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  • Author or Editor: Dave Ferree x
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`Chambourcin' (Vitis sp.) is a French-American hybrid cultivar that has the propensity to overcrop, and its performance under cool climate and short growing season is not known. This study was conducted for five years (2000 to 2004) to evaluate the effect of three levels of cluster thinning (10, 20, and 30 clusters per vine) on yield and fruit composition of `Chambourcin' grown in northeastern Ohio. Cluster thinning reduced yield per vine and crop load, but increased pruning, cluster and berry weights. Cluster thinning also improved juice composition by increasing soluble solids and pH but not acidity. It was concluded that under the climatic conditions of this study, thinning to 10 clusters per vine (or 8 clusters per meter of row) produced the lowest yield but the highest vine size with the most optimum fruit composition. Therefore, vines from the 10-cluster treatment were considered the most balanced in the 5-year study. Additionally, due to the repeated coincidence of harvest with the first fall frost, it was suggested that the site in continental Northeast Ohio is risky for commercial production and longer and warmer seasons are thus preferred.

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A series of experiments were undertaken to compare the effects of individual and combined applications of GA4+7 and prohexadione-Ca (P-Ca) on scarf skin and fruit quality parameters on red strains of `Rome Beauty' and `Gala' apples. Three applications of GA4+7 at 10-day intervals beginning at petal fall (PF) significantly reduced scarf skin severity in all experiments. A single application of P-Ca at PF had no effect on scarf skin in one experiment but reduced scarf skin severity in two further experiments. Combining P-Ca with the first of three GA4+7 sprays as a tank mix reduced the severity of scarf skin more effectively than either material alone in two of three experiments at P < 0.05 and in all three experiments at P < 0.10. Combining P-Ca with the first application of GA4+7 as a tank mix generally reduced scarf skin as effectively as applying P-Ca and the first GA4+7 spray two days apart, although in one experiment, greater scarf skin control was achieved when P-Ca was applied 2 days after the first GA4+7 spray. A single application of P-Ca at PF consistently reduced, and three applications of GA4+7 consistently increased, mean fruit weight at harvest compared with the control. The economic benefits as a result of reducing scarf skin severity with P-Ca and GA4+7 sprays will need to be balanced against the negative effect of P-Ca on mean fruit weight. There is no antagonism between early season P-Ca and GA4+7 sprays for scarf skin control, and P-Ca may increase the efficacy of GA4+7 sprays for scarf skin control in apple.

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