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Effects of Cane Emergence Time, Bending, and Defoliation on Flowering and Yield in Primocane-Fruiting Blackberry

Takeda, Fumiomi, Rose, Ann, Demchak, Kathleen
Agronomy 2020 v.10 no.11
administrative management, agronomy, blackberries, budbreak, buds, defoliation, flowering, leaves, primocanes, production technology, shoots, summer
Primocane-fruiting (PF) blackberries are adaptable to different production systems. To increase yields in PF blackberries, their primocanes are typically tipped or topped in summer to encourage branch formation from axillary buds below the cut. In this study, we determined in PF ‘Prime-Ark® Traveler’ whether early emerging primocanes were more productive than those that emerged later in the season, and the effect of primocane bending and defoliation on flowering. The primocanes that emerged in April produced 64% more flower shoots than those that emerged after May. Also, these findings indicate the alternative primocane management practices of selecting the early emerging primocanes and bending to orient primocanes horizontally, and leaf removal to increase budbreak and flower shoot emergence. The present work contributes toward a better understanding of primocane emergence time and orientation–flowering relations, and how these factors mediate crop performance of PF blackberry.