Armagh, United Kingdom
Armagh, United Kingdom

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Saoir S.M.,Loughgall Co. | Cross G.,Greenmount College | Mansfield J.,Loughgall Co. | Ward F.,Loughgall Co.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014

Increasingly, traditional Bramley orchards in Ireland are being replaced with high density orchards. These new orchards have a much higher capital charge at establishment which must be repaid with higher yields. In order for growers to determine their optimal planting density/rootstock combination; it is necessary to commercially evaluate different planting densities. In 2000, a range of different densities was planted: M9's at 672, 961 and 1492 trees ha-1 and M27's at 1279, 1492 and 1957 trees ha-1 (imperial spacings were used to suit the local industry). Yield has increased year on year. Lower planting densities had repaid their establishment costs by the 7th harvest whilst the higher densities took until the 9th harvest. By the end of the 13th harvest the highest M9 density was significantly more productive than the others. The M27 plantings did not perform as well as the M9's but the highest M27 density continues to close the gap on the M9's.

Mac An tSaoir S.,Loughgall Co. | Mansfield J.,Loughgall Co.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2010

SmartFresh (1-MCP) prevents the ripening of fruit by blocking ethylene receptors and also prevents scald in the apples. Bramley's seedling is sensitive to both ethylene and scald which both have to be controlled for successful storage. Accordingly the apples are dipped/drenched in DPA before storage and ethylene is scrubbed during storage. During the application of DPA, most growers simultaneously treat the apples with a fungicide. The use of 1-MCP eliminates the necessity of treating with DPA for scald control, but it is therefore expensive to then drench with a fungicide. However, Bramley's grown in Ireland are susceptible to canker eye disease (Nectria galligena) which can cause severe losses in long term storage. Growers normally spray for apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) disease control until mid July and then spray calcium for storage during August. A range of fungicide treatments designed to control storage diseases was applied during July/August (2003). The harvested apples were then treated with 1-MCP or the standard fungicide/DPA dip or left untreated and stored at 4°C at 9%CO2 and 12% O2. The apples were removed from storage in January, March and June (2004). The field applied fungicides had no effect on the subsequent storage decay of the apples. The 1-MCP treated apples were of significantly higher quality at the end of the storage period in relation to pressure and colour over both the standard and control treatments. However, the 1-MCP treated fruit had significantly higher levels of canker eye. 1-MCP gave the same level of control of scald as the standard fungicide/DPA treatment.

McCracken A.R.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland | Moore J.P.,Loughgall Co | Walsh L.R.E.,Loughgall Co | Lynch M.,Loughgall Co
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2010

The conventional, commercial method of planting Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow is the use of a willow planter which delivers 20 cm hardwood cuttings vertically into the soil. On well prepared sites an establishment rate in excess of 90% is normal. Recently there has been interest in developing alternative planting protocols with the imminent launch of a 'lay-flat planter' which lays lengths of willow end to end at a depth of 8-10 cm. Small experimental plots were established in 2000 using two Salix spp. genotypes, 'Olof' and 'V7534' and three planting methods: conventional 'cuttings' (20 cm lengths planted vertically), 'lay-flat' rods (2-3 m lengths planted horizontally) and 'billets' (10 cm lengths planted horizontally). Two three-year harvests were taken in 2003/04 and 2006/07 when establishment, growth pattern and yield were assessed. While there were significant differences between the two genotypes, both responded in a similar way to the different planting protocols. Generally growth from billets was less than from either cuttings or lay-flat rods. The lay-flat system required almost three times more propagating material than either the cuttings or billets. Consequently for the system to be commercially viable significant savings must be made elsewhere, possibly through preparation of planting material, ground preparation or reducing planting costs. © 2010.

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