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The Potential Impact Of Ice-Minus Bacteria As A Frost Protectant In New York Tree Fruit Production


  • Love, John M.
  • Lesser, William H.


Ice-nucleating bacteria, which are known to occur naturally on many crops and have been associated with frost damage, may be subject to control with genetically engineered bacteria, dubbed "ice-minus" bacteria. Ice-minus technology is designed to depress the critical temperature at which frost damage begins by displacing the natural population of ice-nucleating organisms. A trial product has been tested in the field with strawberries. Although tests with bacteriacidal compounds have suggested other mechanisms for controlling the critical temperature in deciduous fruit crops, ice-minus may prove to be effective. This analysis examines the possibility of ice-minus being adopted by New York tree-fruit growers and the likelihood of it causing a major economic impact on the state's fruit industry. Based on the climatology, phenology of fruit trees, and the record of actual frost damage in New York, the need for ice-minus is apparently not great enough to conclude that its adoption would cause a significant impact on New York fruit production.

Suggested Citation

  • Love, John M. & Lesser, William H., 1989. "The Potential Impact Of Ice-Minus Bacteria As A Frost Protectant In New York Tree Fruit Production," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 18(1), April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:nejare:28801

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