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  • Author or Editor: Michael J. Kiester x
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In a long-term study between 2008 and 2011, the use of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), when a precise crop coefficient value (K c) was used, provided a reliable irrigation scheduling for determination of water requirement for ‘Autumn Rose Fuji’ apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh) fully mature trees. Water use, yield, and fruit quality attributes at harvest were examined under various irrigation and nitrogen (N) systems that were scheduled using ETc. Trees with a full sprinkler (FS) system received ≈39% to 41% more water than those with a full drip (FD) system during the period of 2008–11 growing seasons. On average, mature trees with an FS system received 5927.6 L (944 mm), whereas those with an FD system received 3610.3 L of water per tree (554.9 mm) per growing season over the period of 2008 through 2011. Fruit from trees with FS and FD were larger, whereas those with 50% FS were smaller than those from all other treatments. Trees with 50% FS treatment received a higher volume of water but had smaller fruit size than those with 50% FD or 65% FD. Averaging values over 4 years revealed that applications of any form of deficit irrigation (DI), either by microjet irrigation or drip, increased fruit soluble solids concentration (SSC) and firmness but decreased water core at harvest. Considering yield, and quality attributes in this study, a well-calculated ETc-based FD irrigation system is recommended over any other irrigation regime. If application of deficit water is mandated, application of 65% FD is preferred over 50% FS, as trees with 65% FD treatment received less water while had larger fruit than those of 50% FS. Trees receiving 80 g N/tree had lower fruit color and russet than those receiving 40 g N/tree. However, other yield and quality attributes were unaffected by the rate of N fertigation.

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The increasing scarcity of land and water for agriculture mandates an efficient use of these natural resources. Establishment of high-density orchards with the use of a size-controlling rootstock, in combination with a suitable canopy architecture, is an efficient method for fruit production. However, less attention has been paid to the use of size-controlling practices such as trunk girdling in these modern orchard systems. The impacts of two rootstocks, two tree architectures, and three levels of bark cambium cuts (girdling or scoring) on growth, yield, fruit quality attributes at harvest, and leaf nitrogen (N) in ‘Aztec Fuji’ apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) were studied in 2015 and 2016. Trees on Nic 29 had larger canopies, higher yields, and larger fruit, but lower fruit color, sunburn, and firmness than those on Bud 9. Trees with a tall spindle (TS) architecture had higher yield in 2016, higher fruit soluble solids and firmness in 2015, higher fruit russet in 2016, but shorter terminal growth in both 2015 and 2016 and lower leaf N in 2015 than did those with a central leader (CL) training system. Trees receiving a bark girdling in 2015 (BG15) or score girdling in 2015 and 2016 (SG1516) had significantly higher yield than trees on nongirdled trees (NOGD) in 2016. Bark girdling or score girdling in 2015 (BG15 or SG15) increased fruit weight (size), color, and firmness at harvest in the same year, although differences for score girdling were not always significant. However, BG15 or SG15 did not have a “carryover” effect and did not affect fruit size, color, or firmness at harvest in 2016. When bark scoring was repeated in 2016 (SG1516), fruit size was increased in 2016. On the basis of the results of this 2-year study, it appears that bark girdling in one year is sufficient to increase fruit size of the current year and the yield in the following year. If larger fruit size is the critical objective of fruit production, annual score girdling needs to be practiced. However, a further long-term study is needed to monitor the carryover effects of cambium girdling and scoring on tree performance and fruit quality attributes in the subsequent years.

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Adaptability and feasibility of table grape (Vitis vinifera or Vitis labrusca), asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia), and quince (Cydonia oblonga) production under the high desert conditions of southwest Idaho in the Intermountain West region of the United States were studied. ‘Alborz’ table grape was harvested between 1 and 15 Sept. and with proper thinning, this cultivar had outstanding clusters and berries and could be a successful table grape for planting at commercial scales in warmer spots under conditions of this study. ‘Kashishi’ and ‘Autumn Royal’ were late-season cultivars and had large berries with excellent quality. ‘Ralli’, also called ‘Anahita’ in the Intermountain West, had attractive clusters and berry color, but was sensitive to frost and had poor production. ‘Princess’ grape was harvested between 5 and 30 Sept. and had poor fruit set, but berries had outstanding flavor. ‘Niitaka’ asian pear had the largest and firmest fruit with the lowest soluble solids concentration (SSC) among all tested asian pears. ‘Semi Dwarf Shinko’ asian pear had larger fruit than ‘Kikusui’ and ‘20th Century’ but smaller than ‘Niitaka’. However, ‘Kikusui’ and ‘20th Century’ had excellent fruit flavor and quality. Thus, ‘Kikusui’, ‘20th Century’, and ‘Niitaka’ asian pears can be chosen for planting under condition of this study. ‘Aromantnaya’ and ‘Rich’ quinces matured earlier and had lower fruit firmness than other cultivars. These cultivars can be planted for early market. Based on this study, ‘Van Deman’ can be chosen for fresh consumption if sweet cultivars are in demand by the market. However, ‘Rich’ and ‘Smyrna’ quinces can be chosen if fruit with large size and bright yellow color is preferred.

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