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  • 27-07-2022

How to ensure flowering and fruit setting, improve quality and achieve optimum production

Flowering and fruit setting processes are key physiological stages for good crop production. In agriculture, flowering and fruit setting are prerequisites for crop production whenever fruit is harvested.

In order to have an optimum percentage of fruit setting after a good flowering, appropriate conditions between the crop physiological conditions and the climatic conditions during this stage must be met. Physiological factors that promote optimal fruit setting include the production of viable pollen and the speed of pollen tube growth. On the other hand, dry wind, rain, cloudiness and extreme temperatures —whether high or low— are climatic factors that will negatively impact fruit setting.

At the nutritional level, in the case of fruit trees, a factor that will determine flowering will be the post-harvest fertilization in the previous season. If the necessary nutrients have not been provided after harvest, the plant will not accumulate the necessary reserve substances after winter dormancy, as the reserve substances will be the source of nutrients for the plant until the beginning of plant development, when photosynthesis will produce the necessary nutrition once the plant has sprouted vegetatively.

At these flowering and fruit setting stages, in any crop, whether fruit or vegetable, the crop will require higher concentrations of micronutrients and calcium in addition to standard nutrition. Flower buds and subsequent flowering require zinc, boron, molybdenum and other nutrients in much higher amounts. It is essential that these elements are available for use at this stage, as they play a key role during flowering and fruit setting, because their deficiency causes physiological disorders in the crop, reducing the number of fruits per tree.

For example, boron participates actively in pollen germination and its viability, pollen tube growth and the development of seeds, fruits and dried fruits. Together with molybdenum, they have a synergistic action on the terminal buds of the plant, which is the tissue responsible for the growth and differentiation of all plant structures such as flowers, reproductive structures and fruits. On the other hand, zinc is involved in the production of auxins, which are phytohormones involved in the growth of tissues during fruit formation, contributing to prevent fruit drop, as well as participating in the synthesis of amino acids through the enzymatic metabolism and the chlorophyll synthesis.

Phosphorus is a macronutrient of vital importance in the flowering period, as it is directly involved in the formation of flowers, that is essential for cell division and meristematic growth, being a constituent of nucleic acids and energy molecules, as well as of cell membranes. If there is not enough phosphorus, this meristematic growth cannot take place and the plant will not be able to develop properly.

After pollination, when pollen reaches the stigma, the pollen tubes begin to grow through the pistil and reach the ovule, where fertilization occurs. After pollination there is a period of rapid cell division with a high energy demand. Calcium is also essential during this period and frequently, if its concentration is poor, it can limit the development of strong cell walls, being decisive in the quality of most fruits.

 

HOW CAN WE ENSURE GOOD FLOWERING AND FRUIT SETTING?

It is important that plants receive sufficient water during flowering and fruiting. Both water stress and excessive irrigation can reduce pollen viability, leading to poor fruit setting, so it is recommended to follow an irrigation schedule through irrigation management, although this may vary between crops.

Fertilization at these stages is essential, as sufficient nutrients such as boron, zinc and molybdenum, as well as phosphorus, need to be available during flowering and fruit setting, which as we have seen are very important in the development of these stages. Getting ahead of any “hidden hunger” (e.g., leaf analysis) is highly recommended, as well as applications of calcium and appropriate nutrients on the leaf to correct deficiencies before they become a problem.

During this stage the crop shows extremely high energy consumption, so an intake of biostimulants will help as a contribution to these special requirements in the stages of flowering and fruit setting, while helping to lessen or mitigate the negative impact of climatic stress that the crop may suffer during these stages.

With the application of HEROGRA ESPECIALES solutions, these stages will be enhanced and maximized in the crops. Biostimulants that achieve very good results, maximizing yield and crop production, thanks to their contents and formulation design.

For this purpose, Herogra Especiales offers the product ECOTOP, a last generation fruit setting booster product, with a great development and technology, formulated with the exclusive ST14 Fruit Setting Booster, especially designed to boost the phenological phase of fruit setting and to achieve a higher yield in our crop. It can be used in vegetable and woody crops, both in foliar and irrigation applications.

It is a product with a high efficiency proven in multiples trials carried out.

SOME OF THE TRIALS CARRIED OUT

  • Trial on Palermo bell pepper in a greenhouse, with irrigation applications every 7-10 days, from the beginning of the flowering, comparing Ecotop with a competing product commonly used for fruit setting by the farmer collaborating in the trial.

With the application of ECOTOP®, 8% more production is achieved compared to the commonly used product applied by the farmer for the fruit setting.

Trial on almond crop, with 2 foliar applications at flowering and petal fall stages, comparing ECOTOP with a control, measuring almond production in branches marked at a length of 40 cm.

 

34% more almonds were obtained with ECOTOP® compared to the control.

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