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Joseph A. Fiola, Peter Probasco and Stephen Garrison

An RCB (4 replicates - 4 m plots) planting of `Chandler' was established to test the effects of planting date and floating row covers (FRC) in a high density strawberry planting system under NJ conditions. Transplant “plugs” from runner tips were planted on a double row (0.5 m × 0.3 m) on a raised plastic mulch bed (1.5 m centers), with trickle irrigation. Treatments included: plant 9/18/91 w/FRC on 10/7/92; plant 9/18/91 w/FRC on 12/2/92; plant 9/18/91 w/noFRC; plant 10/7/91 w/noFRC; plant 9/14/92 w/FRC on 10/7/92; plant 9/14/92 w/noFRC. In 1992, `Chandler' yield increased with earlier planting date and earlier FRC application (range: 8,600 to 13,400 kg/ha). There were no significant differences in cull or fruit weight. In 1993, there were no significant differences in 2nd year yield for 1991 treatments (range: 19,198 to 20,531 kg/ha). However, the 1992 treatments again showed the benefit of FRC (range: 13,437 to 20,531 kg/ha) for improved first year production. One year old plots had significantly larger average fruit weight than two year plots (range: 10.3 to 13.7 g). Early planting date with early applied FRC was the best treatment, combining high yield and good fruit weight.

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A.S. Devyatov

An orchard trial was established by planting an orchard with between-row intervals of 4 m. The French Axe was trained for trees with intervals in the row of 1 and 1.5 m. The hedgerow was used for treatments of 2–2.5 and 3 m between trees in the row. Semi-dwarf rootstock of Bud54-118 and dwarf one Bud62-396 were used. The growth of of these rootstocks was analogous to MM106 and M26, respectively. The trunk cross-sectional area of 7-year trees on 54-118 rootstock was 2.3 times more than on 62-396 for cv. Antey and 1.5 times more for cv. Tellisaare. The height of tree with French Axe crown at 7 years after planting on 54-118 rootstock reached 3.5–4 m. The height of tree was 0.5 m smaller on 62-396. The crown habit of tree on 62-396 rootstock was more comfortable for high -density orchard than trees on 54-118. The sum length of twigs that were cut out during 1993–96 to attain of normal density of crown was 2-4 times more than on 62-396 rootstock. Commercial fruiting of cv. Antey started at the 3rd leaf, but it was on 4th leaf for the more-dwarf rootstock 62-396. Average yield of fruit at 3–6 years after planting of cv. Antey for treatment of distance between trees in the row of 2 or 1.5 m was 6.8 kg/tree per year-1 for 54-118 rootstock, 3.4 and 3.5, respectively, for 62-396 rootstock. Yield at the 7th year after planting reached 24 and 32 kg on 54-118 rootstock, 16 and 15 kg on 62-396, respectively. Analogous date obtained for cv. Tellisa are. cv. Spartan on both rootstocks started to fruiting at 5-6 years after planting. The fruit quality was very high in all treatments of the trial.

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D. Neilsen, P. Parchomchuk, G.H. Neilsen and E.J. Hogue

Direct application of fertilizers in irrigation water (fertigation) is an efficient method of supplying nutrients to fruit trees. Information is needed on the relationship between irrigation and N inputs on N availability in order to target nutrient applications to meet plant demands. Soil solution was collected from permanently installed suction lysimeters and NO3-N concentration was measured over the growing season in three experiments: 1) comparison of sprinkler irrigation + broadcast fertilizer with weekly fertigation + daily drip irrigation; 2) comparison of (NH4)2SO4 or Ca(NO3)2 as N sources under daily fertigation; and 3) comparisons of combinations of irrigation applied at either fixed rates or to meet evaporative demand and fertilizer (Ca(NO3)2) applied daily either at fixed rates or to maintain a given concentration in the fertigation solution in two soil types—loamy sand and silt loam. Trials are located in high density apple plantings of either `Gala' or `Empire' apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) on M.9 rootstock. Nitrate-N concentration in the soil solution measured at 30 cm deep remained higher, over more of the growing season, for weekly fertigation + daily drip irrigation than for a single broadcast fertilizer application + sprinkler irrigation. With daily Ca(NO3)2 fertigation, soil solution NO3- N concentrations increased and decreased rapidly with the onset and end of fertigation respectively, remained relatively constant during the intervening period and were directly proportional to either the amount of N or the amount of irrigation water added. Daily fertigation with (NH4)2SO4 resulted in less control of NO3-N availability in the root-zone than with Ca(NO3)2, which may be problematic for precise timing of N nutrition. Except for the fixed irrigation rate applied to the loamy sand soil, soil solution NO3-N concentrations at 30 cm beneath the emitter were similar to average concentrations in the fertigating solution, for all methods of irrigation management in both soil types. Elevated NO3-N concentrations in soil solution below the root zone (75 cm deep) were detected in the loamy sand regardless of methods of N application and irrigation although there was some evidence of less leaching to this depth, under scheduled irrigation. In the silt loam soil, considerably lower concentrations of NO3-N were found beneath the root zone than at 30 cm deep for all of irrigation procedures and frequently there was insufficient water moving to 75 cm to provide sample. Tree growth in the loamy sand was less than in the silt loam soil; was limited by low application of irrigation water in 1992 and 1993; was unaffected by NO3-N concentration in the root zone, indicating that N inputs could be minimized by adding N to maintain concentrations of 75 μg·mL-1 or possibly less. Nitrogen inputs may also be reduced if fertilizer N and irrigation water could be retained within the root zone. For coarse-textured soils this will require precise additions of water and possibly soil amendments to improve water holding capacity.

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Gerald R. Brown and Dwight E. Wolfe

An experiment was initiated at the Univ. of Kentucky Research and Education orchard, Princeton, Ky., to determine the training practices needed to obtain early production and optimal fruit size from trees trained to either the slender spindle or the French axe system on vigorous sites. One-hundred-eighty trees (five rows, 32 trees per row) of `Golden Delicious' on M.9 rootstock were planted in May 1997, in a randomized complete-block design with eight treatment combinations, consisting of two training systems and four levels of training intensity. Trunk circumference averaged 61 cm at planting and did not vary significantly among rootstocks. A trellis was constructed, and trickle irrigation was installed. All trees are currently alive. Each season, over half the total time spent training the trees was spent during the first 5 weeks the trees were trained. About 2 minutes per week was needed to train each tree during the first 5 weeks, but only 45 seconds per week was needed in the sixth through the 16th week. Trunk circumference, yield, and average weight per fruit did not vary significantly in the analysis of variance. Training per kilogram of fruit averaged 4.2 minutes.

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A.S. Devyatov

Orchard densities from 833 to 2500 trees/ha were studied on sod-podzolic soil (annual precipitation 550 mm). An orchard was planted in Spring 1990 and 1991 using 2-year-old nursery trees grown in film containers. The interval between trees in the row was 1 to 1.5 to 2 to 2.5 and 3 m. The trees were grafted on dwarf rootstock (62-396) and semi-dwarf (54-118). The commercial fruiting of `Tellisaare' began the third year after planting, `Antey' the fourth, and Spartan at fifth. The initial yield of `Antey in the most dense treatment was 14.5 t·ha–1, `Tellisaare' was 15 to 22 t·ha–1, according to rootstocks. Average yield of `Antey' on 62-396 for 1992–95 at the orchard density of 2500 trees/ha was 10 t·ha–1·year–1 and on rootstock of 54-118 it was 21 t·ha–1. However, yield of `Tellisaare' 54-118 for 1992–1995 was 13 to 15 t·ha–1 in all treatment of orchard density from 1666 to 833 trees/ha. The annual yield of this cultivar grafted on rootstock 54-118 at a tree density of 2500 plants/ha increased to 18.3 t·ha–1.

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Paul Kron, Brian C. Husband, Peter G. Kevan and Svenja Belaoussoff

Knowledge of pollen dispersal is essential for maximizing cross-fertilization in apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) and achieving optimal orchard design. Using allozyme markers, we examined dispersal of pollen from trees of a single cultivar (`Idared') throughout two apple orchards. In each orchard, the percentage of seeds sired by `Idared' was estimated for trees sampled at regular intervals along three transects, extending up to 18 rows (86 m) from the closest donor trees. The percentage of seed sired by `Idared' pollen ranged from 76% to 1% of seed sampled for a row. No differences in pollen dispersal were found among transects, despite differences in proximity to the bee colonies. Variation in `Idared' siring success was attributable to the cultivar of the fruit-bearing trees as well as their distance to the nearest `Idared' tree. Cultivar effects were associated with differences in flowering overlap, but not cross-compatibility with the pollenizer. Furthermore, flowering overlap was a good predictor of siring success only when the flowering times of competing pollenizer cultivars were also considered. The implications for orchard design are discussed.

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Terence L. Robinson, Alison M. DeMarree and Stephen A. Hoying

We performed an economic analysis of five orchard production systems [Slender Pyramid/M.26 (840 trees/ha), Vertical Axis/M.9 (1538 trees/ha), Slender Axis/M.9 (2244 trees/ha), Tall Spindle/M.9 (3312 trees/ha), and Super Spindle (5382 trees/ha)] using composite yield and labor usage data from several replicated research plots in New York state. Other costs and fruit returns were averages from a group of commercial fruit farms in New York state. The systems varied in costs of establishment from a low of $18,431/ha for the Slender Pyramid system to high of $47,524/ha for the Super Spindle system. The large differences in establishment costs were largely related to tree density. All of the systems had a positive internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV) after 20 years. They ranged from a low of 7.5% IRR for the Slender Pyramid system to a high of 11.1% IRR for the Slender Axis system. Profitability, as measured by NPV, was curvilinearly related to tree density with intermediate densities giving greater profitability than the highest densities. The optimum density was 2600 trees/ha when NPV was calculated per hectare, but only 2200 trees/ha when NPV was calculated per $10,000 invested. The earliest break-even year was 10 for the Slender Axis and Tall Spindle systems. The latest break-even year was 13 for the Slender Pyramid. An estimate of the number of hectares required to produce a $100,000 annual profit to the business was 222 for the slender pyramid system and 84–104 ha of the three best systems (Super Spindle, Tall Spindle, and Slender Axis). The analysis revealed that efforts to control establishment costs of land, trees and support system can substantially increase lifetime profits.

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Seung-Ku Yang, Kyong-Ju Choi, Soon-Ju Chung and Wol-Soo Kim*

In order to cultivate tomato of the first fruit cluster harvest a lot of nursery plants were required as much as 75,000 to 100,000 plants per hectare in green house in Korea. Therefore, it needs too many expenses to buy tomato seeds. This study was carried out to confirm the possibility of alternative use of the tomato cuttings instead of tomato seedlings of two varieties. The cutting materials of each node were taken from the suitable transplanting tomato seedling nursery plants in commercial green house. Four to five nodes of seedling nursery plants were cut into plug tray with 50 to 128 cells, 23 to 80 mL/cell in cell capacity. At 5 days after cutting rooting was initiated and the rooted plants could be transplanted as cutting nursery plants. The cutting nursery plants of Rockusanmaru and Momotarou-yoku varieties were planted to the perlite media in hydroponics bench in green house with 111,110 plants/ha (90 cm × 10 cm) in planting density at 8 May 2002. The matured fruits were harvested from 9 July through 26 July 2002. The number of harvested fruits was 2.9 to 3.3 for the two varieties. The fruit weight was 138 to 153 g for `Rockusanmaru', and 127 to 146 g for `Momotarou-yoku'. The cutting nursery plants of `Rockusanmaru' showed higher fruit yields as much as 51.5 tons/ha than that of seedlings as 40.3 tons/ha. There was a similar result in `Momotarou-yoku'. The duration from cutting to harvest of first fruit cluster was required 89 to 105 days, as well as 63 to 79 days from field planting to harvest. In conclusion the cultivation with tomato cutting nursery plants was considered as better effects in shorter periods in nursery raising and higher yields in comparison to conventional cultivation with seedlings.

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R.P. Bracy, R.L. Parish, P.E. Bergeron and E.B. Moser

A precision cultural system proved successful for growing broccoli in multiple rows of plants on narrow or wide beds. Higher production obtained from planting in the multiple-row configurations, however, was not proportional to the increase in number of rows. To quantify the optimum rate of fertilization on multiple rows per bed, broccoli was grown during the spring and fall, 1990, in one row/1-m beds, two rows/1-m beds, or six rows/2-m beds with fertilizer rates ranging from 448 to 1,680 kg·ha-1 of 9N-12P-22K and 150 to 560 kg·hg-1 of ammonium nitrate. During both seasons, fertilizer rate had an overall linear effect on the yield but did not affect average head weight. Response to fertilizer rates was greatest when broccoli was grown in six rows/2-m beds. Broccoli grown during the spring showed a greater response to fertilizer rates than did broccoli grown in the fall.

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Stephen M. Southwick and James T. Yeager

Sweet cherries produce vigorous upright growth from Apr.-Sept. and are slow to bear in California. Our tree training objectives include earlier bearing, easier harvesting, high productivity of good quality fruit. `Bing' cherry on mazzard and mahaleb rootstock were planted in 7 blocks and trained 6 ways. One group was headed 12-18 inches above the bud union and 4 branches were retained at the 1st dormant pruning. Lateral buds were treated with promalin at bud-break to induce lateral shoot formation. Trees were spring-summer pruned to reduce terminal growth. At the second dormant pruning, strong shoots were removed and lateral shoots were treated with promalin to induce spur formation. Trees were treated likewise through the 3rd dormant season and produced a fair crop in the 4th season. Central leader trees were created by tying/weighting limbs, dormant and summer pruning, and retaining less vigorous limbs as well as utilizing promalin. Slow growing trees tended to bear fruit more rapidly. Both training methods yielded fruit in the 4th season while traditional pruning procedures produced few fruit. Data and procedures will be presented to document these practices.