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  • Author or Editor: M. W. Kilby x
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Early introduction of honey bees into caged ‘Jersey’ blueberries was associated with increased yields and fruit size and suggests that hives be introduced in plantations for pollination not later than 25% of full bloom.

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Arizona is currently experiencing an explosion in the commercial cultivation and production of table grapes. Decreasing water supplies, increasing water cost, and recent groundwater legislation are forcing Arizona growers to be more water efficient if they are to remain competitive with other markets. Research was conducted to determine the effect of water stress on vine growth and berry ripening. “Flame Seedless” table grapes (4th leaf) were subjected to increasing water stress levels based upon infrared canopy temperatures and the crop water stress index (CWSI). A lower water stress level (CWSI = 0.18 units at irrigation) promoted earlier berry sizing, increased berry weight, and increased cluster weight over drier treatments. Significantly higher growth (P= 0.01), based on pruning weights, also was attained at the lower water stress level. However, highest production (grade 1 and 2 packed boxes) was attained when irrigations were scheduled at 0.30 CWSI units. Total applied water to maintain the wet, medium, and dry treatments was 1136 mm (CWSI = 0.18), 775 mm (CWSI = 0.30), and 669 mm (CWSI = 0.33), respectively.

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Pecan tree (cv. “Western Schley”) water stress was numerically quantified with the crop water stress index (CWSI). The CWSI was used to schedule irrigation at increasing water stress levels to correlate the effects of water strees on tree growth, production, and nut quality from 1987 to 1989. Highest growth increases, production, and nut size were attained at lower water stress levels (CWSI = 0.08 to 0.14 units). Even moderate increases in water stress (CWSI>0.20 units) decreased pecan tree growth and production, and significantly reduced nut size (P=0.01). A significant difference (P=0.05) in nut quality was measured only in 1988. Depending on yearly climatic variation, the amount of irrigation water required to maintain the CWSI below 0.14 units in the same orchard varied 44% over three years. The CWSI is a viable tool to assess pecan water stress.

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The objective of our experiment was to determine if the application of two deer repellents to six grape cultivars (Vitis vinifera L.) caused significant phytotoxic effects, production losses, or altered the sensory characteristics of wine. We evaluated fifteen single vine plants from six different cultivars in a randomized block design that included the two repellent treatments and an untreated control. During spring 1997, we applied repellents biweekly from budbreak until flowering (2 Apr. to 14 May). Plantskyyd was applied more frequently than recommended by the product label (for trees) due to rapid emergence of unprotected shoot growth in vineyards. Hot Sauce and Plantskydd caused some initial minor phytotoxicity during 1997, however, the yield and phytotoxicity of treated plants were similar to controls by harvest. A panel detected a significant difference in the color, aroma, or taste of `Chardonnay' wine made from grapes treated with repellents compared to wine made from untreated control grapes (P = 0.001 for Hot Sauce; P = 0.05 for Plantskydd). We conclude that Hot Sauce and Plantskydd did not cause serious production losses or phytotoxic effects for the six cultivars treated. However, both Hot Sauce and Plantskydd significantly altered the sensory attributes of Chardonnay wine, which may preclude the use of chemical repellents in wine grape vineyards under the experimental conditions applied in our study.

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