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J. Thomas Raese and S. R. Drake

Sprays of calcium materials were applied at high volume rates (620 g Ca/400 liters) with a handgun during early June, late June, and mid-July versus mid-July, early August, and late August for five years, 1985 to 1989. Leaf injury was most severe for the late sprays but no spray injury was observed on the fruit surfaces. Bitter pit was markedly reduced with all sprays except CaSO4. In some years, bitter pit was controlled better with the early sprays. Either early or late sprays improved fruit quality including overall appearance, reduced scald development, improved red color of the skin, increased fruit firmness and reduced incidence of bitter pit in cold air (0°C) storage. Soluble solids and acidity in the fruit was not affected by calcium sprays. Leaf Ca was higher from the late spray applications than from the earlier applications. All calcium chloride spray materials resulted in increased fruit peel and cortex Ca. Calcium nitrate sprays tended to increase fruit nitrogen concentrations leading to undesirable higher N:Ca ratios in the fruit.