Biological boosts cherry yield and storage

Aug. 14, 2023 | 5 Min read
A biological approach for reducing cracking in cherries and improving storage is proving useful to cherry growers.

A biological approach for reducing cracking in cherries and improving storage is proving useful to cherry growers.

In a trial at Moondoona Orchard in Victoria two applications of Biostart Foliacin, 28 and 14 days prior to harvest, reduced cherry cracking by 55 per cent.

The cherries on the untreated trees had 52 per cent cracking while the cherries from the Foliacin treated trees had only 23 per cent.

Biostart CEO Jerome Demmer said this meant that 77 per cent of the Foliacin-treated crop was marketable, compared to only 48 per cent of the untreated crop, giving a significant economic benefit to the grower.

“Considering the late applications, Foliacin is a handy tool for reducing crop losses late in the season and around rain events,” he said.

Further improvements were revealed in the Moondoona Orchard trial when quality after storage was measured.

The samples treated and untreated were stored at 4°C for 21 days. After 21 days of storage a further 26 per cent of the untreated cherries had cracked compared to only four per cent more of the Foliacin treated cherries – a big improvement in the treated cherries' ability to store well.

A Central Otago orchard in NZ applies Mycorrcin (a soil biostimulant) to improve soil health, promote healthy root growth and increase nutrient uptake, and applies Foliacin (a foliar biostimulant) for improving fruit set and foliar health, and manage rain-induced fruit splitting.

Mr Demmer said the orchard manager applies Mycorrcin at budbreak and Foliacin regularly from petal fall to harvest. “He uses Foliacin strategically near harvest to reduce cherry cracking and has found it to be a useful tool particularly in varieties and blocks that are prone to splitting.”

Foliacin is applied to plant foliage and can be co-applied with most crop protection and nutritional spray applications.

According to extensive trials conducted to date, benefits include:

• plant leaf health, growth and late-season leaf retention

• improved flowering and fruit set 

• better fruit skin integrity (reducing cracking)

• recovery from environmental and chemical spray stress 

• increased yield

• improved fruit quality.

Mycorrcin is sprayed directly onto moist soil and can be tank mixed with herbicides, fungicides, fertigation nutrients and suspension fertiliser through fertigation systems and overhead irrigation systems fitted with an appropriate system.

For low organic matter and/or low fertility soils, Mycorrcin can be applied in regular smaller amounts through a fertigation or irrigation system. Benefits include:

• faster orchard establishment in new plantings

• greater root growth

• better fruit quality and flavour

• higher nutrient uptake.

Mr Demmer said these trials and commercial applications of Mycorrcin and Foliacin confirm that these biological products help improve the quality and quantity of marketable cherries.

Categories Cherries

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