Hail nets do not affect the efficacy of metamitron for chemical thinning of apple trees
Alegre Castellví, Simó
Torres Lezcano, Estanis
Asin Jones, Luis
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Hail nets reduce photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and alter the environment under the netting in apple orchards. Thus, we investigated the effect of nets on the efficacy of metamitron, a short-term photosynthesis inhibitor used for fruit thinning. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the netting and metamitron on thinning efficacy, yield, fruit quality and chlorophyll fluorescence in three apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) cultivars. One or two metamitron applications at different doses or rates were applied the tree under different coloured nets. The reduction of PAR was highest with black nets (19%-22%), followed by green (13%-15%) and white nets (6%-11%). There were no significant differences (P> 0.05) in fruit weight or size with or without nets. Double applications of metamitron increased average fruit fresh weight and reduced the fruit set over four experiments. In contrast, single applications were less effective. In two experiments, thinning was associated with lower yields. However, there was no effect in the other two experiments. The double treatments tended to increase the percentage of the crop with fruit larger than 70 mm in diameter. All thinning strategies showed similar inhibition in fluorescence, with the only observed significant differences between treatments occurring when using a single or double application. The results show that netting does not affect the response to thinning with metamitron.
Is part ofJournal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 2020, vol. 95, núm. 1, p. 128-135
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