Blossom or fruitlet thinning is a labor-intensive part of commercial peach and nectarine production. The use of mechanical string blossom thinners has been shown to reduce labor requirements and improve fruit size in peach crops, but stone fruit producers have needed more information about the range of thinning times.
New research from Tara Auxt Baugher and colleagues from The Pennsylvania State University and Penn State Cooperative Extension gives producers sought-after data about optimum thinning times.
Baugher said that, prior to this study on bloom stage, peach producers interested in the cost-effectiveness of string blossom thinning had unanswered questions about the range of thinning timings. "Some were concerned about spring freezes and wanted to thin as late as possible, and some wanted to obtain as many hours of use from the mechanical thinner as possible. Based on this study, we have determined that the thinning timeframe is from pink to petal fall, which is good news for both commercial situations."
The research, conducted over 2 years on 'Sugar Giant' peach and 'Arctic Sweet' nectarine, was designed to assess the effects of mechanical thinning at various bloom stages compared with conventional green fruit hand-thinning on blossom removal and follow-up hand-thinning requirement, and on crop load, fruit size, and net economic impact. Results showed that blossom removal with the string thinner was significant across years, cultivars, and canopy regions for bloom stages in which there were open flowers.
The best treatments reduced follow-up hand-thinning time compared with green fruit hand-thinning alone by 51% and 41% for 'Sugar Giant' and by 42% and 22% for 'Arctic Sweet' in years one and two, respectively. The savings in hand-thinning time and increases in fruit size associated with the bloom stage treatments increased the value of the peach and nectarine crops, resulting in a net positive impact of $123/ha to 1368/ha compared with hand-thinning alone.
"This study demonstrated that it is more difficult to remove blossoms at pink compared with other bloom stages, which indicates that producers will need to thin more aggressively at earlier bloom stages; e.g., by increasing spindle rpm.", Baugher said. "A benefit of using the string thinner at earlier stages of bloom development is that there can be an increased effect on fruit size and market value."
The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/45/9/1327
Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org
Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy
New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy