Source: CORNELL UNIVERSITY submitted to
IMPROVE YIELD AND QUALITY OF FRUIT CROPS BY NUTRITION MANAGEMENT
Sponsoring Institution
State Agricultural Experiment Station
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0185339
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
NYC-145309
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Jun 1, 2000
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2009
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Cheng, L.
Recipient Organization
CORNELL UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
ITHACA,NY 14853
Performing Department
HORTICULTURE
Non Technical Summary
(N/A)
Animal Health Component
70%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
30%
Applied
70%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2041110101030%
2041110102020%
2041131101035%
2041131102015%
Goals / Objectives
The overall objective is to gain a better understanding of nutrition physiology of fruit crops with a long-term goal to improve crop yield and fruit quality. The specific objectives are 1) determine the dependence of vegetative growth and fruiting on nutrient reserves in fruit crops and develop/modify cultural practices to improve orchard productivity; 2) study nitrogen uptake, translocation, partitioning, utilization, storage, and recycling in fruit crops to improve nitrogen management practices; 3) understand the role sorbitol plays in carbon production and partitioning, boron mobilization, and osmotic adjustment in apple trees.
Project Methods
Nitrogen and carbohydrate reserves will be altered by using nitrogen application (to the soil or foliage), manual defoliation, and carbon dioxide enrichment. 15N-labelled fertilizers will be applied at different developmental stages during the growing season to both field-grown and potted trees to investigate nitrogen uptake, partitioning and reutilization. Transgenic apple plants with altered capacity for sorbitol synthesis will be compared with untransformed controls to determine the role sorbitol plays in carbon production and partitioning, boron mobilization and osmotic adjustment

Progress 10/01/08 to 09/30/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The overall objective is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies.The specific objectives were to determine nitrogen requirements, the contribution of each of the three supply sources to the total vine N economy, and fertilizer N uptake, partitioning and utilization with an ultimate goal to sustain high yields of quality fruit while improving nitrogen use efficiency in Concord vineyards. We found that the most rapid accumulation of total dry matter and total nitrogen in the new growth of mature Concord vines occurred from bloom to harvest and from bloom to veraison, respectively. Of the three N sources (reserve N, natural supply of soil N, and fertilizer N) to new growth, reserve N and natural N supply from soil each provided approximately 40% of the N required for the new growth. Reserve N served as the primary N source during the early part of vine growth (from budbreak to shortly after bloom) whereas natural N supply from soil played an important role from shortly after bloom to veraison. Supplying 50 lbs of actual nitrogen (in the form of ammonium nitrate) at budbreak contributed about 20% of the total N requirement of the new growth for the entire season. Nitrogen timing study using 15N-ammonium nitrate indicated that the total uptake of fertilizer nitrogen and nitrogen uptake efficiency by mature Concord vines from the time of N application to fruit harvest increased as the application time was delayed from budbreak to 2 weeks after bloom. Split application between 2 weeks before and after bloom appears to have similar total uptake as the application at 2 weeks before bloom. The findings of this project were presented at Lake Erie Grape Growers Meeting, at Orchard and Vineyard Nutrition Workshop, at Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station. Both Lailiang Cheng and Terry Bates made presentations on the topic in the Finger Lakes Grape Growers Convention and a series of workshops on grape nutrition. The findings of this project were also disseminated to grape growers via newsletters. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Terry Bates, Department of Horticultural science, NY State Agricultural Experiment Station TARGET AUDIENCES: Grape growers in New York, Great Lakes, Northeast and other states in US. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
The findings of this project were presented at Lake Erie Grape Growers Meeting, at Orchard and Vineyard Nutrition Workshop, at Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station. Both Lailiang Cheng and Terry Bates made presentations on the topic in the Finger Lakes Grape Growers Convention and a series of workshops on grape nutrition. The findings of this project were also disseminated to grape growers via newsletters. Many grape growers in New York and Michigan are using the knowledge generated in this project to improve their nutrient management practices in vineyards.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 10/01/07 to 09/30/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The overall objective is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies. The objectives of this year were (1) to understand how N supply throughout the growing season affects berry growth, veraison, yield and quality; and (2) to determine how vine N status at harvest affects both root and foliar N uptake for storage. Four-year-old own-rooted Concord vines grown in 38-liter containers in sand received 2.5 mM (low N), 12.5 mM (medium N) or 25 mM (high N) N supply from two weeks before bloom to harvest. At harvest, one set of vines from each N treatment were destructively sampled to determine total dry weight, total leaf area, total N and free amino acid concentrations. The remaining vines in each N treatment were divided into 3 groups. Group A received no N from harvest to leaf fall; group B received one spray of 2% foliar 15N-enriched urea; and group C received one soil application of 10 mM N from 15N-enriched ammonium nitrate. All the vines were netted and fallen leaves were collected during leaf senescence process. After leaf fall, the whole vines were excavated and partitioned for N and 15N analyses. Vines in low N treatment had significantly lower shoot growth, total leaf area and total fruit yield compared with those grown under medium or high N supply. Fruit growth was significantly lower in low N treatment than in the medium or high N treatment throughout the berry growth period. Veraison was delayed for 6 days in the low N vines compared with those grown under medium or high N supply. At harvest, average berry weight of the low N vines was about half of that in the medium or high N vines. Fruit soluble solid content was about 1.5 brix lower in the low N vines compared with the medium or high N vines. At fruit harvest, leaf N concentration and concentrations of free amino acids were lower in the low N vines than in the medium or high N vines. Uptake rate of 15N-urea sprayed onto the foliage was significantly higher in the low N vines than the high N vines. It was interesting to note that vines in the medium N treatment had a similar uptake rate of 15N-urea as the low N vines. On a whole vine basis, low N vines had a lower total uptake of 15N-urea than medium or high N vines due to its much smaller total leaf area. It appears that vine supplied with a medium N level benefited most from foliar urea spray after harvest. Root N concentration at fruit harvest was significantly lower in the vines supplied with low N compared with those supplied with medium or high N. Concentrations of total free amino acids in roots showed a similar trend as root N concentration. Rate of root N uptake from 15N-ammonium nitrate decreased as N supply during the pre-harvest period increased. Total root uptake of N from 15N-ammonium nitrate by the medium N vines was the highest. The findings of this project has been presented to grape growers in New York and Michigan. PARTICIPANTS: Richard Raba Guohai Xia TARGET AUDIENCES: Grape growers in New York, Northeast and the nation. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
The findings of this project help optimize nitrogen management in vineyards, which will reduce the cost of production and decrease the risk of nitrogen leaching into environment.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/07 to 12/31/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The overall objective is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies. The specific objective of this project was to optimize soil and foliar nitrogen applications to improve vine nitrogen status, yeast available nitrogen in musts, and fruit quality, thereby improving wine quality and reducing the occurrence or intensity of ATA in white wine under northeast cool climate conditions. We conducted a field trial using Riesling vines on Couderc 3309 rootstock in a Finger Lakes vineyard for years. Two factors were considered in this experiment: soil N application and foliar N application. There were three levels of soil N (0, 25, or 50 lb actual N per acre) and three levels of foliar N (0, 3, 5 times of foliar N sprays), resulting in a total of 9 treatment combinations. For soil N treatments, two split applications, 25 lb N at 2 weeks before bloom and 25 lb N one week after bloom, were made for the 50 lb N treatment, whereas all 25 lb N were applied at 2 weeks before bloom for the 25 lb N treatment. Foliar N sprays began two weeks before veraison at a concentration of 5.5 lb of urea per 100 gal water (200 gallons per acre) at weekly intervals. Each spray provided 5 lb actual N per acre. We found that the effect of foliar nitrogen application on juice yeast available nitrogen depends on weather patterns and vine background nitrogen status. Foliar N applications around veraison significantly increased juice yeast available nitrogen during a wet year, and 3 times of foliar spray appeared to be as effective as 5 times of foliar spray treatment. In a dry and warm year, soil N application early in the season improved vine N status and slightly increased juice yeast available nitrogen; foliar nitrogen sprays were more effective in increasing juice yeast available nitrogen than in a wet year. In both years, however, soil N application and foliar nitrogen sprays did not significantly affect fruit yield. TARGET AUDIENCES: Grape growers in New York and the Northeast

Impacts
The findings of this project have provided winegrape growers a very useful management tool to increase juice yeast available nitrogen thereby improving wine quality and reducing the occurrence or intensity of atypical aging in white wine under NY climate conditions. As a result of this work, more grape growers in New York are using foliar nitrogen application especially on dry years.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/06 to 12/31/06

Outputs
The overall objective is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies. The specific objective of this year was to optimize nitrogen management to improve yeast available nitrogen levels in must and reduce atypical aging of wine. A field trial was set up on six-year-old Riesling vines on Couderc 3309 rootstock in a Finger Lakes vineyard. Two factors were considered in this experiment: soil N application and foliar N application. There were three levels of soil N (0, 25, or 50 lb actual N per acre) and three levels of foliar N (0, 3, 5 times of foliar N sprays), resulting in a total of 9 treatment combinations. For soil N treatments, two split applications, 25 lb N at 2 weeks before bloom and 25 lb N one week after bloom, were made for the 50 lb N treatment, whereas all 25 lb N were applied at 2 weeks before bloom for the 25 lb N treatment. Foliar N sprays began two weeks before veraison at a concentration of 5.5 lb of urea per 100 gal water (200 gallons per acre) at weekly intervals. Each spray provided 5 lb actual N per acre. Vine responses to the treatments were monitored from veraison to harvest and experimental wines are made from the fruit harvested for each treatment. Our results showed that foliar N applications around veraison significantly increased juice yeast available nitrogen, and 3 times of foliar spray appeared to be as effective as 5 times of foliar spray treatment. Soil N application early in the season did not significantly affect fruit yield or juice yeast available nitrogen.

Impacts
The finding that foliar nitrogen application around veraison significantly increased yeast available nitrogen in must may provide winegrape growers a very useful management tool to increase juice yeast available nitrogen, thereby improving wine quality and reducing the occurrence or intensity of atypical aging in white wine under NY climate conditions.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/05 to 12/31/05

Outputs
The overall objective is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies. The specific objective this year was to optimize nitrogen and irrigation to improve yeast available nitrogen levels in must and reduce atypical aging of wine. Mature Riesling vines on Couderc 3309 rootstock at a Finger Lakes vineyard received one of the six treatments just before and during veraison: (1) no irrigation nor N application; (2) no irrigation with foliar N application; (3) no irrigation with soil N application; (4) irrigation without N application; (5) irrigation with foliar N application; and (6) irrigation with soil N application. Foliar N applications before and during veraison increased the level of juice yeast available nitrogen (including ammonium and amino N). Irrigation increased berry size and soluble solids by improving vine water status and maintaining leaf photosynthesis at high levels. Irrigation also increased juice yeast available nitrogen. The level of yeast available nitrogen was highest when both foliar N application and irrigation were provided. It appears that foliar N application was very effective in increasing juice yeast available nitrogen even under water stress, whereas soil N application did not have any effect. Both irrigation and foliar nitrogen treatments had significant effects on sensory characteristics of 6 month old wine. Irrigation or foliar N application improved varietal flavors and reduced off-flavors associated with atypical aging of wine.

Impacts
We found that irrigation increased berry size, soluble solids and yeast available nitrogen in must. On a dry year, foliar nitrogen application around veraison increased yeast available nitrogen in must. Irrigation or foliar N application improved varietal flavors and reduced off-flavors associated with atypical aging of wine. This may provide winegrape growers a very useful management tool to reduce atypical aging of wine.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

Outputs
The overall objective is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies. The specific objective of 2004 was to determine the best N fertilization program to improve Gala fruit size in commercial orchards. Gala/M.9 trees received one of the following five N treatments: (1) no N application as control, (2) 40 lb actual N applied at budbreak; (3) 80 lb N equally split between budbreak and petal fall; (4) 120 lb N split into 5 soil applications at budbreak, petal fall, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after petal fall; and (5) 80 lb N split into soil applications at budbreak (40 lb) and petal fall (25 lb) and foliar applications at pink, petal fall and first cover. This experiment was carried out at commercial orchards in both western NY and Hudson Valley. In the western NY orchard, each plot was split into two cropload levels: one tree received regular chemical thinning with a cropload of 9.1 fruit per cm2 TCA and the other also received hand-thinning to a cropload of 6.0 fruit per cm2 TCA). N application up to 120 lb per acre increased shoot growth and summer pruning dry weight, but only slightly increased foliage N levels. Increasing N fertilization rate increased fruit size at the low cropload, but did not affect fruit size when the cropload was high. Reducing cropload significantly increased fruit size, but decreased total fruit yield. At the Hudson Valley site where the cropload was adjusted to 4 to 5 fruit per cm2 TCA, increasing N fertilization rate significantly improved fruit size and yield. These data indicate that the effect of N fertilization on fruit size depends on tree cropload, and increasing fruit size is inevitably associated with decrease in yield. Further research is needed to evaluate the interaction between cropload and N rates and the response of the trees to these treatments over multiple seasons.

Impacts
The findings of this project will help growers optimize nitrogen management practices to improve apple yield and quality.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
The overall objective is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies. The specific objectives of this year were 1) to determine the best N fertilization program to improve Gala fruit size; and 2) to compare foliar nitrogen with soil applied nitrogen on McIntosh yield and tree cold hardiness in Champlain Valley. Seventh leaf Gala/M.9 trees received one of the following five N treatments: (1) no N application as control, (2) 40 lb actual N at budbreak; (3) 80 lb N equally split between budbreak and petal fall; (4) 120 lb N split into 5 soil applications at budbreak, petal fall, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after petal fall; and (5) 80 lb N split into soil applications at budbreak (40 lb) and petal fall (25 lb) and foliar applications at pink, petal fall and first cover. This experiment was carried out at both a commercial orchard in Western NY and at Cornell Experimental Orchards. In the Western NY orchard where all the trees had a heavy crop (7.5 to 10 fruit per square centimeter trunk cross-sectional area, equivalent to over 1100 bushels/acre), N application up to 120 lb/acre increased shoot growth and summer pruning dry weight, but only slightly increased foliage N levels. Both fruit number and yield per tree were slightly higher in the trees fertilized with N than in the control, but the difference was not statistically significant. Fruit size did not show significant response to N fertilization. In contrast, at Cornell Experimental Orchards where the cropload was adjusted to 4 to 5 fruit per square centimeter trunk cross-sectional area (equivalent to 650 to 700 bushels/acre), increasing N application not only promoted shoot growth, but also significantly improved fruit size and yield. The average fruit size of the trees that received 80 or 120 lb. N/acre was over 200g, which approaches the 80-count fruit size. These data indicate that the effect of N fertilization on fruit size depends on tree cropload, and increasing fruit size is inevitably associated with decrease in yield. Further research is needed to evaluate the interaction between cropload and N rates and the response of the trees to these treatments over multiple seasons. In another field trial in the Champlain with fourth leaf McIntosh trees, postharvest foliar urea application did not affect trees cold hardiness.

Impacts
The findings of this project will help growers optimize nitrogen management practices to improve apple yield and quality.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/02 to 12/31/02

Outputs
The overall objective is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies. The specific objective during 2002 is to 1) to compare foliar nitrogen with soil applied nitrogen on apple yield, fruit quality, and tree cold hardiness; and 2) to determine the best timing of soil N application for mature apple orchards. Mature Marshall McIntosh/M.9 and Empire/M.7 trees received one of the following four N treatments at the same rate of 46 lbs/acre: (1) soil applied N in the spring (control), (2) foliar urea sprayed twice at weekly intervals after harvesting, (3) 50/50 split between fall foliar and spring soil application, and (4) 36/64 split between spring foliar and soil application. Fall foliar urea application to Marshall McIntosh increased reserve nitrogen levels in spurs and shoots. However, leaf nitrogen content the following year was slightly lower in fall foliar N treatment than in the control and the split application treatments. There was no significant difference in fruit number, fruit size, soluble solids, firmness, and yield among the four treatments although spring foliar and soil split application tended to give the highest fruit number and yield. No difference in leaf N content, yield, and fruit size was observed in Empire trees among the four N treatments. In the second experiment, 15N-ammonium nitrate was applied to Empire/M.9 trees at the same rate (40 lb N/acre) at budbreak, active shoot growth, and one-week before harvest. N application at budbreak improved early season N status and contributed equally (30 pct.) to spur leaves, shoot leaves, and fruit, without elevating tree N status later in the season. N application at the beginning of active shoot growth elevated mid-season N content in spur leaves, shoot leaves, and fruit, and delayed decline of tree N status, resulting in elevated fruit N at harvest. Fertilizer N contributed more to shoot growth (40 pct.) than to spur leaves (18 pct.). Preharvest N application did not elevate tree N status at harvest, but contributed 25 to 26 pct. to the spur and shoot leaves the following year. These results indicated that (1) fall foliar urea application did improve tree reserve N status in the fall, but it appears that, when applied at the same rate, fall foliar urea application does not have any advantage over soil application in supporting tree growth and yield; (2) applying N to soil either pre-harvest or early in the season (from budbreak to bloom) can meet the early high demand for nitrogen, but early application of nitrogen between budbreak and bloom may be the most practical.

Impacts
The findings of the project have been presented at New York apple growers meetings and will be published in New York Fruit Quarterly. Modifying current nitrogen management practices by incorporating the findings of this project has the potential to improve apple yield and quality.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
The overall objective is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies. The specific objective during 2001 is to compare fall foliar urea application with traditional spring soil N fertilization to determine the best nitrogen management regime for optimizing apple yield and quality under NY soil and climate conditions. Mature Marshall McIntosh/M.9 and Empire/M.7 trees received one of the following four N treatments at the same rate of 46 lbs/acre: (1) soil applied N in the spring (control), (2) foliar urea sprayed twice at weekly intervals after harvesting, (3) 50/50 split between fall foliar and spring soil application, and (4) 36/64 split between spring foliar and soil application. Fall foliar urea application to Marshall McIntosh increased reserve nitrogen levels in spurs and shoots. However, leaf nitrogen contents in spur leaves and shoot leaves were lower in fall foliar N treatment than in the control and the split application treatments. Trees in the fall foliar N treatment had slightly smaller fruit size, but there was no significant difference in fruit number and yield among the four treatments. Spring foliar and soil split application tended to give the highest leaf N status, fruit size and yield. Fruit quality was not significantly affected by any N treatment. No difference in spur characteristics, leaf N content, yield, and fruit size was observed in Empire trees among the four N treatments. There was no difference in cold hardiness in either Marshall McIntosh or Empire trees among the four treatments. These results indicate that fall foliar urea spray did not affect tree cold hardiness, but its effect on spur characteristics, leaf N content, fruit size, and yield may be dependent on tree background N status and/or natural N supply capacity of the soil. Further research is warranted to evaluate the response of the trees to these treatments over multiple seasons.

Impacts
The findings of the project have the potential to improve apple yield and quality.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/00 to 12/31/00

Outputs
The goal is to improve yield and quality of fruit crops by better understanding nutrition processes and developing effective nutrient management strategies. The specific objective of this year was to compare fall foliar urea application with traditional spring soil N fertilization to determine the best nitrogen management regime for optimizing apple yield and quality in commercial apple orchards under NY soil and climate conditions. Two experiments have been set up at Cornell Experimental Orchards at Lansing. Experiment 1. Six-year-old Marshall McIntosh/M.9 trees received one of the following four N treatments at the same rate of 46 lbs/acre: (1) soil applied N in the spring (control), (2) foliar urea sprayed twice at weekly intervals after harvesting, (3) 50/50 split between fall foliar and spring soil application, and (4) 36/64 split between spring foliar and soil application. Spur and extension shoots will be sampled before budbreak to determine reserve nitrogen status. Spurs and mid-shoot leaves will be taken in early August for mineral nutrient analysis. Fruit number, yield, and fruit quality will be measured at harvesting. Experiment 2. 15N-labelled fertilizer was used to compare N uptake efficiency and partitioning between fall foliar N application and spring soil N application. Marshall McIntosh/M9 trees received either foliar 15N-urea application after harvesting or soil applied 15N in the spring at the same rate. Five trees from each treatment will be destructively sampled after leaf fall to examine the total uptake of 15N-fertilizer, the contribution of 15N to total reserve N and its distribution in the tree. The other five trees will be evaluated at fruit harvest to determine the partitioning of 15N into fruits, shoots, spurs, roots, and other woody perennial parts. Both experiments are in progress, and the main findings will be reported after they are completed.

Impacts
Completion of this project would benefit the industry by optimizing N management to not only improve yield and fruit quality but also reduce N input into the orchard and environment.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period