Navigation Links
Hybrid string blossom thinner tested in peach orchards
Date:12/29/2010

GETTYSBURG, PA Peach producers have traditionally relied heavily on hand thinning, a necessary but costly and labor-intensive field practice. Impacted by increasing labor costs and a limited workforce, peach and other stone fruit growers are turning to mechanical methods such as string thinners to minimize the need for hand thinning. A new ''hybrid'' string thinner prototype showed promising results when it was evaluated in four U.S. growing regions; the trials resulted in significant labor savings and increased peach size.

According to Pennsylvania State University's T. Auxt Baugher, corresponding author for the research report published in HortTechnology, the goal of the study was to determine if a new string thinner prototype designed to thin vase or angled tree canopies could be adapted for varying orchard systems. Trials with the hybrid mechanical blossom string thinner were performed in California, South Carolina, Washington, and Pennsylvania commercial orchards. The prototype used in the experiments was a hybrid of a vertical rotating string thinner designed to remove apple blossoms in organic orchards and a horizontal prototype evaluated in previous peach thinning trials. The researchers evaluated blossom removal rate, fruit set, labor required for follow-up hand thinning, fruit size distribution at harvest, yield, and economic impact. Additional information was collected using case study interviews of growers and orchard managers.

String thinner trials demonstrated reduced labor costs compared with hand-thinned controls, and increased crop value due to a larger distribution of fruit in marketable and higher market value sizes. Blossom removal ranged from 17-56%, hand thinning requirement was reduced by 19-100%, and fruit yield and size distribution improved in at least one string-thinning treatment per experiment. Notably, the savings in hand-thinning requirement and increases in fruit size distribution increased the economic value of the peach crops beyond that of hand thinning alone, with gross income ranging from $4,267-9,127 per acre in processing plantings and $5,097-12,288 per acre in fresh fruit plantings.

Net positive economic impact from mechanical thinning (realized economic savings beyond hand thinning alone) ranged from $236-1,490 per acre and $264-934 per acre for processing and fresh fruit plantings respectively, with the exception of one treatment in which the economic impact was negative. According to Baugher, "increased fruit size had a greater positive impact for fresh market producers, while labor savings and yield increases (due to larger fruit size) were of greater importance for canning peach growers."

In another aspect of the reportcase study interviews with 11 Pennsylvania growers and orchard managers who had used the prototypeinterviewees suggested that commercial adoption of mechanical string thinning technology would have positive impacts on the work place. All case study participants reported that the technique made crop load management more efficient and reduced follow-up hand-thinning time, while 80% of the growers noted that fruit from thinned trees were larger. Growers observed that the string thinner allowed hand thinning of peaches to be completed earlier, allowing more timely work in other crops. They also found that employees were satisfied with mechanical thinning, as it saved them time and minimized ladder use, and that the seasonal distribution of labor-intensive work was improved.

The string thinner prototype developed for the study has been commercialized and will be manufactured in both North America and Germany.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New hybrid plants could prompt more prodigious pepper production in Southwest
2. Hybrid vehicle rebates produce scant environmental benefits, high cost
3. Rice researchers make graphene hybrid
4. Single gene dramatically boosts yield, sweetness in tomato hybrids, CSHL-Israeli study finds
5. Genetic key discovered to dramatically increase yields and improve taste of hybrid tomato plants
6. Liposome-hydrogel hybrids: No toil, no trouble for stronger bubbles
7. What causes hybrid vigor?
8. ISU researchers develop hybrid protein tools for gene cutting and editing
9. Hard-wired for chocolate and hybrid cars? How genetics affect consumer choice
10. If GMO genes escape, how will the hybrids do?
11. Potential hemlock hybrids tolerant to invasive hemlock woolly adelgid
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Hybrid string blossom thinner tested in peach orchards
(Date:4/13/2017)... Calif. , April 13, 2017 UBM,s ... York will feature emerging and evolving technology ... Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion ... speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics ... largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take place ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... 6, 2017 Forecasts by Product ... Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public ... & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business ... Are you looking for a definitive report on ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze ... pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity ... for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit ... 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current ... several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from around the world to address ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has announced ... network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs will ... to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer education ... professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and are ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: