Apple - Sustainable management of storage rots
The aim of this project is to develop a sustainable, cost effective system for control of storage rots. This will be done by:
- Identifying the main rots responsible for losses in stored Cox apples by visiting packhouses when fruit is being graded and identifying the rots present. This will establish whether the rot profile in apple orchards has changed compared to previous surveys in the 1990s and whether rot control strategies need to be adjusted.
- Secondly, spray timing for rot control will be evaluated in a large plot orchard trial. Treatments applied at blossom time will be compared with treatments applied pre-harvest only and at both timings. An additional treatment based on sprays at blossom time only combined with cultural methods of control (selective picking) at harvest will also be included. This will establish whether fungicide treatments pre-harvest give any additional control of rots or whether such treatments are of no benefit and therefore could be avoided minimising the risk of residues in the fruit.