Agronomy Advice

Concerned about hail damage to apples and pears

Apples and pears are both susceptible to hale damage in late spring with the potential for both fruits and leaves to be damaged. Whilst crop nutrition cant control the weather it can help mitigate some of the effects and help damaged crops recover.

Hail damage to pear orchard
Hail damage to pear orchard

When an orchard is damaged by hail there are two immediate concerns.  Firstly there is the risk of damage to developing fruitless, secondly, there is the damage to developing leaves and finally, there are also concerns that the increased stress to the tree may have consequences later in the seasons for development of the following year's buds.

Improved cell wall strength increases mechanical resistance of tissues to damage

Pears are less susceptible to fruit damage than apples since the fruit tends to be held vertically to begin with until the weight of the fruit pulls them down. With the majority of the crop being vertical pear fruits, even in exposed areas, many have evaded the worst of the hail.  Apples on the other hand are more susceptible to hail damage.  Badly damaged fruit will have to be removed or fall naturally, but there is an opportunity to use products such as YaraVita ACTISIL to increase skin strength in the case of weakened fruit skin

YaraVita Actisil contains silicon in the form of stabilised orthosilicic acid together with calcium which also has an important role in stabilising cell walls. Trials have shown that YaraVita Aciticil improves fruit firmness leading to improved storage, transportability and so extended shelf life. The reinforcement of cell walls also means an increase in the mechanical resistance of the tissue to damage.

Damaged leaf tissue needs nurturing before giving the plant a boost to recover lost growth

Where leaf damage is a concern, YaraVita BIOTRAC followed by YaraVita CROPLIFT PRO is a good option for recovery. This combination will firstly help recover the damaged leaf tissue and then provide a boost to recover lost growth

YaraVita Biotrac is a biological stimulant product combined with a micronutrient formulation of potassium, boron and zinc. The biological component of YaraVita Biotrac consists of two key enzyme’s extracted from Ascophyllum nodosum. This extraction allows YaraVita Biotrac to be more concentrated than other similar seaweed formulations which allows a lower application rate for the same benefit.  The Ascophyllum nodosum enzymes nurture damaged vegetative matter, helping the plants with new cell division as they recover the growth and coating any softer tissues reducing the impact of secondary infection sites.

YaraVita Croplift Pro is an old faithful and well known in all crops. It is a complete balance of NPK & micronutrient foliar feed, which delivers a perfect balance to the new growth to bring the crop on to the level the growers would have expected from an unfrosted crop. YaraVita Croplift Pro will recover much of the lost growth without having too high an NPK balance as to create extra vegetative growth later which would require more pruning.

The major benefit of using a two product approach is that it allows the grower the freedom to decide how soon to push a damaged crop. Other proprietary products high in N will push damaged crops on regardless of recovery. In this case, any partially damaged leaf area will most likely be burned by high N application. Should the crop be less damaged and the grower feels that the partially damaged area can sustain more N, then the grower has the option of using YaraVita Biotrac and Croplift Pro in the same tank mixture. 

Good late-season nutrition is vital for next season's crops

However, there is still a need to remain vigilant as the extra growth requirement as a result of the increased early season stress may have repercussions for good wood development later in the year so YaraVita BUD BUILDER FL may need to be considered later in the season to build back strength into woody growth and help develop next season's buds.

YaraVita Bud Builder contains magnesium, zinc, nitrogen, boron and phosphate so is ideal for application to fruit crops as a post-harvest application to boost levels of P, Zn, Mg and B. These key minerals are required for making good and strong buds. It is important to get as much feed into the plant buds at the end of the year as it is difficult to feed the buds at the start of the following year, without running the risk of waking them up early.


Fruit agronomy advice

Apple fertiliser and crop nutrition advice
Apple fertiliser and crop nutrition advice

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