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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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. Because misdiagnosis of the cause of these symptoms could lead to unnecessary pesticide applications, a replicated trial of commercial thinners to manipulate crop load was performed on ‘Honeycrisp’ trees ( Schupp et al., 2001 ). These trees were caged to

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such strategy for perennial fruit crops is the reduction of crop load to maintain marketable fruit size, despite reduced water applications ( Girona et al., 2004 ; Marsal et al., 2008 ; Naor et al., 2008 ). Its successful use has been based on the

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cultivar to cycle between a full (“on”) crop year and a minimal (“off”) crop year resulting in inconsistent fruit quality and quantity ( Monselise and Goldschmidt, 1982 ). Biennial bearing can be controlled to some extent by managing crop load in the “on

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