Fruit thinning and quality: exploring new chemical solutions
Apple fruit thinning is still an essential technique despite the fact that the apple fruit industry is continuously evolving in terms of new cultivars, new high-density planting orchards and training system. Also, in the last years new chemical thinners have been put on the market requiring specific protocols to reduce the risk for the grower and gain the desired results. Specific working groups formed at international and national level have been trying to face these changes, but the apple industry is a dynamic sector and the research does not always satisfy the productive chain and the market demands. The difficulty to respond in a timely manner to the industry are dependent upon the fact that fruit thinning is a difficult technique, and, in some circumstances, the obtained results are unsatisfactory. Fruit thinning is strongly related to both the meteorological conditions occurring at the thinner application time and the tree-side physiological state. Moreover, the ongoing climate change further increases the complexity of the overall thinning scenario. A possible improvement of the research on fruit thinning should be achieved with a better coordination among the existing working groups in order to exchange information on the new molecules and the new cultivars placed on the market to set up timely strategies in the different cultivation areas. All this should be organized and supported by the availability of structural fund policy from both institutional agency and the whole productive chain.
Botton, A. and Costa, G. (2020). Fruit thinning and quality: exploring new chemical solutions. Acta Hortic. 1295, 13-20
thinning agents, fruit load regulation, modeling, climate change, networking