Bud fertility analysis in the southern hemisphere: now is the time!

Bud fertility analysis in the southern hemisphere: now is the time!

When and how to make them?

The analysis of bud fertility is a fundamental tool to determine the potential flowering state of the orchard and with this, in objective quantitative terms, to be able to define the load state of the orchard, in order to establish different work strategies in the field, such as pruning or eventual applications of dormancy breakers.

“These analyzes are carried out in the months of May, June and July and must be done according to what the laboratory obviously needs, in each reproductive center of the cherry tree and a certain number of fruit centers,” said Emilio Martínez, I+ Leader. D for Avium in Chile.

How is the sample taken?

First of all, it is necessary to recognize the reproductive centers of the cherry tree; From there it is essential to follow the instructions for taking the sample, for a correct analysis and objective result.

“In this case we have an annual twig (Image 1), where we mainly find the floral buds at the base of the twig and it will depend on the variety-rootstock combination if we can find more floral buds towards the middle or towards the apex of the twig. On the other hand, we have the dart, which is generally composed of a vegetative bud accompanied by a certain amount of floral buds,” added Emilio Martínez.

For a correct sampling it is necessary to understand the homogeneity of the orchard, therefore each orchard manager, or the person who samples, must make said sample knowing which is the most homogeneous and most representative part of the field.

“This work must always be carried out taking the precaution of taking this sample in the entire contour of the cherry tree and taking care, mainly in the twigs, to be able to cut the twig from the base of the twigs, so that the floral buds cannot be lose. And in the case of darts (Image 2) sample along the contour of the tree in a zigzag shape or as appropriate. After taking the samples, they must be taken to the laboratory, where all the analyzes are carried out,” Martínez explained.

The Bud Fertility Analysis allows us to know the average number of floral buds for each fruit center and the number of healthy primordia for each bud found in that fruit center.

“For example, if we have an average of five flower buds, in this case for one dart, and we have five healthy flower primordia for each bud, we have a potential of 25 flowers per dart. Therefore, this will be our average to be able to understand and calculate according to all the other indicators which are, for example, the planting density of the orchard, the estimated fruit weight, the percentage of fruit set, to be able to estimate the flowering potential per hectare of the orchard. From our perspective, it is important to know the past to be able to understand the present and thus project the future of the different productions that a garden can have,” concluded Avium R&D Leader, Emilio Martínez.

Read more about Agronomic Management here

Originally published in Spanish on Smartcherry.cl


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