|Authors: ||G. Hernández, R.L. Craig|
|Keywords: ||Actinidia, budbreak, flowering, Hi-Cane®, Dormex®, Erger®, boom sprayer|
Zespri International Limited has supported the research of alternative bud break enhancers to hydrogen cyanamide (HC), given the potential for this chemical to be de-registered for use in the kiwifruit industry and the serious risks of production loss from current kiwifruit cultivars should this occur.
Erger® (ER) was tested as an alternative commercial bud break enhancer in field conditions using equipment that mimicked commercial air blast spraying technology, with a tractor mounted boom sprayer and Air Inclusion (AI) nozzles purpose designed to apply 800 L of water ha-1. ER and HC were applied at three timings 6-8 days apart ranging from 53 to 31 days before natural bud break.
The year 2013 had low winter chill with 279 h below 7°C compared to the 19 year mean of 388 h.
The optimal timing tested for HC application to 'Gold3' was 38 days before natural bud break, which is consistent with a cane painting study conducted in the same season, where the optimum was 31-45 days before natural bud break.
ER induced flower production was 62.4% above the control but 24.4% below HC in terms of king flowers winter bud-1. The successful use of bud break enhancers has proved to be important for the commercial production of 'Gold3'.
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