Alternate bearing refers to the tendency of an entire tree to produce a greater than average crop one year, and a lower than average crop the following year.
This process has a great economic implication, since logically the ideal is an equal production each season.
Due to the alternate bearing in years of good production, the fruits are small in size and therefore of lower commercial value, while in the years of poor production, the fruits are few but large, so their commercialization is not optimal either.
Crops that are affected by the alternate bearing tend to be almost all fruit trees. Depending on the species, they will have a greater or lesser degree of affection due to this phenomenon. Citrus, apple, tropical, etc.
Why does the alternate bearing occur?
It is usually a regular and biannual process so environmental factors are not responsible for this situation although they contribute significantly to it’s expression. The real reasons must be sought in internal physiological factors:
- Significant decrease on root reserves of the trees: In campaigns of good production there is a depletion of carbohydrates reserves in the roots, being a limiting factor in flowering.
- Interference between fruit development and vegetative growth: Fruits under development compete for nutrients with vegetative stems, and therefore there is a reduction in the development of these. The shoots are the ones that support the highest production load, so the harvest is reduced.
- Interference between vegetative growth and flower initiation: The flower initiation, in most fruit trees occurs the year before flowering. The consumption of nutrients in the flower initiation is small, however it seems that the control of the buds on the flower initiation is hormonal in nature.
Methods of control of alternate bearing
Traditionally, alternate bearing has been fought with methods such as pruning, thinning of fruits bark scratching, whose success depends largely on the species, variety and climate.
EcoCulture has developed an effective and simple program to greatly reduce the negative effects that this phenomenon produces in fruit crops.
The EcoCulture strategy against alternate bearing
- At the end of the harvest, an application of NHDeltaCa and XStress must be done via irrigation to restore the reserves in the roots.
- At the beginning of the bud break two applications of NHDeltaCa and XStress in order to stimulate it, obtain more generative buds and achieve a greater reproductive growth
- At the beginning of flowering an application of Rainbow Wave to increase the fertility of pollen and favor generative growth instead of vegetative growth
- At the end of flowering a foliar application of CalFlux to favor and improve fruit set
- In the fruit set a foliar application of CalFlux and XStress to reduce the fruit fall and reduce the effects produced by stress
- During fruit growth, 3 applications of NHDeltaCa and XStress to promote reproductive growth and reduce the negative effects produced by all abiotic stress factors.
- In this stage of fruit growth from 2 to 4 applications of Rainbow Wave to favor the generative growth moving the energy to the fruits and roots, increasing the caliber and ºBrix
- Finally in the pre-harvest 1 application of XStress to reduce the fruit fall and increase the post-harvest and fruit quality.
This program of EcoCulture favors not only a drastic reduction of the effects of the alternate bearing but also a remarkable increase in the quality and post-harvest of the crop.
NHDeltaCa facilitates that the tree always has at its disposal a greater quantity of the necessary nutrients in the forms that are better absorbed, generating a better system of secondary roots, responsible for the absorption. More about NHDelta
Rainbow Wave reduces excessive apical growth, enhances lateral growth and redirects sugars to the fruit to increase the size of these organs providing more caliber and º Brix. More about Rainbow Wave
CalFlux ensures a better fruit setting, a better fixation to the peduncle reducing abortions and a better quality and firmness of the fruits. More about CalFlux
XStress is a powerful tool to combat abiotic stress, which along with the nutrients specially combined to develop this product improves the growth of the crop in extreme conditions such as high or low temperatures, frosts, floods or droughts, excess luminosity, high concentrations of salts, etc … Used at the end of the fruit development cycle, improves the post-harvest process. More about XStress