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Post-veraison regulated deficit irrigation in ‘Crimson Seedless’ table grape saves water and improves berry skin color

Pinillos, Virginia, Chiamolera, Fernando M., Ortiz, Juan F., Hueso, Juan J., Cuevas, Julián
Agricultural water management 2016 v.165 pp. 181-189
Vitis vinifera, color, crop management, cultivars, deficit irrigation, ethylene production, growers, harvesting, small fruits, table grapes
Poor skin color in red table grape cultivars is one of the most troublesome difficulty producers face in the management of this crop. Recent EU limitations of ethylene release products left growers with poor prospects to improve the color of the berry. In this work, we have explored ‘Crimson Seedless’ response to deficit irrigation from veraison to the end of harvest and we observed an improvement in the development of the berry skin color. Earlier yield was also obtained in plants under deficit irrigation, with a higher percentage of yield in the first picking operations, due to earlier acquisition of color by the berries. Negative effects on berry size or on total yield were not observed. Therefore, we may recommend deficit irrigation from veraison to harvest as a mean to increase the quality of the berry and to reduce water consumption.