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Sara Serra, Rachel Leisso, Luca Giordani, Lee Kalcsits, and Stefano Musacchi

production before the trees have developed a complete canopy can permanently limit the final tree size and consequently, can impact future productivity ( Castro et al., 2015 ). Crop load management is particularly important for ‘Honeycrisp’ because it can

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Elina D. Coneva and John A. Cline

The purpose of this research was to determine the effectiveness of three blossom-thinning compounds on crop density and fruit quality of two peach cultivars. Treatments consisted of 15 ml·L–1 and 30 ml·L–1 ammonium thiosulphate, 30 ml·L–1 and 40 ml·L–1 decyl alcohol, and 40 ml·L–1 lime sulfur. Treatments were applied to `Redhaven' and `Harrow Diamond' peach trees at two phenological stages: 80%, and 100% full bloom in 2002 and 2003. In both years, treatments reduced the crop density in both cultivars, and in 2003 the amount of hand thinning required to adjust the crop load was significantly reduced. Fruit size from several blossom-thinned treatments was comparable with that observed from hand-thinned trees. However, treatments caused significant leaf phytotoxicity to `Harrow Diamond' trees in 2003, likely a result of hand spray gun applications. These data indicate that chemical sprays at bloom can be used successfully to reduce fruit set, but are very environmentally, dose, and cultivar dependent.

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R. Karina Gallardo, Ines Hanrahan, Yeon A Hong, and James J. Luby

in postharvest storage. This cultivar is known to have a strong tendency toward biennial bearing, which can result in a large number of small, poor-quality apples in heavy bloom years. Managing flower density and crop load to control the biennial

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Gregory Peck, Megan McGuire, Thomas Boudreau IV, and Amanda Stewart

cider. In European wine grape ( Vitis vinifera L.) production, measurable improvements in fruit quality have been achieved through adjusting the relationship between fruit yield and vegetative growth, often referred to as crop load. Grape cluster crop

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A. Naor, H. Hupert, Y. Greenblat, M. Peres, A. Kaufman, and I. Klein

The interactions between irrigation and crop level with respect to fruit size distribution and midday stem water potential were investigated for 3 years in a nectarine (Prunus persica L. `Fairlane') orchard located in a semi-arid zone. Wide ranges of crop loads and irrigation rates in stage III were employed, extending from practically nonlimiting to severely limiting levels. Irrigation during stage III of fruit growth ranged from 0.63 to 1.29 of potential evapotranspiration (ETp). Fruit were hand thinned to a wide range of fruit levels (300 to 2000) fruit/tree in the 555-tree/ha orchard. The yields and stem water potentials from 1996, 1997 and 1998 were combined together and the interrelations among yield, crop load and stem water potential were examined. Fruit <55 mm in diameter growing at 400 fruit per tree were the only ones not affected by irrigation level. The yield of fruit of 60 to 75 mm in diameter increased with irrigation level, but only a slight increase was observed when the irrigation rate rose above 1.01 ETp. A significant decrease in the yields of 60 to 65, 65 to 70, and 70 to 75-mm size grades occurred at crop levels greater than 1000, 800, and 400 fruit per tree, respectively. Midday stem water potential decreased with increasing crop level, and it is suggested that midday stem water potential responds to crop load rather than crop level. Relative yields of the various size grades were highly correlated with midday stem water potential. It was suggested that the midday stem water potential integrates the combined effects of water stress and crop load on nectarine fruit size.

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H. John Elgar, Nagin Lallu, and Christopher B. Watkins

fruit harvesting and determining crop load factors, Sally Roughan for mineral analyses, and Melissa Miller and Marcus Davy for statistical analyses. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal

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Todd C. Einhorn, Debra Laraway, and Janet Turner

improve labor efficiency, increase production, and hasten net returns; however, the majority of sweet cherry acreage is planted on highly vigorous rootstocks at low to moderate densities. There has been little need to manage crop loads in these orchards

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Ed Stover, Mike Fargione, Richard Risio, and Xiaoe Yang

Two years of field experiments were conducted in eastern New York to evaluate the efficacy of a multi-step thinning approach on reducing crop load (no. fruit per cm2 trunk cross-sectional area) and increasing fruit size of 'Empire' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.). Applications of Endothall (ET) at 80% bloom, NAA + carbaryl (CB) at petal fall (PF), and Accel™ + CB at 10 mm king fruitlet diameter (KFD), alone and in all combinations, were compared to a nonthinned control and to the application of NAA + CB at 10 mm KFD (commercial standard). In both 1996 and 1997, orthogonal contrasts indicated the multi-step treatment significantly increased fruit size, reduced cropload, and reduced yield compared to single applications. Effects on cropload of consecutive treatments were largely predicted by multiplying effects of individual treatments. Although all thinning treatments except for NAA + CB at PF in 1997 significantly reduced cropload, no single treatment thinned sufficiently to ensure good return bloom. Compared to NAA + CB at 10 mm KFD, multi-step thinning with NAA + CB at PF followed by Accel™ + CB at 10 mm KFD produced bigger fruits in both years, and resulted in a higher percentage of spurs carrying a single fruit in 1996. When fruit size was evaluated after removing the effect of cropload (cropload adjusted fruit weight), NAA + CB at PF, Accel™ + CB at 10 mm, and the two applied sequentially, resulted in greater cropload adjusted fruit weight than the nonthinned control in both years, whereas NAA + CB at 10 mm did not. Contrast analysis of treatments with and without ET showed no significant effect of including ET on fruit size, though total cropload was reduced at P = 0.10 and total yield was reduced (P = 0.03 in 1996 and P = 0.12 in 1997). No deleterious effects from multi-step treatments have been observed. All thinning treatments significantly increased return bloom in 1996 and 1997 compared to the control with little difference observed between treatments. Chemical names used: naphthalene acetic acid (NAA); 1-naphthyl-N-methylcarbamate [carbaryl (CB)]; 6-benzyladenine [BA (Accel™)]; 7-oxabicyclo (2,2,1) heptane-2,3 dicarboxylic acid [ET (Endothall™)]

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Tory Schmidt, Don C. Elfving, James R. McFerson, and Matthew D. Whiting

Effective crop load management of apple is critical to the viability of commercial orchard operations. Growers routinely use a variety of strategies to produce consistent annual yields of high-quality fruit. Standard techniques such as strategic

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Gabino H. Reginato, Víctor García de Cortázar, and Terence L. Robinson

load, with larger fruit size obtained as the crop load is reduced. However, reducing crop load also reduces total yield ( Blanco et al., 1995 ; Inglese et al., 2002 ; Johnson and Handley, 1989 ; Ojer et al., 1996 , 2001 ; Reginato and Camus, 1993