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  • Author or Editor: Gerard Krewer x
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Abstract

Fruit tissue only was treated with concentrations of 0, 240, 360, 480, 600, 720, 840, and 960 ppm of (2-chloroethyl)methyl bis (phenyl methoxy) silane (CGA 15281) applied to 1/3, 1/2, and 2/3 of the fruit surface. Increased abscission of fruit occurred as ovule length increased from 3.5 mm to 13.3 mm when fruit alone were treated. Foliage sprays of the same concentrations with the fruit protected generally had no effect on fruit or leaf abscission. Application of 0.01 ml droplet of CGA 15281 to the abscission zone, peduncle, and fruit cheek caused little fruit removal, but produced chlorosis of the treated area on the fruit. The data suggest that fruit contact with CGA 15281 is necessary for fruit thinning.

Open Access

Abstract

‘Spalding’ pear (Pyrus sp. Nak) has been released to provide a good quality pear cultivar for home planting in the Piedmont area of the southeast where fire blight is a major problem.

Open Access

Five experiments were run using surfactants and gibberellic acid (ProGibb). Fruit set is a problem with rabbiteye blueberry plants. Gibberellic acid sprayed on plants when they are in bloom does enhance fruit set. Currently, it costs $247/ha to achieve this enhanced fruit set. `Tifblue', `Climax', and `Woodard' cultivars were used in on-farm experiments. Usually, applications of 80 + 80 are used. With use of X-77 and L-77 surfactants, rates were reduced to 40 + 40. Other rates examined were 32 + 32, 24 + 24, 16 + 16 + 16. Fruit was enhanced significantly over no spraying. Airblast I sprayer performed better PropTec, whether used for day or night applications. Spraying slanting downward produced greater fruit set than from the side. E1: Trt = 15 – 20, C = 11 lb/lo. E2: 32 + 32 = 12, 16 + 16 = 7 lb/lo. E3: AB = 64, PT = 48 %FS; Trt = 56, C = 35 %FS; `C' = 73, `T' = 39 %FS. E4: 5% FS with Trt; `T' = 53, `W' = 57 %FS. E5: 30 + 30 = 87, – 40 + 40 = 80 %FS.

Free access

Bananas (Musa spp.) are a popular ornamental plant in the southern United States; however, only a few cultivars, such as Lady's Finger and Orinoco, are grown in Georgia. Thirty-three primarily commercial cultivars of bananas were grown for 2 years near Savannah, Georgia, to determine their suitability for ornamental and nursery production, and for 3 years for fruit observations. Most plants were grown from tissue culture plugs. They were given rates of fertilization used for commercial banana fruit production. Most cultivars produced 10 to 14 leaves and grew to heights of 1.5 to 2.0 m. Some displayed desirable ornamental characteristics such as pink-tinted pseudostems, colorful flowers, and large graceful leaves. Some of the most attractive tall-growing cultivars were Belle, Ice Cream, Kandarian, Manzano, Saba, and 1780. Some of the most attractive medium-height cultivars were Dwarf Namwah, Dwarf Orinoco, Goldfinger, Raja Puri, and Super Plantain. In the short category, the cultivars Dwarf Nino, Gran Nain, Kru, and Sum X Cross were among the most attractive ornamentals. Many of the cultivars flowered and began producing fruit in late summer, although only ‘Raja Puri’, ‘Sweetheart’, and ‘1780’ produced palatable fruit before frost in November. Cultivars were also rated for their ability to produce suckers that could be used for nursery production. In year 2, ‘Manzano’ and ‘1780’ produced more than six high-quality suckers for nursery propagation. Potential income for these cultivars was over $60 per plant. For the planting as a whole, sales of suckers at a field day averaged $7 per plant in year 2, and $17 per plant in year 3.

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Mechanical harvesting systems for processed blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) are available. However, low harvest efficiency and high fruit damage have limited the use of mechanical harvesters for picking blueberries for fresh market to specific cultivars under good weather conditions. New harvesting technology for fresh-market blueberries is needed. The V45 harvester was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1994 to harvest fresh-market-quality northern highbush (V. corymbosum) blueberries in Michigan. The current study was performed in Georgia to evaluate the V45 harvester on specially pruned rabbiteye blueberry [V. virgatum (syn. V. ashei)] and southern highbush blueberry (V. darrowi × V. corymbosum) and included analysis of harvest efficiency and fruit quality (percent blue fruit, percent bloom, percent split skin, and internal bruise damage). Six-year-old, 6- to 8-ft-tall ‘Brightwell’ and ‘Powderblue’ rabbiteye blueberry plants were winter pruned to remove vertically growing and overarching canes in the center of the bush in Jan. 2004 and Feb. 2005 respectively. Three-year-old, 3- to 5-ft-tall ‘FL 86-19’ and ‘Star’ southern highbush blueberry plants were similarly pruned in summer (June 2004) or in winter (Feb. 2005). Pruning removed an estimated 30% to 50% of the canopy and opened the middle, resulting in V-shaped plants in both rabbiteye and southern highbush blueberries. Yield of winter-pruned ‘Brightwell’ rabbiteye blueberry was lower compared with unpruned plants during both years, but winter-pruned ‘Powderblue’ rabbiteye blueberry plants produced as much as unpruned plants in 2005. In ‘FL 86-19’ southern highbush blueberry, plants that were summer pruned in June 2004 produced as much as unpruned plants in 2005, but plants that were winter pruned in Feb. 2005 had lower yields than unpruned plants in 2005. The V45 harvester caused little cane damage on pruned blueberry plants. In rabbiteye blueberries, internal fruit damage and skin splitting was less in V45-harvested fruit than in fruit harvested by a sway harvester and nearly that of hand-harvested fruit. However, in ‘FL 86-19’ southern highbush blueberry, the V45 harvester detached a lower percentage of blue fruit and excessive amounts of immature and stemmed fruit. These findings suggest that the V45 harvester has the potential to harvest some rabbiteye blueberry cultivars mechanically with fruit quality approaching that of hand-harvested fruit.

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Georgia has an excellent window for organic blueberry production since much of the crop ripens ahead of production in the northern U.S. Major challenges facing Georgia organic blueberry growers are weed control, organic fertilization, insect control and disease control. A team of Georgia growers, extension agents and scientists are working together to solve these production problems. Since 2002 a series of experiments have been conducted on blueberry establishment and maintenance. Various mulch materials were tested. On young plants, pine straw produced the highest yields, but pine bark and landscape fabric were also successful. With the pine straw treatment, a respectable yield of 0.97 kg/plant occurred 24 months after planting. In addition, a bed shaper–plastic mulch layer was modified by developing a removable center. Using this system, beds are formed, plants are mechanically transplanted, plants are pruned to 75 mm, and plastic is then pulled over the stem. This produces a fairly tight fit around the stem and a nearly weed free system except for weeds growing from the edges. On mature plants, pine bark and wheat straw were tested. Wheat straw produced excellent weed control and improved blueberry growth in year one and two. However, pine bark mulch provided the best weed control in year three. Various organic burn down compounds such as vinegar, Xpress, Alldown, and Matran 2 were tested for winter weed control efficacy. In these trials Matran 2 was the most effective, and the product also performed well on woody weeds that were winter pruned, allowed to resprout and then treated. A propane torch was also tested, but discarded because of the fire hazard. Entrust insecticide was tested for thrips control and gibberellic acid for fruit set. Thrips populations were low, so no effect on fruit set was noted from Entrust. Gibberellic acid significantly improved fruit set.

Free access