Six trials were conducted to determine whether lower spray volumes or inclusion of different surfactants would permit adequate thinning of mandarin hybrids (Citrus reticulata hybrids) at a much lower cost per hectare. Sprays were applied using a commercial airblast orchard sprayer during physiological drop when fruitlets averaged 8 to 16 mm in diameter. Surfactant was always included at 0.05% v/v. NAA always reduced fruit per tree, increased fruit size, and decreased production of smallest size fruit. However, in only three experiments, contrast of all NAA treatments vs. controls indicated increased production of the largest (80–100 fruit per carton) and most valuable fruit. In four of five experiments, comparison of spray volumes of 600 (only examined in three of four experiments), 1200, or 2300 L·ha–1 demonstrated significant fruit size enhancement from all NAA applications. Most individual NAA treatments resulted in fewer fruit per tree, but there were no statistically significant differences between NAA treatments at different spray volumes. In only one of the four experiments, there was a marked linear relationship between spray volume and fruit per tree, yield, mean fruit size, and production of largest fruit sizes. The effects of surfactants (Activator, a nonionic, Silwet L-77, and LI-700) on NAA thinning were tested in both `Murcott' and `Sunburst'. In comparisons between Silwet L-77 and Activator surfactant, one experiment with `Murcott' showed greater fruit per tree and yield reduction from using Silwet, but with a smaller increase in production of largest fruit sizes, whereas in another `Murcott' experiment, Silwet L-77 reduced numbers of smaller fruit size with no increase in production of larger fruit. Based on these findings, current recommendations for NAA thinning of Fla. mandarins are use of spray volume of ≈1100–1400 L·ha–1 on mature trees with proportionally lower volume on smaller trees. These data appear to support use of a nonionic surfactant rather than other tested surfactants in NAA thinning of Florida mandarins. Because experience with NAA thinning of Florida citrus is limited, it is only recommended where the disadvantages of overcropping are perceived to substantially outweigh the potential losses from overthinning.
Ed Stover, Scott Ciliento, Monty Myers, Brian Boman, John Jackson Jr., and Max Still
The effect of aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), commercially available as ReTain, and three organo-silicone surfactants were evaluated in a series of four experiments over a 2-year period in two commercial peach orchards. Four rates of AVG (0, 66, 132, and 264 mg·L–1 AVG; all applied with 0.05% Sylgard 309) and three surfactants (0.05% Sylgard 309; 0.05% Regulaid; and 0.50% LI-700; all applied with 132 mg·L–1 AVG) were applied to `Venture' and `Babygold 7' peach trees 10 days before first harvest. Fruit were harvested according to commercial standard maturation criteria of background color, suture filling, and fruit size. Treatments were assessed in relation to fruit maturity, delay in harvest, fruit size and yield, fruit quality (flesh firmness and brix), as well as fruit quality following 2 weeks of cold storage. Based on sequential harvest data, the maturation of the AVG treated trees was delayed by about 3 to 4 days. Fruit from AVG treated trees were firmer at harvest and 2 weeks following cold storage at 2°C. However, no additional increase in fruit size or yield was detected. In addition, the addition of a surfactant was not necessary for AVG to be efficacious for delaying maturity and enhancing firmness when applied at 132 mg·L–1 AVG. However, when the three surfactants were compared, Regulaid and Li 700 advanced color development in one experiment and Li-700 resulted in firmer fruit in another. Aminoethoxyvinylglycine applications to the clingstone cultivars `Venture' and `Babygold 7' can be used successfully to manage harvest activities by delaying the onset of picking and improving fruit firmness.
J.R. Schupp, T.L. Robinson, W.P. Cowgill Jr., and J.M. Compton
Three experiments were conducted on `Empire' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) to evaluate the effects of hard water, calcium chloride (CaCl2), water conditioners, surfactants, and captan fungicide on the growth reduction and fruit cracking caused by prohexadione-calcium (PC). Two applications of 63 mg·L-1 PC provided season-long growth control in two studies. Adding a water conditioner to PC reduced shoot growth more than an application of PC in hard or soft water in one New York study. Ammonium sulfate (AMS) and Choice were equally effective water conditioners. PC provided no growth control of water sprouts and had no effect on fruit set or yield. PC applied at 250 mg·L-1 reduced fruit size. `Empire' fruit cracking and corking was severe, despite the use of only 63 mg·L-1 PC in two of the three experiments. This damage was exacerbated by the addition of a water conditioner, however AMS applied with a surfactant but without PC had little or no effect on either the severity or extent of fruit injury. In a third experiment, the addition of surfactants, CaCl2, or captan to 250 mg·L-1 PC plus a water conditioner had no effect on the severity of fruit damage. Fruit cracking caused by PC increased preharvest drop in two of three experiments, and increased postharvest rot in the Geneva, N.Y., experiment where fruit were stored prior to grading. Application of PC plus a water conditioner reduced estimated gross return per hectare for `Empire. We conclude that the fruit injury is caused by the formulated PC product itself under certain environmental conditions, and that this product should not be used on `Empire. Chemical name used: calcium 3-oxido-4-proprionyl-5-oxo-3-cyclohexine-carboxylate [prohexadione-calcium (PC)].
This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of fruit quality, ethylene evolution, and storage in apple `Tsugaru' as influenced by aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) and several surfactants. When treated with AVG + Silwet L-77, there was little significant difference in soluble solids and acidity as compared with control, but dichlorprop treatment was significantly increased in soluble solids and decreased in acidity. Color development was decreased when treated with AVG + Silwet L-77. AVG + Silwet L-77 treatment decreased ethylene evolution, and increased storage. It can be concluded that fruit can be left on trees longer and still maintain storability, and more fruit is able to go to fresh market from long-term storage, which increases the marketability of apple.
Martin J. Bukovac
The importance of spray application and the role of spray additives are reviewed in reference to increasing the effectiveness of plant growth regulators (PGR). The spray application process is composed of a number of interrelated components, from formulation of the active ingredient into a sprayable, bioactive solution (emulsion/suspension), to atomization, delivery, retention, and penetration into the plant tissue. Each of these events is critical to performance of the PGR. Also, each can be affected by spray additives, particularly adjuvants, which may be incorporated in the formulation of the active ingredient or added to the spray mixture. The role of the individual components and effects of spray adjuvants, particularly surfactants and fertilizer adjuvants, on the component processes are discussed.
Stephen M. Southwick, Kitren G. Weis, James T. Yeager, Michael E. Rupert, and Janine K. Hasey
In 1994, we established that a surfactant, Armothin (AR), reduced fruit set when applied as 3% and 5% AR at 100 gal/acre with a Stihl mistblower to `Loadel' clingstone peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. In 1995 we compared 3% AR at volumes of 100 and 200 gal/acre (935 and 1870 L.ha-1, the volumes most commonly used by tree fruit growers in California) applied with commercial airblast sprayer; overthinning resulted with the latter. In 1996, we applied 3% AR at 100 gal/acre and 1% AR at 200 gal/acre. In 1995, differential applications of 3% AR at 100 gal/acre (two-thirds of the material applied to either the upper or lower canopy) reduced fruit set in the upper canopy in proportion to the amount of chemical applied (twice as much fruit set reduction with twice as much chemical); fruit set in the lower canopy was reduced by an equal amount regardless of amount of chemical used. Salable yields, equivalent to those obtained by hand thinning, and improved fruit size were achieved with all treatments of 3% AR at 100 gal/acre in 1995 with a 76% reduction in hand thinning. Following a low-chill winter (1995-96) with a protracted bloom, flower bud density (return bloom) was significantly greater in 1995 AR-treated trees. In 1996, treatment with AR did not result in fruit set reduction due to the protracted bloom and poor weather conditions before and after bloom. Nonetheless, 1% AR at 200 gal/acre applied in 1996 increased salable yield and increased final fruit mass. Return bloom in 1997 was equal among 1996 treatments.
K.G. Weis, S.M. Southwick, J.T. Yeager, M.E. Rupert, R.E. Moran, J.A. Grant, and W.W. Coates
In continuing trials (1995-current), we have used a variety of treatments to overcome inadequate chilling, coordinate bloom, improve leaf out and cropping, and advance/coordinate maturity in sweet cherry, cv. Bing. Treatments have included hydrogen cyanamide (HCN, Dormex) and various surfactants or dormant oils combined with calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN17). Chill hour accumulation, (required chilling for `Bing' = 850 to 880 chill hours) has varied greatly in each dormant season from 392 (Hollister, 1995-1996) to adequate, depending both on the season and location (central valley vs. coastal valley). In 1998, 4% HCN advanced budbreak significantly compared to any other treatment, although other chemical treatments also were more advanced than the untreated control. Dormex advanced completion of bloom 11% to 40% more than other treatments, although other dormancy-replacing chemicals were at least 16% more advanced in petal fall than the untreated control. Dormex contributed to slightly elevated truss bud death, as did 2% Armobreak + 25% CAN17. In 1998, fruit set was improved by 2% Armobreak + 25% CAN17 (79%) compared to the untreated control (50%); all other treatments statistically equaled the control. Fruit set was not improved by Dormex, although bloom was advanced by a few days in this treatment. As fruit set was increased by treatments, rowsize decreased (as did fruit weight), as expected, but no treatment resulted in unacceptable size. In 1997, fruit set was also improved by 2% Armobreak + 25% CAN17; however, fruit set was so low overall in that year that no real impact was found. In 1997 and 1998, 4% HCN advanced fruit maturity compared to other treatments, with darker, softer, larger fruit at commercial harvest. These and additional results will be presented.
Dean R. Evert
Armothin® thinned `Sentinel' fruit on peach trees (Prunus persica L.) in 1993. Thinning increased as Armothin® rate in the single spray increased from 1.5X, to 3.0% to 6.0% (v:v) and as the percentage of open blossoms increased from 30% to 61%. The 1.5 % rate of Armothin® thinned significantly only on the third date, and the 6.0% rate overthinned slightly on the third date. Minor discoloration developed on the expanding leaves of a few of trees but disappeared in a few days. No leaf abscission occurred on treated trees and tree growth was normal. Variability between trees treated alike probably reflects the variability in bloom when sprayed. According to Akzo, Armothin® prevents pollination by reacting with the surface of the receptive stigma. Spraying after full bloom should selectively prevent fertilization of the last blossoms to open without destroying the fertilized fruit. This possibility will be tested in 1994. Armothin®, which is a contact thinner, seems to avoid the problems associated with thinners that act as growth regulators and with nonselective caustic thinners. Because of its low phytotoxicity and wide range of effective rates, Armothin® has great potential as a chemical thinner.
A.W. Caylor, W.A. Dozier Jr., and J. Pitts
Latron AG-98 (formerly named Triton AG-98) was applied to 8-year-old `Surecrop' peach trees on Lovell rootstock at 0%, 2%, 4%, and 6% (v/v) on 13 Mar. 1990 and 1992 and 28 Mar. 1991. Our objective was to determine the effect Latron AG-98 had on percentage of blossoms removed, fruit set, total fruit count and yield, and marketable fruit weight. The percentage of blossoms removed increased with increasing rates of Latron AG-98. The 4% and 6% rates removed the greatest percentage of blooms in all 3 years. The number of fruit per 50 cm of shoot length, number of fruit removed by hand-thinning, percent fruit set, total fruit number, and total fruit yield decreased with increasing rates of Latron AG-98 in 1990 and 1992 but not in 1991. The marketable fruit weight increased with increasing rates of Latron AG-98 in 1990 and 1992 but not in 1991. Latron AG-98 was not effective in 1991 because of a 2-day delay in application. Latron AG-98 was effective in removing blossoms from `Surecrop' peach at all three rates. However, the 4% and 6% rates reduced the yields below a commercially acceptable level. The 2% rate of Latron AG-98 could be useful as a tool to reduce the labor required to hand-thin peaches.
David L. Ehret, Carol Koch, Jim Menzies, Peter Sholberg, and Tim Garland
Foliar sprays of a nonswelling chlorite mica clay were applied to leaves of greenhouse-grown long English cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants, either before or after an artificial inoculation with powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlech.:Fr.) Poll.] and to field-grown wine grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) before natural inoculation with powdery mildew [Uncinula necator (Schwein.) Burrill]. In all cases, the clay sprays did not eradicate the pathogen, but resulted in significant reductions in disease severity. In cucumber, a single spray of 0.5% clay reduced colony numbers on leaves by up to 60%. Spraying after inoculation was generally more effective than spraying before inoculation. In grapes, repeated sprays of either 2% or 4% clay were applied through the season to `Reisling' and `Chancellor' vines. Four percent clay reduced the amount of leaf surface covered by mildew by 22% in `Reisling' and 51% in `Chancellor'. Both concentrations reduced the incidence of mildew on clusters and canes. No treatment effects were observed on fruit quality. Our results demonstrate that foliar sprays of clay can reduce the severity of Sphaerotheca fuliginea and Uncinula necator on cucumbers and grapes, respectively.