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An alternative dormancy-breaking agent to hydrogen cyanamide for sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) under low chilling accumulation conditions in the Central Valley of Chile
- Ardiles, M., Ayala, M.
- Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1161 pp. 423-430
- Prunus avium, budbreak, calcium nitrate, cold treatment, dormancy breaking, fruit set, human health, hydrogen cyanamide, models, oils, pollen, shoots, toxicity, vegetative growth, viability, winter, Chile
- In areas with mild winters and low chill accumulation, the application of budbreak promoters such a hydrogen cyanamide (HC) is used to overcome insufficient winter chilling in sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.). Despite HC efficiency, its toxicity to human health and environment has become a serious issue. A potential alternative to HC is Erger®, an organic nitrogen compound. Erger® might promote a more concentrated and uniform bloom, early vegetative growth and higher fruit size, without toxic effects. The objective of this study was to compare the effect of applications of Erger® and HC on fruit production and vegetative growth in combination 'Santina®'/'Pontaleb'. The experiment was carried out in Colina (Lat. 33°13'; Long. 70°42'), Metropolitan Region, Chile. The treatments (TR) included: TR1 = Control (H2O); TR2 = Erger® (6%) + calcium nitrate (9%) [Erger®+Ca(NO3)2]; TR3 = Erger® (6%); TR4 = calcium nitrate (9%) [Ca(NO3)2]; TR5 = hydrogen cyanamide (2%) + oil at (0,015%) [HC+oil]. TRs were sprayed with 520 chilling hours (Modified Richardson model). Erger®+Ca(NO3)2 and HC+oil treatments advanced bloom. [Erger®+Ca(NO3)2] concentrated bloom and increased the number extension shoots. Pollen viability was negatively affected by most TRs with exception of Erger®+Ca(NO3)2. Fruit set was similar among TRs. Budbreak promoters increased significantly fruit weight, however, [Erger®+Ca(NO3)2] not only increased fruit size, but it also shifted the distribution curve to the larger sizes.