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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1137: International Symposium on Innovation in Integrated and Organic Horticulture (INNOHORT)

Precision apple flower thinning using organically approved chemicals

Authors:   G.M. Peck, L.D. Combs, C. DeLong, K.S. Yoder
Keywords:   Malus domestica, lime sulfur, fish oil, pollination, fertilization, crop load management, flower morphology
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1137.7
Abstract:
Compared with the conventional practice of fruitlet thinning, flower thinning often results in greater fruit size and flower bud formation. Through the use of a temperature-based pollen tube growth model that predicts the ideal application timing of bloom thinning chemicals, we have shown that flower thinning is both a reliable and desirable technique for organic apple producers in Virginia. Our research shows that Regalia (a knotweed extract), can serve as a mild bloom thinner, and can also provide early season disease control of quince rust (Gymnosporangium clavipes). Through the use of precision apple flower thinning, organic apple growers will be able to increase their production and be more competitive in the regional, national, and international marketplaces.

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