the recommendation for annual application of Zn nutritional maintenance sprays.

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R.E. Byers, D.H. Carbaugh, and L.D. Combs

Prohexadione calcium applied as a series of three applications starting soon after petal fall to `Fuji'/M.9 apple trees reduced the number of pruning cuts, pruning time, pruning weight per tree, current season's shoot length, individual shoot weights, and increased number of nodes on the lower 40 cm of shoots. Fruit diameter, soluble solids, starch, or individual fruit weights were not affected by Apogee sprays. Fruit color and firmness were slightly increased in only one experiment. Growth suppression appeared to be greater on trees cropping more heavily. When trees were more heavily thinned, less shoot growth control was achieved. Apogee applied at 250 mg/L in three applications caused a significant increase in fruit set when compared to the control. Alone Vydate, Carbaryl+Oil, or Carbary+Accel+Oil caused fruit thinning, but neither ethephon nor shading 3 days caused significant thinning. Apogee did not influence results of chemical thinners when applied between the first and second Apogee applications. The 10% and the 27.5% Apogee formulations gave similar shoot growth inhibition when applied with Regulaid or Oil+Silwet L-77. When using hard water (well water), the 27.5% Apogee formulation was not as effective as the 10% formulation. The 10% Apogee formulation has more NH4SO4 than the 27.5% formulation w/w; NH4SO4 is used to prevent inactivation of Apogee by calcium and other cations when hard water is used for spraying. The addition of CaCl (frequently used to reduce bitter pit and corkspot disorders) to the 27.5% Apogee formulation caused poorer growth control than with hard water alone. When Apogee was used at 125 mg/L, the addition of NH4SO4 restored the effectiveness of the hard water+CaCl mixture. Alone the additives NH4SO4, Ca Cl, Regulaid, and/or Oil plus L-77, had no effect on tree growth. Apogee plus L-77+Oil provided additional growth suppression when compared to Apogee+Regulaid. In 1998, three applications of Apogee (63 mg/L) or ethephon (135 mg/L) did not affected shoot growth of `Fuji'/M.9 trees at these low rates. Combinations of Apogee and ethephon gave good control of tree growth. Flowering and fruit set were not promoted by any of these applications.

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CHLORIDE SPRAYS CONTROL BITTER PIT IN `HONEYCRISP' APPLES `Honeycrisp' is a new apple variety that is generating both consumer demand and high prices for producers. `Honeycrisp' is highly susceptible to the calcium-related fruit disorder known as bitter pit

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of 50.25 ft from starting point). Managing Bitter Pit in ‘Honeycrisp’ Apples With Foliar Calcium Although ‘Honeycrisp’ apples are very popular with consumers, they are prone bitter pit, a physiological disorder that results in unmarketable fruit and

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Thomas Sotiropoulos, Nikolaos Koutinas, Antonios Petridis, and Ioannis Therios

’ do not show symptoms of the physiological disorder ”bitter pit” or ”external browning.” The fruit maintains firmness, juiciness, and flavor very well in standard cold storage (0 to 1 °C) for ≈5 months. Origin The cultivar Odysseus is a cross between

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Paweł Wójcik, Anna Skorupińska, and Hamide Gubbuk

Calcium deficiency in apple ( M. domestica Borkh.) flesh is a serious problem for many varieties ( Wójcik, 2004 ). Apples with a low Ca status are sensitive to cracking, sunburn, and some physiological disorders (bitter pit, cork spot, superficial

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Christopher B. Watkins and Jacqueline F. Nock

to a number of physiological disorders including bitter pit, soft scald, soggy breakdown, low temperature breakdown, and senescent breakdown ( DeEll and Ehsani-Moghaddam, 2010 ; DeLong et al., 2006 ; Moran et al., 2009 ; Rosenberger et al., 2004