This project aims to develop recommendations for autumn and post blossom thinning of flowers and fruitlets using plant growth regulator chemicals in plums (Prunus domestica and P. salicina) and potentially other stonefruit (peaches and nectarines).
Hand thinning is one of the largest components of variable costs when producing these crops for fresh fruit consumption.
Chemical thinning of stonefruit directly addresses the two key guiding principles:
- lowering the labour inputs required to manage correct crop loading,
- reducing the biotic stress of crops associated with excessive crop loads.
Stonefrult exports are rising rapidly due to a combination of increased demand in Asian and middle east markets, a lower Australian dollar and improved market access. Australia's place in these growing markets is by no means assured as we have strong competition from low cost competitor countries.
Malcom Taylor, Agropraisals, discussing the replicated trial of spray thinning for crop load management of fresh fruit market plums. This trial is associated with trials conducted in Calfornia by Dr Franz Niederholzer, University of California.