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  • Author or Editor: Gerald R. Brown x
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An experiment was initiated at the Univ. of Kentucky Research and Education orchard, Princeton, Ky., to determine the training practices needed to obtain early production and optimal fruit size from trees trained to either the slender spindle or the French axe system on vigorous sites. One-hundred-eighty trees (five rows, 32 trees per row) of `Golden Delicious' on M.9 rootstock were planted in May 1997, in a randomized complete-block design with eight treatment combinations, consisting of two training systems and four levels of training intensity. Trunk circumference averaged 61 cm at planting and did not vary significantly among rootstocks. A trellis was constructed, and trickle irrigation was installed. All trees are currently alive. Each season, over half the total time spent training the trees was spent during the first 5 weeks the trees were trained. About 2 minutes per week was needed to train each tree during the first 5 weeks, but only 45 seconds per week was needed in the sixth through the 16th week. Trunk circumference, yield, and average weight per fruit did not vary significantly in the analysis of variance. Training per kilogram of fruit averaged 4.2 minutes.

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Each of the grape cultivars [Vitis species, (L) Batch], `Concord', `Himrod', `Challenger', `Reliance', `Glenora', `Moored', planted June 1983, and `Mars' planted Spring, 1987, was trained to the 4-cane Kniffin (KN) and the Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) systems. Yield per vine, pruning weight, number of nodes, cluster weight, number of berries per cluster, berry weight, and percent soluble solids were recorded. Vines from `Reliance' trained to the KN system produced fruit with significantly higher percent soluble solids than did vines trained to the GDC. No significant differences in percent soluble solids were observed between the two training systems for the other cultivars. `Concord' produced more kg/vine of pruning weight when trained to the KN system than when trained to the GDC. Pruning weight did not differ significantly between the two training systems for the other cultivars. Cultivars more productive (yield/vine) on the GDC trellis were `Concord', `Himrod', `Reliance' and `Moored' whereas `Challenger' was more productive when vines were trained to the KN system. No differences between the two training systems were observed for `Glenora' or `Mars'.

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Yield data from a highbush blueberry planting established in 1993 at the Univ. of Kentucky Research and Education Center, Princeton, Ky., was collected over a 5-year period for eight cultivars. The economic impact of yield of each cultivar was calculated for each cultivar using a net present value model based on prevailing market prices and costs of production. These returns were compared across cultivars and an assessment of the economic potential for Kentucky growing conditions was considered. `Duke' and `Sierra' produced the most fruit over the 5-year period of this study. `Duke' was also the earliest ripening cultivar in the planting, with 14.3% of `Duke's fruit ripening during the first week of June. Sunrise also ripened early, with 7.7% of its fruit ripening during the first week of June. Picking for the other cultivars (`Sierra', `Bluecrop', `Blue Gold', `Toro', `Nelson', and `Patriot'), began during the second week of June and was finished for all cultivars by the end of the fourth week of June. An exception was `Nelson', which was picked through the first week of July. Despite relatively low yields observed in the first year of production, `Duke' had the highest net present values for the assumed 12-year life of the planting. The ranking of the other seven cultivars from highest to lowest in terms of their respective net present values was: `Sierra', `Blue Gold', `Bluecrop', `Toro', `Nelson', `Sunrise', and `Patriot'.

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Highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) were fertilized with equal amounts of nitrogen from ammonium sulfate (AMS) or sulfur-coated urea (SCU) for 6 years. The plots treated with SCU yielded significantly more than the AMS plots three out of the five harvest years. Except for plant size in 1984, treatments did not significantly affect berry size, plant survival, and other vegetative characteristics. Soil pH after 5 years was significantly lower on the AMS treatments than on the SCU-treated plots (5.4 vs. 5.7). The nutrient content of the leaf tissue did not differ significantly by fertilizer source. At the rate used in this study, SCU would be an acceptable nitrogen source for blueberries compared to AMS, but SCU is less effective in maintaining low soil pH.

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