Good Fruit Grower

May 15

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Cherries must be RELIABLY FIRM quality day after day so that buyers develop a trust and come back for more. Quality fruit has a low incidence of defects, such as pebbling, pitting, stem browning, shrivel, decay, and softening, and is not infested by insects. Above all, the cherries must be firm. Contrary to what growers might expect, problems with I Peter Toivonen recommends storing cherries for at least a week if softness is a concern. Firmness increases during the first weeks of storage. by Geraldine Warner n an increasingly competitive fresh cherry market, buyers are looking, above all, for consistent, reliable quality, Dr. Peter Toivonen, a postharvest physiologist with Agri- culture and Agri-Food Canada at Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, reminded growers during the 2012 B.C. Tree Fruit Horticultural Symposium. That means growers must be able to deliver the same "Cherries do get firmer in storage— we've shown that time and time soft cherries are more likely to occur early during the ship- ping season than after they've been stored for a week or two, said Toivonen, who has been conducting research on fruit firmness. "People feel that if you have any problems with your cherries, you should try to ship them off quickly, but this looks like it's not the thing to do," he said. "Cherries do get firmer REDUCE PLANT HEAT STRESS Reduced heat stress means more efficient water usage and reduced crop loss. Just like humans, plants experience stress when the temperatures get too high. Plant transpiration is when moisture is carried through the plant and evaporates from the underside of the leaves. When under heat stress, plants use energy and water to help them stay cool. Many plants start experiencing heat stress at around 95°F, and some studies suggest that inhibition of photosynthesis can start as low as 86°F. The energy and water used to cool down the plant would have been used for growth and fruit production, and while stressed, photosynthesis slows down. Studies indicate that abiotic stress may cause up to 60% of all crop loss. Abiotic stress can be caused by too little or too much heat, light or water. Diffusion® is a liquid calcium carbonate product that helps manage light and reduce heat stress, which also results in more efficient water usage. For more information contact your local Wilbur-Ellis specialist, or visit again." —Peter Toivonen For information only. Not a label. Prior to use, always read and follow the product label directions. Wilbur-Ellis Logo, Ideas to Grow With and Diffusion are registered trademarks of Wilbur-Ellis Company. K-0412-270 12 MAY 15, 2012 GOOD FRUIT GROWER Photo by geraldine warner

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