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New Tools for Mechanical Thinning of Apricot Fruitlets

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Assirelli

    (CREA—Centro di Ricerca Ingegneria e Trasformazioni Agroalimentari, Via Della Pascolare, 00015 Roma, Italy)

  • Giuseppina Caracciolo

    (CREA—Centro di Ricerca Olivicoltura, Frutticoltura e Agrumicoltura, Via La Canapona 1 bis, 47121 Forlì, Italy)

  • Giancarlo Roccuzzo

    (CREA—Centro di Ricerca Olivicoltura, Frutticoltura e Agrumicoltura, Corso Savoia 190, 95124 Acireale, Italy)

  • Fiorella Stagno

    (CREA—Centro di Ricerca Olivicoltura, Frutticoltura e Agrumicoltura, Corso Savoia 190, 95124 Acireale, Italy)

Abstract

In this study, the thinner machine with yellow rod equipment was tested in relation to tree branch length and orientation in April 2019, in a narrow-canopied apricot orchard of Emilia Romagna Region, Italy. The trees were mechanically thinned with manual finishing, and comparative tests were carried out simultaneously with the ordinary hand thinning (control). Three groups of two plants were identified as replication for a total of six plants per row. Three rows were checked, considering field uniformity average. The branches were grouped into four classes according to their length: <30 cm, 30–60 cm, 60–90 cm and >90 cm. Branch inclination on the plant, radial or longitudinal with respect to the row, was evaluated. Fruit number before the thinning, after the first and the second machine intervention, after three days of the mechanical thinning and after the hand finishing was recorded. This experience showed satisfactory results in terms of thinning efficiency and reduced damage to both fruits and branches, as a function of the class length and insertion point in the main branch of the plant. Thinning efficiency was always kept above 37% of the left load after hand finishing, and on average between the treatments close to 44%. Fruit damages always remained below the economic thresholds to marketable production or to the plant.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Assirelli & Giuseppina Caracciolo & Giancarlo Roccuzzo & Fiorella Stagno, 2021. "New Tools for Mechanical Thinning of Apricot Fruitlets," Agriculture, MDPI, vol. 11(11), pages 1-11, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:11:y:2021:i:11:p:1138-:d:678621
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Assirelli & Daniela Giovannini & Mattia Cacchi & Sandro Sirri & Gianluca Baruzzi & Giuseppina Caracciolo, 2018. "Evaluation of a New Machine for Flower and Fruit Thinning in Stone Fruits," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(11), pages 1-12, November.
    2. Alberto Assirelli & Giuseppina Caracciolo & Mattia Cacchi & Sandro Sirri & Federico Pallottino & Corrado Costa, 2018. "Evaluation of the Detachment Force Needed for Mechanical Thinning of Green Peach Fruits," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(7), pages 1-10, July.
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