Increasing class one fruit in 'Granny Smith' and 'Cripps' Pink' apple

Fouche, Jacques Roux (2009-12)

Thesis (MscAgric (Horticulture))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Experiments were conducted to increase the percentage class one ‘Granny Smith’ and ‘Cripps’ Pink’ apples. ‘Granny Smith’ is the most widely grown apple cultivar in South Africa, but its profitability is compromised by the high incidence of sunburn, red blush and poor green colour development. ‘Cripps’ Pink’ is a very lucrative cultivar and producers are striving to maximise the production of fruit that qualify for export. Fruit technologists and growers are debating whether it is best to maximise class one fruit in ‘Cripps’ Pink’ by increasing total yield or by increasing fruit quality. The relationship between ‘Granny Smith’ canopy position and external fruit quality was investigated. Light exposure, peel temperature, green colour development, sunburn and red blush development was followed for individual fruit from the outer, intermediate and inner canopy. Dark green fruit were exposed to moderate to high light levels (25-50% full sun) during the first half of fruit development, similar to fruit that eventually developed sunburn and red blush. The difference came in during the latter half of fruit development when dark green fruit became shaded (3% full sun). Pale green fruit contained less chlorophyll due to consistent low light levels (2% full sun). Fruit at partially shaded canopy positions had a lower occurrence of sunburn and red blush than outside fruit and better green colour development than fruit from the heavily shaded inner canopy. Based on these data, pruning strategies and mulching were evaluated to alter canopy vigour and the light environment in such a way that green colour development is promoted and the occurrence of sunburn and red blush is reduced. In an older, vigorous orchard with a dense canopy, pruning was done to increase light distribution for green colour development and to induce more growth on the side of the trees that are prone to sunburn and red blush. Pruning improved green colour development without affecting sunburn or red blush. In a younger, non-vigorous orchard, pruning and mulching were used to invigorate the canopy to increase shading of fruit and thereby decrease sunburn and red blush. However, these treatments were not effective. Further research should focus on the use of shade nets, accompanied by rigorous pruning, to reduce sunburn and red blush while not decreasing green colour. Five different crop loads were established in an exceptionally high yielding (averaging over 100 ton·ha1) ‘Cripps’ Pink’ orchard by first the thinning of clusters, then the removal of small fruit and, finally, the selective removal of fruit from the shaded inner canopy. Treatments had no effect on iv fruit quality in the first season. The most severe thinning treatment increased the percentage class one fruit in the second season by increasing the number of fruit with adequate red blush. However, seen cumulatively, the higher crop loads yielded more class one fruit per hectare than the lower crop loads, without affecting reproductive and vegetative development or fruit storability. Producers should strive for the highest crop loads allowed by the fruit size limitations in cultivars that are not prone to alternate bearing

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Eksperimente is uitgevoer om die persentasie uitvoerkwaliteit ‘Granny Smith’ en ‘Cripps Pink’ appels te verhoog. ‘Granny Smith’ maak die grootste deel uit van appel aanplantings in Suid Afrika, maar die winsgewendheid daarvan word beperk deur `n hoë voorkoms van sonbrand, rooi blos en swak groen kleurontwikkeling. ‘Cripps’ Pink’ is `n baie winsgewende kultivar en produsente streef daarna om die persentasie uitvoerkwaliteit vrugte te maksimaliseer. Vrugte tegnoloë en produsente debatteer oor die wenslikheid daarvan om uitvoerkwaliteit vrugte te maksimeer deur totale produksie te verhoog of deur vrugkwaliteit te verbeter. Die verband tussen ‘Granny Smith’ draposisie in die blaredak en eksterne vrugkwaliteit is ondersoek. Ligvlakke, skiltemperatuur, groen kleurontwikkeling, sonbrand en rooi blos ontwikkeling is deur die loop van die seisoen gevolg vir individuele vrugte aan die buitekant, binnekant en intermediêre posisies binne die blaredak. Daar is gevind dat die donkerste groen vrugte, nes vrugte wat uiteindelik sonbrand en rooi blos ontwikkel het, blootgestel was aan matige tot hoë ligvlakke (25-50% vol son) gedurende die eerste helfte van vrugontwikkeling. Donker groen vrugte is egter oorskadu (3% vol son) tydens die tweede helfte van vrugontwikkeling. Vanweë konstante lae beligting (2% vol son) het binne vrugte min chlorofiel geakkumuleer en daarom is hierdie vrugte lig van kleur. Vrugte in gedeeltelike skadu ontwikkel min sonbrand en rooi blos in vergelyking met buite vrugte en toon beter groen kleurontwikkeling as vrugte in diep skadu binne die boom. Gegrond op bogenoemde resultate is die gebruik van snoei strategieë en deklae om die groeikrag en die ligomgewing van die boom te modifiseer, ten einde groen kleur ontwikkeling te bevorder en sonbrand en rooi blos te verminder, geëvalueer. In ‘n ouer, groeikragtige boord met ‘n digte blaredak is snoei gebruik om ligverspreiding te verbeter vir groen ontwikkeling en om meer groei te stimuleer aan die buitekant van die boom wat meer geneig is tot sonbrand en rooiblos. Groen kleur is wel verbeter, maar sonbrand en rooi blos is nie geaffekteer nie. In `n jonger, minder groeikragtige boord is ‘n deklaag aangebring en eenjarige lote getop, sodoende groei te stimuleer om sonbrand en rooi blos te verminder deur oorskaduwing van vrugte. Hierdie behandelings was egter nie effektief nie. Toekomstige navorsing moet fokus op die gebruik van skadunette tesame met ‘n nougesette snoei strategie om sonbrand en rooi blos te verminder sonder om groen kleur te verswak. Vyf verskillende vrugladings is geskep in `n uitermatig produktiewe (gemiddeld meer as 100 ton·ha-1) ‘Cripps’ Pink’ boord deur eers vrugtrosse uit te dun, gevolg deur die verwydering van klein vrugte en, laastens, die selektiewe verwydering van vrugte in die diep skaduwee van die binneste blaredak. Vrugkwaliteit is nie in die eerste seisoen nie deur oeslading geaffekteer nie. Die strafste uitdunbehandeling het wel die persentasie uitvoerbare vrugte in die tweede seisoen verhoog deur die aantal vrugte met voldoende rooi blos te vermeerder. Kumulatief gesien, het die hoër oesladings egter meer klas een vrugte per hektaar opgelewer sonder om die reproduktiewe en vegetatiewe ontwikkeling of die stoorvermoë van vrugte te affekteer. Produsente moet strewe na die hoogste oesladings wat toegelaat word deur vruggrootte beperkings in kultivars wat nie geneig is tot alternerende drag nie

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