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  • Author or Editor: Maxwell Norton x
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Most fig (Ficus carica) cultivars have potentially two crops; fruit from the first crop are called brebas. This crop is commercially important in some Mediterranean area cultivars. The second or main crop, called figs, is the commercially important crop for most fig cultivars. Due to labor cost increases, harvest of the breba crop, with its low production and lower quality fruit, has become economically unviable in some cultivars. Unharvested brebas are potential sites for fungal pathogens and they attract insects. Spring ethephon applications of 250 to 500 ppm applied before full leaf expansion, when the largest fruit are about 1.5 to 2 cm in diameter reduced the breba crop load (≈92%) without adverse side effects. The use of early fall ethephon applications of 500 ppm also resulted in breba crop load reductions (≈30%), but with significantly lower efficacy than spring treatments. These fall and/or spring ethephon treatments did not affect the percentage of vegetative budbreak, breba weight, breba soluble solids concentration, fig crop load, fig weight, or ethephon residues. Thus, early spring ethephon application at 300 ppm (0.22–0.36 kg·ha−1), when breba fruit and leaves are just starting to develop and figs are not present, was a safe, effective and inexpensive way (about $16 per hectare) to reduce the breba crop. Currently, ethephon is included in the federal IR-4 program, and residue studies are ongoing as a protocol for future registration.

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Ten new marianna root-stocks [Prunus cerasifera Ehrh. × P. munsoniana Wight & Hedr.(?)] derived from open pollination of `Marianna 2616' (M series) were planted in 1987 and evaluated at four commercial orchard locations in California (Tehama, Butte, Sutter, and Merced counties) with `Improved French' prune (P. domestica L.) as the scion. These rootstocks were compared to three standard rootstocks: `Marianna 2624', myrobalan seedling (P. cerasifera Ehrh.) and `Myrobalan 29C'. Leaf potassium (K) and nitrogen (N), tree growth, fruit production and fruit quality were measured. Selection M40 in particular had high leaf N, high leaf K (equal to `Marianna 2624' and better than the myrobalan standards), higher yield efficiency per tree, fruit size, drying characteristics, and few root suckers when compared to the three standard rootstocks. M40 is being considered for patent and release by the Pomology Department at the University of California, Davis. Selection M58 had the highest yield efficiency of any tested rootstock. Several selections had characteristics that would make expanded planting worth considering.

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Under California conditions `Granny Smith' apple does not “self-thin” sufficiently to promote good return bloom nor to provide fruit size desired for the fresh market. Preliminary studies conducted during 1985-87 indicated that 1-naphthyl N-methylcarbamate (carbaryl), 1-naphthaleneacetic Acid (NAA), and 1-naphthaleneacetamide (NAD) could be useful for thinning `Granny Smith'. Detailed studies conducted in 1988 and 89 using dilute handgun applications demonstrated that all 3 materials provided reasonable thinning as shown by fruit set counts. NAA and NAD tended to slow fruit growth as compared to carbaryl. Carbaryl tended to uniformly thin clusters while NAA and NAD were more likely to remove all the fruit from some clusters and few fruit from others, especially in 1988. Compared to the control, all materials applied in 1988 improved return bloom in 1989 with carbaryl having a slightly greater effect than NAA and NAD. As a result of these studies carbaryl at 1.7 to 2.2 kg (active ingredient) per ha as a dilute application is being suggested for grower trials in California.

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Under California conditions `Granny Smith' apple does not “self-thin” sufficiently to promote good return bloom nor to provide fruit size desired for the fresh market. Preliminary studies conducted during 1985-87 indicated that 1-naphthyl N-methylcarbamate (carbaryl), 1-naphthaleneacetic Acid (NAA), and 1-naphthaleneacetamide (NAD) could be useful for thinning `Granny Smith'. Detailed studies conducted in 1988 and 89 using dilute handgun applications demonstrated that all 3 materials provided reasonable thinning as shown by fruit set counts. NAA and NAD tended to slow fruit growth as compared to carbaryl. Carbaryl tended to uniformly thin clusters while NAA and NAD were more likely to remove all the fruit from some clusters and few fruit from others, especially in 1988. Compared to the control, all materials applied in 1988 improved return bloom in 1989 with carbaryl having a slightly greater effect than NAA and NAD. As a result of these studies carbaryl at 1.7 to 2.2 kg (active ingredient) per ha as a dilute application is being suggested for grower trials in California.

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