Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author or Editor: Gary J. Puterka x
Clear All Modify Search

Processed-kaolin particle films (PKPFs) are used commercially in large quantities on horticultural crops to repel insects, and reduce heat stress and solar injury of fruit. Our studies determined the effect of two processed-mineral particle film materials (kaolin and calcium carbonate), on whole plant carbon assimilation, water use efficiency, yield, mean fruit weight and quality in `Empire' apple [(Malus ×sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh Mansf.))] over a four-year period. The application of a PKPF reduced canopy temperature, and probably reduced environmental stress, resulting in increased mean fruit weight and red color in two of the four years of the study. Whole canopy carbon assimilation studies indicated increased carbon assimilation only under conditions of high air temperature. The PKPF sprayed leaves also had reduced water use efficiency; likely due to increased stomatal conductance associated with reduced leaf temperature. Calcium carbonate had none of the positive effects of PKPF and reflected more photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) than the PKPF.

Free access

Experiments were performed over 3 years to examine the effect that particle film (PF) treatment had on fruit quality of several apple (Malus ×domestica) cultivars in Washington and West Virginia. In the first study, a highly reflective, white, hydrophilic particle-based kaolin mineral (Surround WP) was applied to `Empire' apple in May and June, on a season-long basis, or not at all. Red fruit color was increased by both the PF treatments compared with no treatment in all years. In a second study, the PF material was applied, starting at petal fall, every week for 6 weeks and then every 2 weeks until harvest to `Empire', `Gala', and `Fuji' trees in West Virginia and to `Cameo', `Fuji', and `Gala' trees in Washington. In the latter study, cultivar response to season-long applications varied by year and location. `Empire' consistently had improved red color with season-long applications of PF materials. `Gala' had greater fruit weight and red color with PF application in 1 of 2 years in West Virginia but not in Washington. `Fuji' had greater fruit weight and soluble solids content and `Cameo' had greater soluble solids, higher starch indices, and greater red color in Washington with the PF application. In these studies, application of a PF never reduced the surface red color in apples. A taste panel did not identify quality differences in `Empire' apples treated with PF vs. the control. Cultivar responses to PF applications were variable due to location and yearly environmental characteristics. While particle film technology has value for insect control and reducing sunburn, it has limited value to enhance fruit color due to the inconsistent response.

Full access

Particle film technology is a new tool for tree fruit production systems. Trials were performed in Santiago, Chile, and Washington and West Virginia to evaluate the effect of particle film treatments on apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] fruit temperature and the incidence of solar injury. Fruit surface temperature was reduced by the application of reflective particles and the amount of temperature reduction was proportional to the amount of particle residue on the fruit surface. Effective solar injury suppression was achieved with spray applications of 45 to 56 kg·ha-1 of a reflective, processed-kaolin particle film material in concentrations ranging from 3% to 12% in some of the locations. The timing of application to suppress solar injury was not clearly defined. The processed-kaolin particle film material was highly reflective to the ultraviolet wavelengths and this characteristic may be important in reducing solar injury to both fruit and leaves.

Free access

Particle film technology is a developing pest control system for tree fruit production systems. Trials were performed in Santiago, Chile, and York Springs, Pa., Wenatchee and Yakima, Wash., and Kearneysville, W. Va., to evaluate the effect of particle treatments on apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh) Manst.] leaf physiology, fruit yield, and fruit quality. Leaf carbon assimilation was increased and canopy temperatures were reduced by particle treatments in seven of the eight trials. Yield and/or fruit weight was increased by the particle treatments in seven of the eight trials. In Santiago and Kearneysville, a* values of the fruit surface were more positive in all trials although a* values were not increased in Wenatchee and Yakima. Results indicate that particle film technology is an effective tool in reducing heat stress in apple trees that may result in increased yield potential and quality.

Free access