EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT IRRIGATION LEVELS ON APPLE FRUIT QUALITY
Irrigation scheduling for deciduous fruit trees is an unresolved matter. Methods available do not respond satisfactorily to the demands of fruit grower. On the other hand productivity and quality criteria established to decide which is the best irrigation treatment do not necessarily coincide. Maximization of fruit production may be contradictory with maximum high quality production and optimization of certain horticultural practices such as reduction of pruning time or tree vigor control. An irrigation experiment was set up to validate the water budget method for irrigation scheduling with estimation of water usage using crop Evapotranspiration. As expected, treatments with lesser quantity of irrigation water applied, resulted in a higher frequency of fruits in the small size fruit classes. On the contrary, increasing amount of water applied, resulted in a statistically significant tendency of lower fruit firmness and fruit refractometric index (RI). However, the decrease in fruit firmness and RI has been variable with years and on average has no practical significance on today's industry mode of operation.
Bonany, J. and Camps, F. (1998). EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT IRRIGATION LEVELS ON APPLE FRUIT QUALITY. Acta Hortic. 466, 47-52
Evapotranspiration, fruit firmness, refractometric index (RI) fruit size