By Dr. Thomas T. Yamashita
While reading through a Good Fruit Grower Magazine, we stumbled upon a blurb about warm, cloudy weather affecting the apple production in Pacific North West (PNW).
Warm, cloudy weather is hurting our apples. It has been too warm for too long. These prolonged cloudy days are worrisome and will be more so in the next four months. Last year, we lost fruit before the traditional June drop. Experts said insufficient sunlight before and during the bloom periods limited leaves’ ability to produce enough carbohydrates to nourish all the fruit. The hungriest ones dropped off. Last year, it happened big time in Grannie and Jonathans.
For the apple growers in PNW, the most important question right now is how to mitigate the loss in apple production caused by decreased photosynthesis due to insufficient sunlight in warm, cloudy weather?
The answer to this problem is two parts. By increasing the Photosynthetic efficiency of the leaves coupled with enhancing the nutrient balance and availability in the soil.
To understand how we can achieve this solution, first we need to look at the underlying equation for photosynthesis. Plant Productivity through Photosynthesis can be summarized by the “Input/ Output” equation below –
INPUT (Energy & Mass) →→→→→→→→→→→→→ OUTPUT (Growth Yield)
Sunlight, Water, CO2, O2, Minerals
In this equation, the “Input” can be further elaborated as follows –
INPUT = (Solar Energy Harvest/Sq M/Hr) x (Sq M Leaf Surface) x (Photosynthetic Hrs/Day) x (Photosynthetic efficiency)
The components underlined in green are the ones that can be manipulated by man. An increase in Leaf surface area, depth and Photosynthetic efficiency leads to an increase in growth yield. At Fusion 360, we achieve this goal by creating a carefully crafted, field-specific FOLIAR NUTRIENT PROGRAM that includes products such as –
- FG-31 – Widely known for its ability to protect plants from freezing and hot temperatures. Increases leaf thickness and surface area.
- Keel – Highly effective as a chelating agent. Increases the availability of nutrients.
- Integrity Ca – Contains superior ratios of Ca:N . Strengthens cell wall, increases tissue integrity and decreases pathogen attack.
- Integrity Z422 – Zinc supplied with essential micronutrients. Protects against physiological and environmental stress factors.
- Integrity FG Micros – A unique blend of exotic minerals that improves enzyme efficiency and metabolic reaction rate.
- 10% Boron – Provides cell structural integrity. Maintains Ca:B ratio in the soil.
- PG-31 – Spray during bloom – Increases pollination by honey bees and enhances activation of plant metabolism.
FOLIAR NUTRIENT PROGRAM augmented with soil MICROBIAL ACTIVITY resulting from the addition of Fusion SOIL and IOTA helps to maintain the nutrient balance in the soil, decrease tie-up and increase nutrient availability, thus, producing record plant yields.