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, 2012 ). Thinning is a common agronomical practice to optimize crop load to improve fruit size and quality as well as reducing biennial bearing ( Dennis, 2000 ; Link, 2000 ; Wertheim, 2000 ). Thinning affects the cell number and fruit size ( Bain and

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processing plant. Samples were collected by laying a wooden frame across the top of the fruit trailer and placing a plastic tub ≈90 × 60 × 20 cm (length × width × depth) on top of the wooden frame. Fruit and debris was collected in the tub as the load was

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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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). Such techniques may require management of crop load to maintain fruit size ( Naschitz and Naor, 2005 ; Wünsche et al., 2000 ). In the Okanagan region, crop load reductions were used over a single growing season to maintain fruit size under drought

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development ( Baldet et al., 2002 ; Bertin, 2005 ; Bertin et al., 2002 ). Reduction of fruit load during early fruit development has been used to study the effects of changes in carbohydrate availability on fruit growth ( Baldet et al., 2006 ; Bertin, 2005

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established between tree performance and fertigation for young plantings would persist as trees crop more heavily. For other fruit crops such as apples, high crop loads can depress leaf K concentration ( Hansen, 1980 ) and decrease fruit size in an interaction

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response determined by the intensity of current fruiting ( Martínez-Alcántara et al., 2015 ; Muñoz-Fambuena et al., 2011 ; Shalom et al., 2012 , 2014 ; Verreynne and Lovatt, 2009 ). In citrus, a heavy fruit load can impose a flowering inhibition by

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A field experiment was conducted in Gainesville, Fla., with two southern highbush blueberry cultivars, `Misty' and `Sharpblue', to investigate the influence of varying flower bud load on the timing and extent of vegetative and reproductive development. Flower bud load was adjusted on three different canes on ten plants by removing none, one-third, or two-thirds of the flower buds. Vegetative budbreak, leaf area, fruit number, and fruit fresh weight and dry weight were measured. Vegetative budbreak was delayed with increasing flower bud load. Vegetative budbreak, leaf area, and leaf area: fruit ratio decreased with increasing flower bud load. Fruit maturity was delayed and average berry fresh weight and dry weight declined with decreasing leaf area:fruit ratio. Responses were similar for both cultivars although `Misty' was more adversely affected by high flower bud load and low leaf area: fruit ratio.

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depressive effect of high fruit load on cherry SSC has been previously reported ( Marsal et al., 2010 ). Einhorn et al. (2011) found in controlled thinning experiments over two growing seasons that average fruit size, SSC, firmness, and TA were increased on

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Abstract

Foliar sprays of 10 and 100 mg·liter-1 CPPU were applied at petal fall of the king blossom (PF) or 18 days later to mature ‘McIntosh’/M.7 apple trees. All CPPU sprays reduced crop load. Treatments at PF reduced the crop to near the desired level of about five to six fruit per cm of limb circumference. Fruit weight was increased 21% and 67%, respectively, by 10 and 100 mg·liter-1 applied at PF. Treatments at PF increased fruit size more than at PF + 18, and 100 mg·liter-1 was more effective than 10 mg·liter-1. At the higher rate and later timing, CPPU appeared to retard ripening. These fruit were firmer, red color development was reduced, and degradation of starch appeared to be delayed. Fruit length : diameter (L:D) ratio and seed number were reduced by treatment at PF + 18 days. Total growth was increased on limbs treated with CPPU at PF + 18 days. CPPU at 10 mg·liter-1 reduced flower bud formation, and at 100 mg·liter-1 it nearly eliminated return bloom when applied at either timing. Chemical name used: N-(2-chloro-4-pyridyI)-N’-phenylurea (CPPU).

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