There has been very little literature on the mid season spatial variability of fruit production in horticulture crops published to date. Most of the existing literature refers to data collected post harvest. Crop load data taken prior to hand thinning and prior to harvest were collected in 3 blocks of a commercial apple (Malus do- mestica Borkh.) orchard in the province of Ferrara, It- aly. The purpose of the survey was to characterize the within field variability of crop load, using spatial sta- tistics, and assess the effectiveness of the hand-thin- ning treatment. Crop load estimations were taken at 156 sites pre and post hand-thinning over a defined distance (0.8 m) and the data used to model a vario- gram and associated spatial variation. Variation in the spatial distribution of the fruit load prior to the hand-thinning was observed, indicating a possibility to spatially differentially manage the orchard. No spatial variation in fruit number was observed prior to harvest (post-thinning), indicating that thinning had removed the previously observed spatial variation in crop load. Under the current uniform management approach this indicates that thinning has been effectively imple- mented. However, the spatial variation observed prior to thinning may indicate that a differential crop load management strategy may be optimal for maximizing quality in the orchard.

Spatial Analysis of the Effect of Fruit Thinning on Apple Crop Load

MANFRINI, LUIGI;CORELLI GRAPPADELLI, LUCA
2009

Abstract

There has been very little literature on the mid season spatial variability of fruit production in horticulture crops published to date. Most of the existing literature refers to data collected post harvest. Crop load data taken prior to hand thinning and prior to harvest were collected in 3 blocks of a commercial apple (Malus do- mestica Borkh.) orchard in the province of Ferrara, It- aly. The purpose of the survey was to characterize the within field variability of crop load, using spatial sta- tistics, and assess the effectiveness of the hand-thin- ning treatment. Crop load estimations were taken at 156 sites pre and post hand-thinning over a defined distance (0.8 m) and the data used to model a vario- gram and associated spatial variation. Variation in the spatial distribution of the fruit load prior to the hand-thinning was observed, indicating a possibility to spatially differentially manage the orchard. No spatial variation in fruit number was observed prior to harvest (post-thinning), indicating that thinning had removed the previously observed spatial variation in crop load. Under the current uniform management approach this indicates that thinning has been effectively imple- mented. However, the spatial variation observed prior to thinning may indicate that a differential crop load management strategy may be optimal for maximizing quality in the orchard.
L. Manfrini; J. Taylor; L. Corelli Grappadelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/78925
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