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- Author or Editor: H.W. Hogmire x
A sampling plan was developed and used along with a modified grading scheme as a tool to predict apple (Malus domestica, Borkh.) fruit quality, thus providing a means to evaluate the impact of orchard management practices on market potential. Apple extra fancy/fancy packout was predicted to within 10% by examining a 100-fruit sample from each of five bins at the submersion tank. Packout loss factors were predicted to within 5% by sampling 100 fruit from each of four bins. A modified Russo/Rajotte grading scheme in chart format proved to be a useful tool for assessing packout losses. An evaluation of downgraded fruit, comparing the grading scheme to grower practice, yielded coefficients of determination ranging from 0.83 to 0.94 for five of six fruit lots sampled. The grower’s marketing intentions and the tendency of packinghouse staff to give more attention to the most obvious defects during grading influenced the ability to predict packout and the severity of loss factors.
Apple packout audits were conducted during 1991 to 1993 to assess effects of five orchard systems (three cultivars, two age groups) on fruit packout and determine if relationships exist between light quality and productivity. Cultivar/rootstock combinations on 1979 T-trellis and central-leader systems had the lowest light levels and relative yields. Trees on either 1979 3-wire trellis, 1986 MIA, or 1985 West Virginia spindle had the highest light transmission, and trees on 1979 or 1985 West Virginia spindle systems had the highest yields. Extra fancy/fancy packouts across systems ranged from 40% to 85%. `Empire', regardless of system, had the highest packouts, and `Golden Delicious' on 1979 or 1986 central leader had the lowest packouts. A regression analysis comparing percentage packout in grades below fancy to percentage full sun indicated that reduced packouts were related to low light conditions. Orchard system influenced the number of fruit downgraded due to color, russet, bruises, bitter pit, cork spot, apple scab, rots, sooty blotch/fly speck, and tufted apple budmoth. Regression analyses comparing defects to field data indicated that bitter pit decreased as yield efficiency increased, and rot and sooty blotch/fly speck incidence were related to low canopy light penetration. Revenue losses were disproportionate to percentage of downgraded fruit because some defects had a greater impact on grade than others. The greatest revenue losses were for russet in `Golden Delicious' on 1986 central leader ($1656.60/acre) and for bitter pit in `Golden Delicious' on 1979 T-trellis ($1067.30/acre). Total losses in returns for individual systems ranged from $453.71/acre for `Empire' on 3-wire trellis to $3145.49/acre for `Golden Delicious' on 1986 central leader. The comparisons of young versus mature system yields and packouts indicate that medium- to high-density vertical or inclined canopy systems are superior to horizontal or low-density vertical freestanding systems. The cost-benefit analyses prescribe areas where management can be changed in existing systems to increase profitability.
Chemicals deposited on foliage varied by a factor of three to five times when sprays were applied with an airblast sprayer to apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees in various training systems. Deposits were higher with vertical than horizontal training systems, smaller tree sizes, and less-dense tree canopies of spur-type trees. The Lincoln canopy tree training system prevented good spray penetration because the airblast spray pattern was split by the horizontal nature of the canopy.