After unseasonal late spring rains in the Pacific Northwest, bing cherry growers were nervous about cracking and other damage they typically find on the delicate fruit. One loyal WA grower stuck to his Nutrient TECH program and hoped, like always, for the best harvest. His 2017 Bing Cherry harvest did not disappoint.
The nutrition program was crafted for improved fruit quality and size- color, firmness, and sugar content are important qualities for the grower and packer. For several years, this grower has stuck with a nutrition program that consistently gives him a high percentage of pack out with good size and good quality:
- TECH-GRO MIRA-CAL 30% and TECH-FLO Cal-Bor+ Moly are used in combination to provide “a lot of calcium.” Calcium is key in early season, from pre-bloom on, to determine fruit quality and firmness,” says Michael Ruttan, our Plant Nutritionist that works with the grower. Calcium is critical when cells are undergoing periods of rapid division. It also helps protect fruit later in the season, like when unseasonal rains come, and growers want to minimize damage.
- TECH-FLO Beta 0-6-0 is added to facilitate cell division and get a foundation of good, quality cells. Beta supplies Zinc and Manganese as those nutrients are used.
- TECH-FLO Sigma 3-6-14 helps with size and quality. Ruttan states that ” Potassium and Calcium both play a role in cell expansion and the final size of cells. Maintaining adequate levels of both during the growth phase, when the fruit is growing rapidly, ensures the large sized fruit we are looking for at harvest.” Sigma also our only product containing Nitrate Nitrogen.
- TECH-SPRAY Hi-K 0-26-28 is used to “finish” the fruit by further developing colors and sugars within the fruit. Hi-K is concentrated and fast-acting.
- TECH-SPRAY Moly-Mag 5-0-0 is also used in the color enhancing program to finish fruit development.
Even with the rains this year, the grower didn’t see a lot of culls and was happy with his quality. And this is just his Bings! His Chelans pressure tested the highest at the packing house and were sold at a premium for export. Can you say ROI?
As with all foliar applied nutrients, timing is important. Knowing what nutrient to apply when makes noticeable differences in crop quality, size, and yield at the end of the season. If you have not been getting the results you want season after season, why not see if one of our experts in plant nutrition can help you develop a custom nutrition program?
When quality matters, GROW WITH US!