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D. Scott NeSmith and Gerard Krewer

Leaf bud development is a problem on many blueberry cultivars grown throughout the Southeast. Dormex (50% hydrogen cyanamide) has shown potential in accelerating leaf and floral bud development of some fruit crops, but its usage on blueberries has not been thoroughly explored. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to examine the effects of timing Dormex applications on `Climax' rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) and `Oneal' southern highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum). Plants were subjected to low and moderate chilling conditions and were forced under greenhouse conditions. Dormex timings were: 1)1 day after forcing (DAF), 2) 3 DAF, 3) at 10% stage 3 floral buds, 4) at 30% to 50% stage 3 floral buds, 5) at 10% to 30% stage 4 floral buds, 6) control (no Dormex). All Dormex applications were applied at a rate of 2% product. Results showed that Dormex both increased and accelerated leaf bud break as compared to the control. However, flower buds at stage 3 of development or beyond were very susceptible to chemical burn by the product. The data indicate that timing of Dormex applications on blueberries should be based on rate of plant development rather than calendar time. Additional research is needed to most effectively use the product to aid blueberry leaf development.

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W.A. Dozier Jr., A.A. Powell, A.W. Caylor, N.R. McDaniel, E.L. Carden, and J.A. McGuire

Hydrogen cyanamide (Dormex) treatments were applied to 17 insufficiently chilled peach and nectarine cultivars ≈6 weeks after normal budbreak. Treatment effectively induced vegetative budbreak and reduced shoot dieback. The responses to Dormex treatments were linear, with the 2% rate being more effective than the 0 and 1% rates in most cases.

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Arlie A. Powell, Scott Goodrick, Ed Tunnell, and Richard Murphy

Inadequate winter chilling periodically becomes a serious problem for the commercial peach industry in the Southeast, especially along the Gulf Coast. A number of countries around the world are using hydrogen cyanamide (Dormex-SKW) to replace lack of chilling in peaches and other fruit plants. Studies were conducted over 3 years (1990-1992) to evaluate the effects of hydrogen cyanamide on replacing lack of winter chilling in 'Ruston Red' peach, (850 hour chill requirement). Findings indicated full tree sprays in early fall and late winter (after buds had become active) caused excessive bud thinning and crop reduction. Applications made when 65 to 85% of chilling requirement was satisfied (no visible bud activity) were very effective at concentrations of 0.5 to 1.0% V/V of 49% Dormex. Rates above 2% were very toxic causing crop loss. Dormex effectively replaced a shortage of 265 chilling hours of 'Ruston Red' during one season resulting in full cropping while controls failed to crop.

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Arlie A. Powell and Ed Tunnell

It has been shown that the `Hayward' kiwifruit requires ≈1000 chilling hours for satisfactory production of female flowers, leading to full cropping in the southeastern United States. Part of the area along the Gulf Coast frequently suffers from inadequate winter chilling, resulting in poor cropping of `Hayward'. Studies were conducted over a 4-year period in a mature `Hayward' planting near the Gulf Coast to evaluate the efficacy of hydrogen cyanamide sprays in replacing lack of chilling and improving cropping. Rates of 2%, 3%, and 4% (v/v) of 50% Dormex significantly increased yield, with the highest rate providing the maximum yield. Fruit size and overall fruit quality from Dormex treatments were good. Dormex sprays performed quite well when only 600 to 700 chilling hours were received in the test area.

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Abdel Hameed M. Wassel

The present investigation was carried out during 1994 and 1995 seasons on `Roomy Red' grape vines cultivated in Minia and Beni Suef governates to study the effect of Dormex and/or overcropping on `Roomy Red' grape vines. Bud opening, number of clusters per vine, as well as the yield and its physical and chemical properties, were studied. Results indicated that Dormex overcame the irregularity of bud opening. At the same time, bud opening preceded the control by about 4 weeks. The percentage of bud opening, fruit set, as well as the number of clusters per vine, were increased. On the other hand, over-cropping had a vice versa effect on the previous parameters as compared with the control. Results also indicated that onion was of less effect than berseem in this concern.

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Arlie A. Powell, Scott Goodrick, James Witt, William Dozier Jr., and Richard Murphy

Lack of winter chilling can be a serious problem for commercial peach producers in the Southeast. Studies were conducted over 3 years (1989-91) to evaluate the effects of hydrogen cyanamide (Dormex-SKW) on replacing lack of winter chilling on 7 varieties of peaches. This study specifically reports on the effects of hydrogen cyanamide on 'Ruston Red' peach, a 850-hour variety.

Results from 1990 studies using whole tree sprays to the point of runoff indicated a problem with the efficacy and phytotoxicity. In 1991, a combination of hydrogen cyanamide (49%) rates (0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4% V/V) and timings (0, 25, 50 and 75% of chilling level) were evaluated using 7-year-old 'Ruston Red' peach trees. Only 590 hours of chilling at 7.3°C and lower were accumulated at this site. Rates of 0.5 75% (actually only 70%) chilling level induced full cropping while control trees produced practically no crop.

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Arlie A. Powell, James Witt, William Dozier Jr., Scott Goodrick, Ed Tunnell, and Richard Murphy

Lack of winter chilling periodically becomes a serious problem for commercial peach producers in the Southeast, especially along and near the Gulf Coast areas. Studies were conducted over 3 years (1989-1991) to evaluate the effects of hydrogen cyanamide (Dormex - SKW) on replacing lack of winter chilling in 7 varieties of peaches.

Initial findings using whole tree sprays to point of runoff indicated a problem with efficacy and phytotoxicity. A combination of hydrogen cyanamide rates (0, .5, 1, 2 and 4% V/V) and timings (0, 25, 50 and 75% of chilling level) were evaluated in 1991. Rates above 2% were phytotoxic. Rates of 0.5 to 1.0% were safe and effective when applied at 75% chilling.

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Arlie A. Powell and Karl Harker

This multifaceted study was conducted over the past 6 years in Alabama to determine the efficacy of using hydrogen cyanamide to replace lack of chilling in peaches and to develop a working chilling model to allow proper timing of application. Several timings (0%, 25%, 50%, and 75% chilling accumulation) for each chilling level and rates (0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, and 2.0% v/v of 50% hydrogen cyanamide) were evaluated in commercial orchards using replicated studies. It was determined that for Dormex to be effective, 60% to 65% of chilling for the cultivar involved must be accumulated, accompanied by no bud activity beyond bud swell. Rates of 0.5% and 1% v/v of 50% work well with the latter preferred. A computer chilling model was developed to assist growers with proper timing of application.

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Arlie A. Powell, James Pitts, and Bobby Boozer

Early flowering of peach in the southeastern United States can result in annual crop loss as a result of late winter-early spring freezes. In peach and other prunus, a fall application of ethephon delays flowering several days; however, delayed harvest and smaller fruit size of certain varieties may occur. Hydrogen cyanamide replaces the late stage of chilling in peach but can also advance bloom and harvest date while maintaing or enhancing fruit size. A randomized complete-block experimental design using 13-year old `Surecrop' trees was used to evaluate whether hydrogen cyanamide could offset the delayed harvest and smaller fruit size disadvantages of using ethephon without advancing bloom dates. Treatment combinations of ethephon (at 20%, 50%, and 90% of required chilling) and hydrogen cyanamide (at 90% to 100% of required chilling) were applied as whole-tree foliar sprays to near point of drip. Although not significant, there were trends toward hydrogen cyanamide overcoming both smaller fruit size and delayed harvest induced by ethephon. This agrees with an earlier study using `Redhaven'. Dormex negated the late flowering effects of ethephon applied at 20% chilling but did not cause flowering earlier than the control.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, Randy R. Lee, and Gary A. Lee

Hydrogen cyanamide (Dormex, 50% a.i.) for blossom thinning `Early Spur Rome' and `Law Rome' apple (Malus×domestica Borkh.) and `Flavorcrest' peach (Prunus persica L.) was applied with air-blast sprayers on a commercial scale. Full-bloom applications of hydrogen cyanamide at 4 pts formulation per 200 gal/acre (1288 mg·L−1) and 5 pts formulation per 200 gal/acre (1610 mg·L−1) significantly reduced fruit set in apple and peach. In `Early Spur Rome', a postbloom application of carbaryl [Sevin XLR Plus, 4 lb a.i./gal (0.48 kg·L−1)] following a full-bloom spray of hydrogen cyanamide increased fruit thinning with a significant increase in fruit size compared to an application of hydrogen cyanamide alone. In `Law Rome', trees receiving a full-bloom application of hydrogen cyanamide followed by a postbloom application of 1-naphthyl-N-methylcarbamate (carbaryl) + naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) had significantly lower fruit set and larger fruit than those in the carbaryl + NAA treatment. Apples or peaches were not marked by hydrogen cyanamide.