In this edition: - The European Fruit Magazine

In this edition: - The European Fruit Magazine

Thinning Machines • Hail nets • Varieties • Organic fruit growing • Fertilisation • Plums • Rootstocks • Cherries • DCA storage • Research



Fruitgrowers Magazine

Thinning machines

Apple varieties in South Tyrol

The nutrient element calcium

Fire blight tolerant apple rootstocks

Japanese plums

DCA-storage and SmartFresh

In this edition:

And much more ...

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The Onyx

In “V” system the working platform

can lower down to 90 cm

• Automatic steering and continue

crawling speed makes the pruning

and tying a faster, safer and more

pleasant way of working

Onyx with hydraulic unloading system

and bin transport trailer

The bin transport trailer

for effi cient transport with empty

or full bins


Netherlands 0031-343562036

More photos:

or info by

Working platform – For every plant system

The machine for picking, tying and pruning

• All wheels hydraulic driven

• Twin tyre design in front and rear

• Manual height and width adjustable

• Hydraulic crown wheel steering

• Automatic steering system

• Galvanised design

• Continue crawling speed

• Start / stop button on front and rear side

Onyx in higher plant system

For higher trees easier

and faster working

Root pruning

Root pruner with frame to undercut,

wheel frame and weight carrier


Preservation and protection. These two words are

central to everything we do: to give your products the

exact care and attention they need in order to achieve

as high a return as possible. As a specialist in CA/ULO

and other preservation techniques, we offer tailormade

solutions for creating a protected atmosphere.

Besseling Group BV - De Compagnie 38

1689 AG Zwaag - The Netherlands

T: +31 229 212154 - F: +31 229 247708



NSure assays

Increase your grip on




of top fruit

For growers and traders

More info and orders

Kijk op or mail to

NSure BV, Postbus 14, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands - Phone: +31 317485533

Planting Xenia =

Picking Kilogrammes Kilogrammes


Van Rijn - de Bruyn BV

Egelweg 1 Tel: +31(0)413-367575

+31(0)413 367575

5406 PD Uden The Netherlands

Fax: +31(0)413-343787

+31(0)413 343787




gebr. janssen b.v.

p.o. box 2711, 6030 aa nederweert, the netherlands

phone: +31-(0)495-631339

fax: +31-(0)495-626352


virus free fruit tree rootstocks

H. Peerbooms



Niederlande / Deutschland


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The pear with the lowest cost-price cost price !!!

‘Elstar Elstar Boerekamp’ Excellent-Star®

Excellent Star®:

• harder than the standard Elstar,

• can be picked for 85-95% all at once,

• remains red, does not become fatty.

Wilton’s® ‘Red Jonaprince:

• very tasty and high hardness,

• very good shelflife,

• can be picked all at once.

And of course we have also many other varieties

and mutants in our assortment!

Telefon: +31 (0)77 3982297

Telefax: +31 (0)77 3986834

Mobil: +31 (0)6 53248818

Apple and pear tree specialist

We grow both modern and traditional varieties



In addition, we are SKAL certified and we grow ORGANIC trees

New! The smooth Elstar strain Elrosa and the early DeCosta Robijn

Verbeek Boomkwekerijen B.V.

Kruislandsedijk 13

4651 RH Steenbergen N.Br. Holland

Tel: 0031 (0) 167 566 924 Fax: 0031 (0) 167 561 042 |

Specialists in grading and packing

apples and in particular pears •

n.v. Johan NICOLAÏ


tel.: +32 (0)11 70 20 00 • fax: +32 (0)11 70 20 01


Rode Delcorf Appache®

Boskoop Bielaar Van Laar®

Braeburn Hillwell®

Early Jonagold – c.o.v. pending

Elstar Elshof

Fuji KIKU® Fubrax(s)

Gala Galaxy

Golden Delicious Crielaard®- Reinders® - Kl. B

Granny Smith

Morren’s Jonagored Supra®

Jonagold King® Select – Novajo®

Rubinstep(cov)- Pirouette®

Red Cap® Valtod(s)

Wilton’s Red Jonaprince®

Royal Beaut® Proselect

Gala Schniga®



Sweet Sensation®



Beurré Alexander Lucas

Zoete kers (Gisela®5, Colt)

Pruim en bessen op bestelling



nv Johan Nicolaï

Johan Nicolaï: 0032 (0)475.450.258

Gerty Wauters: 0032 (0)475.752.424


Marco Van Beusichem: 0031/654.950.432


Domaine des Croquantes

Myriam Sohier: +33 684.602.221

Johan Nicolaï: +32 (0)475.450.258


H.B.H. Handel APS

Henning Hansen: +45 253.220.90


Blay Fruits S.L.

Joseph Blay: +34 972.758.970

n.v. Johan NICOLAÏ

Lichtenberglaan 2050 - B3800 Sint-Truiden (België)




Agrosan Ltd

Mickiewicza 47a/4

27-600 Sandomierz


Design / DTP:

LeafMedia; Krzysztof Pilch, Mariusz Bibik

Edited by:

FruitMedia B.V / Gerard Poldervaart

Rooimond 23

NL- 4197 BS Buurmalsen


Desk Editor:

Debora Havenaar

contents list


South Tyrol shows interest

in Kanzi, Modi and Jazz .............................................. 10

Both opportunities and challenges

for the organic grower ............................................... 12

The nutrient element calcium .............................. 14

Increasingly more known about

the eff ect of thinning machines ......................... 18

Results with fi re blight-tolerant

apple rootstocks .............................................................20

Japanese plums

conquer South Europe ............................................... 24

Pear growers in Emilia Romagna

plant cherry trees ........................................................... 27

Stressed trees suff er

more brown spot ............................................................29

Practical experience with new storage

technologies in Austria – Dynamic CA

(DCA) storage and SmartFreshTM .....................30

Automatic bagging machine

saves labour ........................................................................34


EFM Today ................................................................................8

Production and market developments ........36

Growers tell growers .................................................... 37

News of the world ..........................................................38

Research news ...................................................................40

New products .................................................................... 42

Agenda .................................................................................... 43





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NL-EN: BRightWrite Text & Translation


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Circulation: 12.500

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Special edition of EFM

The editorial board and the publisher of EFM are

pleased to present you with the Best of EFM. This

special edition of the European Fruit Magazine is

a compilation of reprints of articles from previous

editions. The aim is to give you an impression

of what you can expect from the European Fruit

Magazine, the monthly magazine for the professional

fruit grower.

EFM is diff erent to other magazines in that it crosses

borders presenting, as the European fruit magazine,

information from throughout Europe, written by

correspondents from various countries. The EFM

provides its readers with news, background information,

research results and information concerning

new products, varieties and cultivation techniques.

A unique aspect is that EFM is published in

three languages, English, German and Dutch.

EFM is a valuable and almost indispensable source

of information for the professional and futureoriented


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Gerard Poldervaart

Editor in chief


Target group

The European Fruit

Magazine (EFM) is

the magazine for

the professional and

future-oriented fruit

grower, the fi rst edition

was published in

January 2009. EFM is

intended for growers

of apples, pears,

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EFM Today



Berend Jan van Westreenen, a fruit grower in the Dutch town of

Echteld, will be putting up anti-hail nets over 11 hectares of his

orchard this season. The structure will be fi tted such that he can

still drive a three-row sprayer under the nets. The plot concerned

has already been planted with 8 hectares of Kanzi, which will be

expanded by 3 hectares this winter.

“My company suff ered three incidents of severe hail damage in the

past four years,” says Van Westreenen. This explains why he decided

to put up anti-hail nets. The concrete posts are not planted in

every row, as is customary for an anti-hail net structure, but there

is one post every three rows. This enables a machine which sprays

three rows at a time to be driven under the nets. Such sprayers are

supplied by both Munckhof and KWH.

As the rows are 3.25 metres apart, the centre-to-centre distance

between the posts is 9.75 metres instead of 3.00 to 3.50 metres as

is customary. To still give the anti-hail nets suffi cient support, the

posts in the rows have been placed at centre-to-centre distances

of 3.00 metres. Contrary to regular hail net structures, the net will

not be suspended from the steel wires, but will be above them.

The anti-hail net structure is supplied and constructed by Fruit

Security of Austria and by Van Nifterik of the Netherlands.


Plant Research International (PRI), based

in Wageningen, the Netherlands, intends

to present a scab resistant Junami

during the World Horticultural Expo,

Floriade 2012. Scab resistance will be

introduced into Junami by incorporating

genes that provide scab resistance

into the genetic material of this variety.

PRI has already been able to isolate

the Vf-gene, the resistance gene

The Dutch PRI wants to present a scab resistant Junami at Floriade 2012.

The anti-hail net structure has a ridge height of 4.75 metres and

enables a three-row sprayer to be driven under it.

Photos: EFM

derived from Malus fl oribunda, and is

currently working on isolating several

other genes that could provide scab

resistance. Incorporating various resistance

genes in a single variety creates a

more stable polygene resistance, that is

more diffi cult to erode than resistance

based solely on the Vf-gene. In virtually

all the scab resistant varieties currently

available on the market, the resistance

is based on that single Vf-gene.

The process by which genes can be artifi

cially transferred between related

organisms that could also be bred conventionally

is referred to as cisgenesis.

With transgenesis, another form of genetic

modifi cation, genes from nonrelated

plants are transferred. Research

conducted by the University of Twente

in the Netherlands has revealed that

cisgenesis appears to be more socially

acceptable than transgenesis.

The Junami variety was selected as PRI

works in cooperation with Inova Fruit,

the European variety manager of Junami.

EFM Today



IFO, the French company, thinks that it will be able to launch

an apple onto the market in a few years time that is scab resistant,

has a sugar level above 15 Brix, a storage life of a year and

a shelf life of at least a month. At the start of February, IFO offered

a glimpse behind the scenes of its breeding programme.

Elsewhere in this edition you can fi nd an extensive article that

addresses IFO’s variety breeding and selection programme.




After several years of very heavy hail, since 2000, the hectarage

of hail nets on farms on the German side of the Bodensee

has increased markedly. Now an estimated one third of the



Across the 27 countries of the European Union, apple production

is forecast to be 7% down on last year, while 16%

more pears are expected to be picked. These fi gures were

announced on 7 August at the Prognosfruit 2009 conference

in Maastricht.

Apple production across the 27 EU countries is expected to

be 10,743,000 tonnes this year. The pear harvest is estimated

at 2,521,000 tonnes.

The lower apple production in 2009 is the result of much lower

production in Poland and Hungary. After a poor harvest in

2007, there was a record harvest in these countries in 2008.

The harvest forecast for almost all apple varieties is lower this

year. Only production of the new varieties including Braeburn,

Fuji and Cripp’s Pink is set to increase.

Pear production, on the other hand, is likely to be higher

than 2008 for almost all varieties. Last year’s crop was below

average on account of poor setting caused by bad weather

during the fl owering season. Production for 2009 is expected

to be at the same level as in 2007 and previous years.

Blue plums

On 13 August in Randwijk (the Netherlands) fruit growers could examine

and taste Ras 1 (Variety 1) from the series of new blue plum varieties

from The Greenery. Ras 1 has the earliest ripening fruit from a series that

currently consists of three new varieties that will be marketed under the

brand name Lazoet. The intention is to off er plums that look and taste

the same for a period of eight to ten weeks. The fi rst variety from the series

ripens later than Opal but earlier than Reine Victoria. The two other

varieties ripen after Reine Victoria.

hectarage is protected by hail nets. When new orchards are

planted, long poles are erected as standard to allow hail nets

to be installed later.



Poor growth of pear trees due to Pear Decline is a major problem

in the Italian fruit region of Emilia Romagna. Pear Decline is

caused by a mycoplasma, a virus-like organism. Aff ected trees

grow poorly, have lightly coloured leaves and small pears and

often colour red in the autumn. The mycoplasma is transmitted

by the pear psylla. Experts think that the origin and viral status

of the planting material also has an infl uence on the level of

infection. Abate Fétel, the most important variety grown in

Italy, has proved to be very susceptible to Pear Decline.


Gerard Poldervaart

South Tyrol shows interest

in Kanzi, Modi and Jazz

Walter Guerra, variety

researcher at the

Laimburg research

station in South Tyrol.

As in every other fruit-growing region in

Europe, new varieties are also closely monitored

in South Tyrol. In this North Italian

region, Pink Lady has claimed a secure position

and its hectarage is still increasing.

Other varieties, such as Fuji, Pinova and

Rubens, have proved to be less suitable for

the South Tyrol climate than originally envisaged.

These varieties are now hardly ever

planted there.

North Italy is showing increasing interest in the

new apple varieties Kanzi, Modi and Jazz. Researcher

Walter Guerra from the Laimburg research

station in Pfatten assesses Kanzi to be

a suitable variety for South Tyrol. The variety is

recommended for planting at sites at a somewhat

higher altitude in this region. Since the spring

of 2005, around 310,000 Kanzi trees have been

planted here (see Table 1).

Guerra has still too little experience of the new

varieties Modi and Jazz to be able to provide advice

about them. But the growers in South Tyrol

are very interested in these varieties. They have

ordered a total of 133,000 Modi trees for planting

in the spring of 2009. The interest in Jazz is even

greater: they have already ordered 280,000 of

these trees for planting in the spring of 2010.

Table 1. The number of Kanzi, Modi and Jazz trees planted in South Tyrol.

Year Kanzi Modi Jazz

2004 1.100 20 -

2005 4.300 450 9

2006 44.000 4 130

2007 126.000 4.500 2.000

2008 130.000 14.500 35.000

Total up to and

including 2008

310.000 20.000 38.000

2009 (ordered) 76.000 133.000 -

2010 (ordered) - - 280.000

Source: Walter Guerra, Laimburg research station


Modi colours easily, also in warm regions.

Photos: AllroundFruit

The new varieties must compete with Golden

Delicious, the main apple variety grown in South

Tyrol. Golden gives high yields and still attracts

a good price. Moreover, the production levels

of the new varieties lag behind that of Golden

(see Table 2).

Kanzi favourable

Nicoter, the variety behind the Kanzi brand, was

created by cross breeding Gala and Braeburn in

1990. The production level of Nicoter in South

Tyrol is 10% lower than that of Golden Delicious.

According to Guerra, the fruit size does not pose

a problem. However, the researcher does question

Kanzi’s colouring. The apples colour poorly,

in particular under hail nets, in regions where

there is little diff erence between day and night

temperatures and in the middle of the trees. Kanzi

needs cold nights to colour. For this reason, the

variety is only recommended for planting in orchards

where fruit colouring is good, for instance

in the mountains. Kanzi is harvested at the same

time as Golden Delicious.

According to Guerra, in 2008, the total Kanzi hectarage

in Europe was 750 ha. The variety owner’s

objective is to develop Kanzi into a basic

In South Tyrol, Kanzi is recommended for mountain


European variety with an annual production of

100,000 tonnes.

Modi colours easily

Modi is a scab-resistant variety resulting from a

cross between Gala and Liberty. The apple skin

has an intense dark red colour. The variety does

not require cold nights to colour and is therefore

very suitable for growing in the lower altitude,

fl at regions in South Tyrol and the Po Valley. In

some cases, some russeting was found on the

skin. According to Guerra, this mainly occurs in

the northern European growing regions.

Alessio Martinelli from CIV, an Italian company,

reports that at the end of 2008 there were 512,000

Modi trees in Europe, which corresponds to 171

ha. CIV is a joint venture of three large Italian tree

nurseries. In addition, it is the breeder and owner

of the varieties Civni/Rubens and CIVG198/Modi.

In 2008, the production of Modi was still limited at

424 tonnes, but if the variety owner has any say in

the matter, this will grow to 6,846 tonnes in 2010

and to more than 17,000 tonnes in 2012.

Following the 2008/2009 planting season, 1.2

million Modi trees will be growing in Europe,

which corresponds to about 400 ha. The trees can

mainly be found in the warm growing regions of

Southern Europe: the Po Valley and South Tyrol

(both in Italy) and Spain. In South Tyrol, Modi is

harvested seven to ten days earlier than Golden


Jazz smaller than Gala

In 1985, the New Zealand research institute Hort-

Research selected the variety Scifresh from a cross

Jazz has a particularly good aroma.

of Braeburn and Gala. Since 2002, this variety has

been marketed under the brand name Jazz by the

New Zealand sales organisation ENZA. According

to Guerra, in 2008, Scifresh/Jazz had a worldwide

hectarage of 2,300 ha. In Europe, this variety is

grown in Great Britain, France, Switzerland and

Italy (South Tyrol).

In Guerra’s opinion, Jazz is a very tasty apple with

good fruit properties. A point of attention is the

fruit size. In part due to poor pollination, the apples

often have a long shape and are smaller than

Gala apples (see Table 3).

Scifresh/Jazz needs cold nights to allow the fruit

to colour and therefore it is unsuitable for growing

in the lower altitude regions of South Tyrol.

You often see apples in a cluster that lag behind

in size and colour with respect to the other fruit.

Jazz ripens fi ve to seven days before Braeburn.

Sensory profi le

Table 2. The total production in 2006 through 2008 (in kilos per

tree) of Golden Delicious, Kanzi, Modi and Jazz on the trial site in

Latsch (Vinschgau). The trees were planted in the spring of 2005;

the planting distance is 330 by 90 cm.




Golden Delicious 40

Kanzi 37

Modi 32

Jazz 27

Sensory profi les show that Kanzi and Jazz score

better than Braeburn with respect to fi rmness,

crispness and juiciness. When compared to Braeburn,

Kanzi has a lower sugar content, and Jazz a

higher one. For Jazz in particular the high score

for aroma stands out.

During storage, Modi looses a relatively large

amount of acid and as a result has a rather sweet

fl avour. This variety is mainly seen as a competitor

to the frequently grown (in South Tyrol) Red

Delicious. The advantage of Modi is that the apples

become mealy slower than Red Delicious


IFTA Conference

From 1 to 3 February,

the International

Fruit Tree Association,

a fruit growers’ association

with approximately

1100 mainly

American members,

held its annual conference

in Potsdam, near

Berlin. For two and a

half days, the attendants

could listen to

lectures about product


growing techniques,

new varieties, cherry

cultivation and organic

fruit growing.

In this article, you will

fi nd the most striking

news about the

lectures on new apple

varieties in South-


Table 3. The average percentage of Gala, Kanzi, Modi and Jazz apples

larger than 70 mm on the Laimburg research station, in the

years 2006 through 2008.

Variety Apples >70 mm (%)

Gala (Brookfi eld) 81

Kanzi 91

Modi 89

Jazz 61



Gerard Poldervaart

Both opportunities and challenges

for the organic grower


IFTA Conference

From 1 to 3 February,

the International

Fruit Tree Association,

a fruit growers’ association

with approximately

1100 mainly

American members,

held its annual conference

in Potsdam, near

Berlin. For two and a

half days, the attendants

could listen to

lectures about product


growing techniques,

new varieties, cherry

cultivation and organic

fruit growing.

In this article, you will

fi nd the most striking

news about the lectures

on organic fruit


In one region, the development of the

organic fruit-growing sector has almost

come to a standstill while in another the

hectarage is steadily growing. During

the conference of the International Fruit

Tree Association (IFTA) in Potsdam, attention

was also given to the latest developments

in the organic sector. This

article describes some of the striking new



In a period of ten years, Topaz has, as the only scabresistant

variety, managed to fi nd its place in the

product range of organically grown apple varieties.

In the European organic sector, Jonagold is the

largest variety with respect to produced volume,

followed by Golden and Gala. These three main

varieties are followed by Topaz, and then Elstar.

The eff orts of the Austrian organic growers have

certainly contributed here. With the introduction

of the Bio-Topaz brand, the organic growers have

managed in ten years to acquire a permanent position

on the supermarket shelves. Nowadays, according

to Fritz Prem, fruit grower and chairman

of the European Bio-Fruit Forum, 70% of all apples

grown organically in Austria are Bio-Topaz.

Supporter 2 instead of M9

It is certainly not easy to grow fruit organically. The

grower must try and realise an acceptable production

level of a good quality by using a great deal of

inventiveness. Not all problems that a grower encounters

can be solved, as shown by the introduction

of Franco Weibel, head of FiBL, the research

and advisory institute for the organic fruit sector

in Frick, Switzerland.

Michael Weber; co-organiser of the IFTA Conference and

variety manager for among others Fruit Select’s Opal.

Photo: AllroundFruit

Organic growers often plant the trees somewhat

further apart than conventional growers, so that

the leaves dry faster to give fungal infections less

opportunity to strike. When growing organically,

it is diffi cult to keep the strips under the trees free

of grass and weeds. This is not appreciated by

trees on the M9 rootstock. According to Weibel,

the Supporter 2 rootstock can cope better with

the competition from weeds and grass. Weibel

says that trees on Supporter 2 exhibit somewhat

stronger growth and demonstrate good productivity.

More phenols

It is diffi cult to get suffi cient nutrients into trees

grown organically. This is because artifi cial fertilisers

are not allowed and leaf nutrients are only

allowed to a limited degree. During the growing

season, there are very few opportunities to correct

shortages, with the result that there is a loss

of production and quality. When using compost,

the ratio between potassium and calcium often

becomes unfavourable, with the result that more

apples suff er from bitter pit. A positive aspect is

that because artifi cial fertiliser is not used, there

is no adverse infl uence on soil life.

Crop protection demands a completely diff erent

approach when growing organically when compared

to growing conventionally. Because hardly

any chemical products are allowed, no residues

are found on organic fruit. Therefore, the discussions

regarding MRLs in recent months do not

play a role in organic crop production.

When growing organically, the defence mechanisms

of the plant against diseases and pests is

activated. Phenols play an important role in the

plants’ defence against diseases and pests. Organically

grown apples contain 10 to 20% more phenols,

which are benefi cial to human health, than

conventionally grown fruit, according to Weibel.

Hot water to combat


“By using hot water, we can limit the loss due to

Gloeosporium fruit rot by up to 3-5 %”, said Margit

Holland to her colleague peer growers during

the IFTA congress, at the beginning of February

in Potsdam. Margit Holland, together with her father

Eberhard Holland, has a 42-hectare organic

fruit farm in Ravensburg in the Bodensee region

of South Germany ( The majority

of the 21 hectares of apples they grow are


“Until we started using hot water treatments in

1999, we had major problems with Gloeosporium.

Losses of up to 15 to 30% were not an exception”,

says Holland. It is very important that the water

in which the apples are submerged is at the correct

temperature. Elstar, Jonagold and Topaz are

treated for two minutes at 52 ºC. For varieties that

have a thin skin, such as Golden Delicious, this

temperature is too high and it damages the skin.

Therefore a water temperature of 50ºC is used

for these apples.

Costs € 0.10 per kilo

“Organic growers cannot use fungicides to prevent

fruit rot as conventional growers do. The use

of SmartFresh (1-MCP) is not allowed either. A hot

water treatment immediately after harvesting is

currently one of the only methods the growers

have to combat fruit rot. Dynamic CA storage

(DCA) also off ers possibilities when storing organic

fruit”, says Franco Weibel.

According to Weibel, an installation that can be

used to submerge apples in hot water costs between

€40,000 and €50,000. Energy consumption

is high, which makes the cost of treating apples approximately

€0.10 per kilo, according to Weibel.

Topaz and Pinova are well-known in the organic

sector for their susceptibility to Gloeosporium.

However, to an increasing degree Gala is also starting

to experience losses due to Gloeosporium rot,

says Weibel.

Fruit Select introduces Opal

In his breeding programme, Jaroslav Tupy tries

to combine the good properties of Topaz that he

bred himself, with other varieties. The varieties of

apples that are being marketed under the Golden

Sunshine Line name are currently receiving considerable

attention. The Golden Sunshine Line is a

brand for the organic fruit sector and is made up

of the varieties Opal, Luna, Sirius and Orion.

In addition to the Golden Sunshine Line, the Fruit

Select company has been established to test and

introduce the Opal variety for the conventional

sector. In the spring of 2008, Fruit Select planted

small pilot plots at a large number of locations

throughout Europe. With the data obtained from

these pilot plantings, Fruit Select will identify the

regions in which Opal can best be grown. Fruit

Select sees opportunities to grow Opal in particular

in the warmer regions of Europe, where

Golden Delicious can also be grown eff ectively.

Fruit Select is a joint venture with an international

group of shareholders: the French companies

SNC Elaris (tree nurseries Davodeau-Ligonniere)

and Starfruits, the Austrian nursery Deimel, the

Czech nursery Vorácek and Vermeerderingstuinen


Opal is scab resistant and is somewhat similar to

Golden Delicious. Photo: AllroundFruit

Margit Holland:

With a hot water

treatment, we manage

to limit the loss

due to fruit rot to 3

to 5%.


Opal originated from

a cross between Golden

Delicious and Topaz

that was created

in 1992. The variety

is scab resistant and

is somewhat similar

to Golden Delicious,

but with an orange

blush. It is harvested

just after Golden. According

to the Swiss

variety researcher

Simon Egger, during

harvest, the apples

have a fi rmness of 8 to

9 kg/cm2 and a sugar

content of 12-14 ºBrix.

The fl avour is rated as



The correct temperature

is very important

when using hot water

as a treatment against

fruit rot. A temperature

of 50 to 52ºC can

eff ectively kill fruit rot

fungi such as Gloeosporium,


damaging the apples.

If the temperature of

the water drops too

far, it is possible for

it to promote fungal




Gerhard Baab

DLR Rheinpfalz

The nutrient element calcium



Gerhard Baab

DLR Rheinpfalz,




Straße 48

53474 Bad Neuenahr-

Ahrweiler, Germany

PD Dr. Michaela


INRES - Universiteit

van Bonn

Auf dem Hügel 6

53121 Bonn, Germany

Bitter pit in


Photos: Gerhard Baab

PD Dr. Michaela Schmitz-Eiberger

INRES - University of Bonn

Calcium is a vital element for fruit quality

and to prevent disorders during storage.

In addition, calcium in the soil has

diff erent ways of infl uencing the absorption

of other nutrients. This article

outlines the backgrounds of the various

processes in which calcium plays

a role.

Calcium (lime) serves various functions in the

soil. Firstly, in the form of calcium hydroxide

(slaked lime, CaOH 2 ) or calcium bicarbonate it

neutralises the acids in the soil (H + ). In this way,

calcium regulates the pH of the soil and has a

major infl uence on nutrient availability. Calcium

also prevents heavy metals leaching to the subsoil

layer and into ground water.

Another function of calcium is that it encourages

biological activity in the soil. The majority

of soil organisms thrive best under slightly

acidic soil conditions.

In addition calcium creates calcium bridgesbetween

the soil colloids, which is benefi cial

to the crumbliness of the soil. This improves

the structure, the pore volume and permeability

of soil.

Depletion p of calcium is caused by acidifi ca-

tion of the

soil, leaching and uptake

into the th fruit. Depletion caused by

leaching leach per hectare per year is

approximately app 80 to 100 kg CaO

with w 600 to 900 mm precipitation.

ti Depletion caused by soil

acidifi a cation and uptake by the

fruit f is 170 kg CaO. So, on an

annual basis a total of 300 to

400 kg CaO per hectare is lost,

which has to be replenished

via v maintenance fertilization.

Availability in the soil

The total amount of freely available calcium in

the soil does not always correspond to the soil

pH, but is infl uenced by:

• the rocks that originally formed the soil and

the type of soil (fraction of clay minerals);

• the calcium saturation of soil colloids. Lime is

primarily a fertilizer. Only when the clay-humus

complex has become saturated, will there be

enough free Ca 2+ present in the soil moisture

and therefore available for the plant;

• the presence of antagonists. The presence of

other cations in particular such as ammonium,

potassium, magnesium and sodium infl uence

the calcium absorption;

• the extent of acidifi cation of the soil. With

increasing acidity, extra competition occurs

between calcium and ions of aluminium (Al 3+ ),

hydrogen (H + ) and manganese (Mn 2+ ).

Calcium uptake

Calcium uptake takes places passively in the form

of Ca 2+ ions via the root tips. The uptake depends

on the root growth, soil temperature, soil moisture

content and soil texture. Some 80 to 90%

of the amount of calcium required in that year

is taken by the tree from the soil and only 10 to

20% originates from the reserves in the wood.

The calcium content in the leaves rises continually

until the end of October. The fruits on the other

hand are mainly supplied with calcium during

the cell division phase, in other words during

the fi rst six weeks after blossoming. During the

cell expansion phase the calcium concentration

in the fruit is diluted as a result of fruit and

shoot growth (see fi gure 1). Calcium uptake is

stimulated by a moist soil and by suffi ciently

high transpiration and is negatively infl uenced

by a dry, cold soil.

Distribution in the tree

The transport of calcium over large distances in

the tree mainly takes place via the xylem vessels

that is to say in the transpiration fl ow. As

their transpiration rate is much higher (ratio 1:10),

leaves are supplied far better with calcium than

the fruits. To transport calcium to the fruits, the

inner bark (phloem) is important. Due to the

poor mobility of calcium in the phloem vessels

no calcium travels from the leaves to the fruits.

Transport over short distances from cell to cell is

driven by a so-called ‘auxin pump’ mechanism.

The auxin producing tissues in the plant have a

hormonal sink eff ect and therefore have priority

in the supply of nutrients and water. This mainly

concerns young leaves found in the shoot tips

and close to the fruits (rosette leaves), and the

fl owers and seeds in young fruits. Trees that blossom

well and exhibit a good fruit set and healthy,

well developing leaves therefore absorb more

calcium in total than trees that fl ower badly, have

low production and poor leaf quality.

To a certain extent shoot growth is useful in

supplying the entire plant, and so the fruits, too,

with calcium via the transpiration fl ow. In the

summer the young leaves, especially, compete

directly with the fruit close to the shoots for the

supply of calcium If growth is too strong and too

prolonged this may cause calcium to be diverted

from the fruits in favour of the shoot tips. Even

and balanced growth and production and halting

growth at an early stage are the most important

aspects in creating a good distribution of calcium

throughout the tree.

In the plant

The presence of calcium in the plant has several


• Calcium is an important building block of the

protopectin, a sticky substance that plays an

essential role as the ‘ cement’ that holds the

cells together and creates stability in the cell

structure (see fi gure 3).

• Calcium binds phospholipids in the cell membranes

and therefore pays an important contribution

to the stability and functioning of

the cell membranes, including transporting

substances and the gas exchange between

the cells.

• Calcium is part of a large number of enzymes

that play a role in the ripening process. In this

role calcium reduces the respiratory activity

and ethylene production in the fruit. This retards

the respiratory processes and ethylene

induced ripening process that occurs post harvest,

or following the shelf life period (mealy


• Calcium plays an important part in preventing

environmental stress (heat, cold, wind, UV-B).

Cox is susceptible to calcium defi ciency.

Stress causes the formation of free acid radicals

at cellular level (see fi gure 2). Calcium binds

with the protein calmodulin, which boosts the

plant’s natural resistance. Using various substances

–for example vitamin (α-Tocopherol) or

antioxidative enzymes (catalase, superoxidedismutasis)

–the plant’s own immune system

- neutralises free radicals (O ) and converts them


into harmless oxygen molecules (O ). In this


process the calcium bound in the cell walls or

in the cell membranes plays a more important

role than the free calcium in the cell plasma.

Figure 1. Progress of calcium absorption from blossoming to harvest and

dilution of the Ca-content of the fruits as the fruits increase in size

(J. Streif, KOB Bavendorf)

Calcium content in the fruit







high content

in small fruits

- O2 Dilution of the


in large fruits


Figure 2. Stress resistance at cell level: neutralisation of free radicals by the

calcium calmodulin complex

(M. Schmitz-Eiberger, INRES - University of Bonn)

O 2


Calcium defi ciency

Calcium defi ciency basically occurs in all varieties

of fruit and principally in those parts of the plant

that show little transpiration, i.e. mainly the fruits.

Apples are particularly susceptible to calcium

defi ciency. On the one hand due to the genetic

make up of the apple, but on the other hand as

apples, because of commercial considerations,

are forced to grow larger than the normal fruit

size for a specifi c variety.

Visible defi ciency symptoms in the leaf are

mainly seen in poorly bearing trees. From the

early summer, pale - later chlorotic - patches appear

at the tip of the leaves, ranging from small

patches to entirely chlorotic leaf tips.

Defi ciency symptoms in fruits can occur with

all types of fruit. Fruits with calcium defi ciency

ripen earlier, the decomposition of chlorophyll in

the skin is encouraged (yellow discoloration) and

the fruits have a low acidity and lack fi rmness.

In addition, fruits with a calcium defi ciency age

quicker (senescence) and the fl esh becomes soft

sooner, mainly after a period of display at room

temperature. The fruits also have a greater susceptibility

to rotting; with apples infected by

gloeosporium, with berries lower resistance to

Botrytis and with stone fruit sensitivity to fruit rot.

On trees with a calcium defi ciency any fruits damaged

by hail, for example, will heal more slowly

than those on trees with an adequate calcium

level. With apples a calcium defi ciency exaggerates

all kinds of physiological disorders such as

fl esh browning, scald, Jonathan-spot,Elisespot,

lenticel blotch and bitter pit.

Table 1. Risk categorisation of Cox’s, Braeburn, Kanzi and Jonagold for physiological

disorders based on the Ca, K and N content in the fl esh

Ca- content in fruits

(in mg/100 g fresh weight)



Optimal > 5,5 < 20 < 10

Normal 4,5 - 5,5 20 - 30 10 - 20

Critical < 4,5 30 - 40 > 30

Very critical < 3,5 > 40


Figure 3. Occurrence of bitter pit through gradual instability of the middle


cell with

cell wall

The Auxin pump

Transport over short

distances from cell to

cell is driven by a socalled

‘auxin pump’

mechanism. The auxin

producing tissues in

the plant have a hormonal

sink eff ect and

therefore have priority

in the supply of

nutrients and water




middle lamella

stage 1 stage 2

starting Cadeficiency

collapse of mutual

cell connections

Bitter pit is caused, in brief, by the following.

With optimal calcium supplies, the protopectin

(strands of pectin plus calcium) create calcium

bridges which impart stability to the middle lamella

(see fi gure 3). With low supplies of calcium,

or displacement of Ca 2+ by Mg 2+ or K + the mutual

links between the cells are destabilised. The

place of calcium is occupied by magnesium. As

magnesium and potassium, contrary to calcium,

lack the ability to bind cells, the cell structures

collapse and turn brown. Magnesium binds to

the sulphates and epsom salt is formed (magnesium

sulphate). This gives the fl esh a bitter fl avour

where the patches are visible (bitter pit).

Risk of disorders

A serious threat of disorders caused by calcium

defi ciency is present in:

• orchards with too low calcium availability in

the soil (low pH, little free calcium);

• trees with rosette leaves damaged by frost or

night frost or rosette leaves with poor nutrient

level (‘Ca-pump’);

• sensitive varieties (for example Kanzi, Braeburn,

Cox’s, Boskoop, Elise and Junami >75 mm);

• apples harvested too early (bitter pit) or too

late (brownish fl esh, gloeosporium);

• fruits too large for the variety concerned;

• newly planted trees with strong growth and

trees with low production (unfavourable calcium


• trees with a too high nitrogen, potassium or

magnesium content.

Relevant in the fi rst place are low calcium, potassium,

nitrogen and magnesium contents in

the fl esh. The mutual ratios in particular –especially

the K/Ca and N/Ca ratio –are important

indicators of the potential risk of physiological

disorders in the fruits (see table 1). A few of these

also partially occur while the fruit is still on the

tree (bitter pit, lenticel blotch), others only after

a period of storage (brown fl esh, scald, storage

pit, gloeosporium).


in Pinova.

Pink was never

so beautiful



• Good flavour

• Variety with large fruit

• Extraordinary pink colour

• Storage properties similar

to Jonagold

• Not a club variety

• Healthy tree

INFO: Jabema B.V. Telephone +31 (0)613161060


Gerard Poldervaart

Increasingly more known about

the eff ect of thinning machines

In recent years, intensive experiments

have been held with mechanical thinning

in almost all research stations. This

subject was extensively addressed during

the open days organised by various

research orchards and stations this

summer. This article examines several

recent experiences from research and

the fi eld.

There are two types of thinning machine on the

market that must be mounted on a tractor: the

Tree Darwin and the ‘type Bonn’. The Tree Darwin

is the oldest of the two. The plastic thinning

strings of this machine are mounted on a vertical

shaft. The angle that the shaft makes with

respect to the tree can be hydraulically adjusted


The Bonn thinning machine consists of three arms

with plastic strings that are mounted one above

At the farm of fruit grower Helmut Bröhan, thinning Elstar using the Tree Darwin was very

successful this year. Photos: EFM



A couple of things

have become clear

with respect to the use

of thinning machines.

For instance, the time

of thinning appears

to be more important

than initially thought.

The optimum period

is from the moment

that the main fl ower

is open until the tree

is in full bloom. If the

trees are thinned earlier,

there is a risk of

entire fl ower clusters

being knocked from

the tree. Thinning later

results in more leaf


The Tree Darwin thinning machine.

the other. The angle of the arms with respect to

the tree can be adjusted both horizontally and

vertically. The speed of rotation of the shaft(s) of

both machines can also be adjusted.

A thinning technique that is still being researched

is to shake the trees. Here machines that are normally

used to shake olives or cider apples from

the trees are now used to mechanically thin stone

fruit and apples.

Reduced labour

When used on Golden Delicious, in 2008, the ‘type

Bonn’ machine reduced the number of hours required

for manual thinning by a little more than

50%. This was shown by research carried out by

PCFruit’s research orchard for hard fruit and stone

fruit (PCFruit-PPS) in Sint-Truiden, Belgium. During

the open day that the research orchard held

on 21 August, researcher Hans Goossens showed

that in 2009, comparable results were achieved

for Braeburn. The position and rotational speed

of the thinning arms only had a limited eff ect on

the thinning result (see Table 1).

During the Apfeltag in the research orchard in

Klein-Altendorf near Bonn (Germany), consultant

Ralf Nörthemann showed the results of a thinning

trial for Golden Delicious. Using the Tree Darwin,

an eff ect was achieved that was comparable to

manual thinning (see Table 2).

Tree shape infl uences thinning

In Das Alte Land in North Germany, eight or

nine Tree Darwin thinning machines are now in

use. Helmut Bröhan is one of the growers who

used the machine this year. During the ‘Vorernteführung’

at the end of August – a day organised

by researchers and consultants in Jork – the

result could be seen at his farm. The unthinned

After mechanical thinning, the apples were nicely distributed over the tree (on the right).

six-year old Red Elswout trees had too many apples,

too many of which were smaller than 70

mm. The trees that were thinned using the Tree

Darwin (driving speed 8 km per hour and rotating

speed 240 revs per minute), were fi ne. The

size of the apples was visibly better than those

on unthinned trees. Moreover, the apples were

nicely distributed over the tree.

The grower should not be afraid when operating

the thinning machine”, warned consultant

Maike Steff ens. “Dare to pass close to the tree, as

passing further away results in more thinning on

the outside.” Furthermore, the shape of the tree

is also important. “A slender tree is the best. For

trees that have thick, strong branches, the machine

sometimes knocks off all the fl owers, while

the fl owers on hanging branches are thinned a

lot less eff ectively.”

No stimulus for bud


Researcher Michaël Clever had some critical remarks

about the thinning machine. A reduction

Table 2. Results of a thinning trial for Golden Delicious

was found in the number of fruit on organically

grown Elstar in the research orchard in Jork, but

no improvement was found in the number of

fl ower buds the next year. According to Clever,

the stronger growth that can be seen after mechanical

thinning could cause fewer buds to develop.

Moreover, the damage to the leaves that

is often visible after mechanical thinning could

have the same eff ect.

Thinning method Date

Number of fruits

per tree

Control without manual thinning - - 78

Control with manual thinning - - 43

ATS - two-year branches in full bloom 15 litres/hectare 24 April 60

ATS - three days after two-year branches being in

full bloom

15 litres/hectare 27 April 62

Tree Darwin - 3 of 5 fl owers opened

8 km/hour and 200 revs/


22 April 38

Tree Darwin - 3 of 5 fl owers opened

8 km/hour and 220 revs/


22 April 39

Source: DLR Rheinpfalz

The Bonn thinning


Table 1. Infl uence of mechanical thinning on the time to thin manually for

the Braeburn strains Schneider and Hillwell in 2009

Number of hours required for

manual thinning per hectare


Control (manual thinning) 34

Mechanical thinning 16


Control (manual thinning) 35

Mechanical thinning 24

Source: PCFruit-PPS


Results with fi re blight-tolerant

apple rootstocks

Gala on M9-T337 Photo: ACW


Martin Kockerols, Simon Egger, Philippe Monney, Brion Duff y

Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil Research Station (ACW)

In 2007 and 2008, two years with a high

fi re blight pressure in central and eastern

Switzerland, it turned out that not

only many scion varieties in Swiss apple

orchards were extremely susceptible to

fi re blight but also the standard rootstock

M9. Fire blight-tolerant rootstocks

such as B9, G.11 and G.41 which have

been tested at the ACW Research Station

proved to be possible alternatives.

In autumn 2002, fi ve fi re blight-tolerant Cornell

Geneva rootstocks (typically referred to as CG. or

G. + number), as well as Budogovski9 (B9) and further

agronomically interesting rootstocks were

planted with the Gala and Topaz varieties at the

Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil Research Station

(ACW) at the site of Wädenswil (near Zürich). The

target was to fi nd fi re blight-tolerant rootstocks

with roughly the same vigour as M9, good productivity,

satisfactory propagation properties in

rootstock nurseries and a broad suitability for

cultivation in diff erent locations.

Vigour, root suckers and

grafting union

The rootstocks G.16, G.202 and G.7 induced the

strongest growth with the Gala variety, represented

in the picture as the cross-section area in cm².

Slightly weaker growth was shown by G.11 and

G.41. The growth of the B9 corresponded roughly

to the M9T337. The rootstocks B9, M9T337, G.16

and G.202 formed little to a few root suckers.

There were hardly any root suckers noted in G.7,

G.41 and G.11. For fi re blight infections, routes of

entry such as burr knots, cracks in the bark as well

as root suckers play quite a signifi cant role. All

the tested CG rootstocks, as well as B9 had very

clean grafting unions and have been positively

assessed in this regard.


Accumulated yield of Gala apples per tree for the

individual rootstocks from 2004 to 2008 varied

extremely between more vigorous rootstocks

with a high total yield and less vigorous rootstocks

with a weaker total yield. The G.11 with

roughly 65kg per tree achieved considerably

more than the M9T337 and B9 with about 45 kg

per tree. With respect to the relative yield however,

which is the yield in relation to tree volume

(represented by the cross-section area), a very

diff erent picture is presented (fi g. 2). The highest

relative yields were produced on the rootstocks

P16 and P59. G.11 produced slightly better than

M9T337, B9 and G.41. The vigorous rootstocks

G.16, P60 and G.202 showed the lowest relative

yealds. With regard to average fruit weight and

share of 1st class fruits, in 2007 and 2008 there

were no signifi cant diff erences registered between

the M9T337 and the fi re blight-tolerant


Fire blight tolerance

Susceptibility of rootstocks (non-grafted) to fi re

blight was tested by artifi cial infection in a quarantine

greenhouse at the ACW Research Station

Fig. 1: Rootstock vigour (cross-section area 2008, in cm²).

cm 2

























M9 T337



B.9 Photo: ACW




Fig. 2: Relative yield as yield from 2004 to 2008 per cm² trunk cross-section area 2008, in kg/cm².











Propagation of rootstock

B9 in the stool

bed is satisfactory

(similar to the M9

standard). Some of

the CG rootstocks

showing a worse

propagation ability

might - depending

on the individual rootstock

- not be able to

establish themselves

in practice. G.41 is not

easy to propagate in

stoolbed and shows

thorny liners, whereas

G.11 can be propagated

much better but

is so far only being

propagated in small

numbers in France

and Holland.


G.11 Photo: ACW


in 2006. M9T337 showed an average lesion length

of about 65% of the shoots, while the CG rootstocks

were only visibly infested by not more than

5 to 10% of the shoots in average. Rootstocks B9

and P16 were not included in this test. According

to information from foreign sources, they showed

susceptibility to fi re blight in artifi cial infection

tests. Though, fi re blight fi eld tests in the USA

with the Gala and McIntosh varieties indicated

that besides the CG rootstocks G.16, G.41, G.11,

also the B9 shows fi eld-tolerance to fi re blight.

In commercial orchards in the USA, these results

appeared to be confi rmed; it was stated that

the the amount of rootstock blight via the scion

variety was signifi cantly lower on B9 rootstock.

That is why B9 is recommended in the USA as a

replacement for M9 in fi re blight areas.


In comparison with other European trial results,

the CG rootstocks are more vigorous in the ACW

trials. Vigor of the weakest CG rootstocks, G.41

and G.11 in Wädenswil was comparable to the

growth of M9Pajam2, which is the most vigorous

M9 type, while in other trials the growth of the

G.41 and G.11 lay, with a few deviations, between

the M9T337 and M9 Pajam2. With regard to overall

yield, the G.41 and G.11 performed better in

all the trials than the M9 standard. The relative

yield of the named rootstocks is comparable.

Growth and relative yields of the rootstocks B9

and M9T337 were at the same level. For many

years, the B9 has been upheld in Europe as an

alternative to the M9, with growth between the

M9Fleuren56 and the M9T337.

Conclusion and outlook

The rootstocks B9, G.11 and G.41 showed the best

agronomical production characteristics in the trials

together with the fi re blight susceptible standard

M9T337. If the fi eld tolerance observed in the

USA with regard to fi re blight will be confi rmed

in future tests carried out by ACW in Swiss commercial

orchards, B9 would be a suitable alternative

for M9. G.11 should be pursued due to its fi re

blight tolerance and its interesting production

characteristics. Unfortunately, G.41 cannot be

propagated well and is therefore not very likely

to establish itself in practice. Larger numbers

of trees with the Braeburn, Gala, Milwa (Diwa®)

and La Flamboyante (Mairac®) apple varieties

on the rootstocks B9 and G.11 will be planted in

spring 2009 in commercial orchard trials in eastern

Switzerland. Currently, we only recommend

these rootstocks for further experimentation on

commercial orchard level. More experience with

regard to their potential for reduction of fi re

blight pressure has to be gathered.

Proudly Yours,

the Kanzi ® people Europe



Hans Scholten

consultant in France

Japanese plums

conquer South Europe

Japanese plum

The name Japanese

plum is actually incorrect.

The varieties this

name covers are in

fact hybrids of American

and Chinese plum

cultivars. The fi rst

hybrids were created

at the end of the 19th

century in California,

USA. The Chinese varieties

initially used

then were imported

from Japan. Hence

the name - Japanese


Until now cultivation of plums in Europe

was virtually confi ned to the European

plum varieties (Prunus domestica L.). This

situation is about to change fast. In large

parts of South Europe the only trees now

being planted are the Japanese plum (Prunus

trifl ora or Prunus salicina).

Many growers cultivate plums under hail nets.

Photos: Hans Scholten

North European plum growers can refl ect with

satisfaction on a harvest of Victoria, Opal or

Jubileum if they were able to pick 25 tons of

plums per hectare, with an average fruit weight

of 55 grams. This would be considered a poor

harvest by South European growers. Thanks to

the introduction of the Japanese varieties, production

in those regions is at a far higher level,

with fruits of 75 grams or more.

Shifting pattern

Plum growing in Europe is becoming increasingly

more professional. Through the introduction of

new rootstocks, such as VVA-1, it has become

possible to achieve larger and earlier production,

and a tree shape can be created that requires little

labour. This has given plum growing a new

impulse, without introducing new varieties.

In certain parts of South Europe growers haven’t

turned to using a diff erent rootstock to introduce

change, but have made a radical switch from

European varieties in favour of Japanese varieties.

Japanese plums are very probably better

suited to the warm South European growing

regions than to the cooler northern climate. In

the past, certain countries in the north, including

the Netherlands, did grow Japanese varieties

under glass, but this type of cultivation has

virtually all but vanished.

A lot of progress has been made, particularly in

the United States, in the development of new

plum varieties. Today, there is a wide range of

Japanese cultivars on the market. The fi rst Japanese

varieties were planted in South Europe

some thirty years ago. At the time those were

often the large fruited varieties with only moderate

taste properties, such as Friar and Black

Amber. These varieties never really gained any

great popularity, as consumers had little interest

in fi ne looking, but fl avourless fruit. Things have

changed since then.

Thanks to progressive growers, advisors and nurserymen

a shift is evident in the plum assortment

in certain growing regions in South Europe. Spain,

Italy and France are the countries experiencing

the fastest developments, but Serbia, Hungary

and Turkey are also showing interest in the Japanese

varieties. In France for example, Japanese

cultivars occupy a share of 5,000 tons in the total

plum volume of 70,000 tons. The trend favours

the Japanese varieties more each year, to the

detriment of the traditional varieties.

TC Sun

One of the most widely grown Japanese varieties

is TC Sun. This variety was introduced to France

ten years ago. The extremely good properties of

this cultivar account for the huge interest shown

in this Japanese plum. TC Sun is a plum with masses

of fl avour, a yellowy orange skin and fruits that

weigh a good 75 grams (55 mm diameter).

The tree grows gradually and is highly fertile.

Some growers even plant TC Sun without a pollinator,

as they would otherwise have to thin too

many fruits. If optimally pollinated, the hours devoted

to thinning can reach as many as 200 per

hectare. Japanese and European plums cannot

pollinate each other. In Spain TC Sun starts to

fl ower in early February and in South West France

in early March.

Big yielders

At planting distances of 4.00 x 1.50 or 4.00 x 1.25

metres (2,000 trees per hectare) TC Sun trees

are easy to manage. Production of 20 kilos per

tree in the third year of growth and 30 kilos per

tree from the fourth year of growth are possible.

This translates to 60 tons per hectare, of which

about 50 to 55 tons is marketable. The fruits ts in

the remaining ing 5 to 10 tons are either too small

or too large, ge, or damaged. This high production

does have a negative impact on the

fl avour. Many any growers stick

to a yield of f 45 tons per

hectare, of f which

nearly everything ything

can be sold. .

TC Sun is not

susceptible to

biennial bearring.

The fruits ts

are juicy with h

TC Sun is a variety with large fruits.

fi rm, yellow fl esh, and have a sugar content of

more than 16°Brix. They look fabulous and have

a shelf life superior to most European plums. The

fruits can be stored for six weeks in ordinary cold

storage and for eight weeks if ethylene scrubbing

is used. In the South of France the picking dates

are around the end of August, early September.

In Spain, this is two weeks earlier. The optimal

picking time must be observed; otherwise the

quality will irrevocably deteriorate. Fruit drop is

not a problem with TC Sun however: even if the

plums are ripe, they stay on the tree.

Good prices

The prices achieved by growers in the South of

France for TC Sun are between–depending on

the year and the quality – € 0.75 and € 1.50 per

kilo. These are the net payout prices. Linked to the

high yields this results in extremely good operating

results. On many farms TC Sun is grown under

hail nets, and if possible, suffi cient night frost

protection is installed. Considering the

excellent yields it’s worthwhile investing

in measures to protect

the harvest. A growers’ association

Ruby Crunch

has red fl esh. sh.




The diseases and

pests that attack

Japanese plums are

roughly the same as

those European plums

have to cope with.

Cydia moths demand

a concerted approach,

also because the

disease pressure of

this moth is higher in

South Europe than

in the North regions.

ESFY, the European

stone fruit yellows

phytoplasma also

plays a signifi cant

role. This phytoplasm

is very probably

transmitted by

the psyllid vector

Cacopsylla pruni. This

problem does not

occur in Spain, as the

climate is too warm

for this insect. Trees

aff ected with EFSY


The leaves of tees aff ected by ESFY become increasingly

chlorotic and the trees usually die within a year.

was founded recently to market TC Sun under

the name Estiva.

New varieties needed

In recent years many growers in the South of

France have planted TC Sun. This variety is also

cultivated in the southern hemisphere, so it is

available during several periods of the year. South

Africa and Chile are major producers. Spain is busy

catching up. The production volume

is expanding fast.

In France

alone this amounts to 3,000 tons. That is more

than half the country’s total production from

Japanese plum varieties.

The time seems to be ripe to look for suitable,

new Japanese plum varieties. Not only to prevent

market overkill with TC Sun, but also to

help achieve more spread in the harvest period

and to attract new consumer interest for a (blue

skinned) variety with a diff erent taste and appearance.

Promising newcomers

There is an abundance of new Japanese plum varieties.

The question is, however, which of these

new varieties is good enough to develop into

the main variety.

Ruby Crunch, also known as Florence (picking

date mid August), is a promising cultivar, but

on the downside it is a very strong grower. Research

is required to see if Ruby Crunch grafted

onto a weak rootstock, for example VVA-1, shows

weaker growth and can be brought into production


Catalina and Sapphire, which both ripen at the

end of July, are dark, almost black skinned.70%

of Catalina fruits have a diameter of 50 to 60 mm.

These varieties are starting to be planted here

and there.

Some of the many new Japanese cultivars being

trialled are Sun Kiss, Ruby Red and Early Queen.

Of these a number will most likely be introduced

as a club variety. Expectations are high in the

short term.

Jubileum Ju Jubi bi bile le leum um ( (blue),

Ruby Crunch (red)

and TC Sun


Gerard Poldervaart

Pear growers in Emilia Romagna

plant cherry trees

The region around Vignola is known

as ‘Italy’s cherry region’. However, in

recent years, increasingly more cherry

trees are being planted in areas where

pears were traditionally grown. Due to

the declining prices for pears and to the

problems related to fi re blight and pear

decline, pear growers started to look for

other crops. Some of them moved over

to cherry growing.

In Italy, cherries are grown on approximately

30,000 hectares. The region around Vignola – approximately

25 km to the southeast of Modena

in the province of Emilia Romagna – is the best

known but certainly not the largest cherry region

in Italy. Puglia, in the far south of the country, has

about 16,000 hectares of cherry, while in Emilia

Romagna this is ‘only’ 2,000 hectares. It appears

that the hectarage will increase in the coming

years. From other regions in Emilia Romagna,

there is an increasing interest in cherry growing,

in particular from pear growers near Ferrara.

Abate Fetel, the main pear variety grown in Italy,

is currently facing major problems: pear decline

is the cause of poor growth and the loss of trees.

Moreover, it has become less fi nancially interesting

to grow pears in recent years. Stefano

Musacchi, researcher and assistant professor at

the University of Bologna: “To be able to earn a

living from growing pears nowadays, a grower

must have around 20 hectares of pear. For cherry,

a couple of hectares is suffi cient.”

A seven-year Grace Star planted on a Colt rootstock at a planting spacing of 5.0 x 5.0 metres. In Italian, the

shape of the trees, planted at an angle of 45º, is called Bandiera. This tree shape can best be compared to the

French Drapeau Marchand. Photos: AllroundFruit


On the initiative of

Stefano Musacchi

from the University of

Bologna, on 5 June a

symposium was held

concerning intensifi -

cation in cherry growing.

This was held in

the Ferrara congress

centre. More than four

hundred Italian cherry

growers heard the

introductions to the

subject and visited

two farms that grow

cherries intensively.


Fruit grower Nino Quartieri (left) and Stefano Lugli from the University of Bologna proudly

show the good production levels of the 7-year old Grace Star trees.


The region around

Vignola is known for

its cherries.

Productive varieties

Dwarfi ng rootstocks such as Gisela 3, 5 and 6

are still rarely used. Approximately 90% of the

new cherry orchards are planted on Colt or Maxma

60. Maybe this also explains why fertile and

highly productive varieties are mainly planted

and that varieties that are less productive on a

more vigorous rootstock are hardly ever grown.

This is because a fertile variety such as Lapins will

do better on a Colt rootstock than, for instance,

Kordia or Regina. The French Maxma 14 is not

used, because when grown on this rootstock,

the fruit remains smaller than when grown on

other rootstocks. For very fertile soil, Gisela 6 is

chosen. Gisela 5 is actually only being used at

several trial sites.

In Vignola, Lapins is the main variety, followed

by Ferrovia (Schneiders), Giorgia and Burlat. In

The greengrocers in Ferrara will sell the cherries for € 8 to € 10 per kilo.

the past, Celeste was also planted, but due to

its susceptibility to cracking and Monilia this is

no longer the case. In addition, due to the high

chance of cracking, Sweetheart is no longer in

the picture. Grace Star, a new variety from the

Stefano Lugli breeding programme at the University

of Bologna, is an interesting new variety that

is increasingly being planted. Grace Star ripens

at approximately the same time as Samba and

three to four days before Giorgia.

High production levels

and good prices

Many cherry orchards are protected by hail nets

from the heavy hail that regularly sweeps the region.

In a number of cases, the growers choose

to use fi lm instead of nets to prevent cracking

after rain.

Trees grown on vigorous rootstocks take a couple

of years to become fully productive, but when

they are about 6 to 7 years old, production levels

of 20 tonnes per hectare, with peaks of 25 to

30 tonnes are achieved, with a good fruit size.

When Italian cherry growers talk about ‘a good

size’, they mean a fruit diameter of 28 mm and

greater. They get high prices for these cherries.

At the beginning of June, the cherries larger than

28 mm sold for € 4.80 per kilo when supplied to

the cooperative. For cherries with a diameter

greater than 32 mm this was € 5.60. At the time,

the greengrocers in Ferrara, were selling the

cherries from Vignola for € 8 to € 10 per kilo.

Gerard Poldervaart

Stressed trees suff er

more brown spot

Brown spot (Stemphylium vesicarium) is

a disease which has been widespread in

Italy for many years and causes problems

during the pear harvest every year. Since

2000 there have been various examples of

attacks of this fungus of varying severity

in the Netherlands and Belgium. Recent

research by the Belgian research station

PCFruit has shown that there are diff erent

strains of the brown spot fungus and that

environmental factors have an impact on

pear trees’ susceptibility to brown spot.

Brown spot attacks can diff er greatly in severity

from one year to the next, from one orchard to

the next, or even within the same orchard. Researchers

at the PCFruit Pome and Stone Fruit

research station in Sint-Truiden, Belgium, have

set out to pinpoint the causes of the apparently

inexplicable diff erences in the attacks.

Sap fl ow

A survey conducted by PCFruit among pear growers

has revealed that brown spot is much more

common on soils with poor natural drainage and

on wet plots. Researchers also noticed that attacks

of brown spot sometimes diff er greatly within one

plot. The sap fl ow in the trunks of pear trees was

measured on well-drained and poorly drained

parts of a plot. It was observed that when the plot

was waterlogged, after rain for example, the sap

fl ow of trees in poorly drained parts slows down

much earlier and for much longer than in trees

on well-drained parts of the plot. Trees whose

leaves turn yellow early in the autumn are more

susceptible to Stemphylium, the observations in

Belgium revealed. It was also observed that brown

spots mainly appear on the sun side of the fruit.

Exposure to UV light also makes the fruit more

susceptible to brown spot.


With apple scab (Venturia inaequalis), for example,

it is mainly factors such as temperature, humidity

and the presence of spores that determine

whether an infection will occur. These and other

observations lead to the conclusion not only that

brown spot infection is contingent on the presence

of spores and infection conditions, but also

that the susceptibility of the fruit plays a major

role. Stress caused by poor growth or exposure to

ozone or UV light makes the fruit more susceptible

to brown spot, the researchers concluded.

Two groups of Stemphylium

The researchers also discovered that there are two

groups of populations of the Stemphylium vesicarium

fungus in Belgium. The fi rst group is closely

linked to the strains that cause brown spot in Italy.

The second group is closely related to Alternaria

and, researcher Piet Creemers believes, possibly

a hybrid of Stemphylium and Alternaria.

The brown spot fungus has been widespread in Italy

since 1975 and in Spain since 1988. The disease

only arrived in the Netherlands and Belgium later

on, between 1997 and 2001. A possible explanation

for this could be climate change. The increase

in temperature is giving rise to pathogens that

were previously only found in hot, southern European

growing areas. Brown spot could well have

another cause, however. According to the latest

fi ndings, climate change could have caused the

brown spot fungus to mutate from a saprophytic

fungus which lives on dead matter to a parasitic

fungus which can also aff ect living tissue.

Either way, there is still a great deal to learn about

brown spot, although the research carried out

in recent years has considerably expanded our

knowledge of this fungus.

Stress plays a major role in Stemphylium attacks.

Photos: EFM



2ºC higher

Temperature measurements

at PCFruit

reveal that the average

annual temperature

rose by 2ºC between

1950 and 2008.

The average temperature

today is 11ºC

compared with 9ºC

in 1950. The change

in temperature is

thought to be partly

responsible for the

spread of brown spot

in the Netherlands

and Belgium.


At the Interpera

Conference at Sint-

Truiden, Belgium, at

the end of May, researcher

Piet Creemers

delivered an address

on the various

diseases and infestations

threatening pear

cultivation. He also

presented the latest

fi ndings of research

into brown spot in





Dr. Gottfried Lafer

Practical experience with

new storage technologies in Austria –

Dynamic CA (DCA) storage and SmartFresh TM


Dynamic Controlled

Atmosphere (DCA)

and Dynamic Control

System (DCS) are both

systems that reduce

the oxygen content in

the store atmosphere

to just above the level

at which alcohol is

formed. When DCS

technology is used,

during the fi rst weeks

of being stored various

apple samples are

checked for the fi rst

signs of alcohol formation.

If this is not

found, the oxygen in

the air in the store can

be carefully lowered.

When signs of alcohol

are found, the oxygen

level is raised, to eventually

reach a stable

level, just above the alcohol

formation level.

Following the introduction of Controlled Atmosphere

(CA) storage in the nineteen fi fties, the introduction

of DCA storage and the acceptance of

1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) represented a new

giant step in the storage of fruit. By dynamically

adapting the storage conditions to the physiological

status and the activities of the apples, a further

improvement in fruit quality can be achieved without

supplementary post-harvest treatments.

The active ingredient 1-MCP (registered under the

trade name ´SmartFresh´) eff ectively prevents the

formation of ethylene, which in turn delays the

ripening and aging of the fruit.

The use of SmartFresh is extremely interesting in

particular due to the improvement in internal fruit

quality after storage (shelf life) and in the prevention

of physiological storage problems.

What is DCA storage?

When Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere (DCA)

storage is used, the oxygen level in the cold store

is lowered in steps down to near the lowest level

tolerated by the fruit, the so-called anaerobic compensation

point. During storage, the atmosphere

is continually adjusted to the physiological condi-

Figure 1: When DCA is used, the fl uorescence of the

chlorophyll in the skin of the fruit is measured by a

FIRM TM Sensor that monitors a sample of six apples.

(Photos: Gottfried Lafer)

tion of the fruit. This critical oxygen level is not a

fi xed value, but varies, dependent on variety, ripeness

and length of time the fruit has been stored,

from between 0.3 and 0.6% O 2 . By measuring the

Chlorophyll fl uorescence, this critical oxygen con-

Figure 2: Graph showing the fl uorescence signal during the entire storage period (end of October 2007 to mid

March 2008)

centration can be determined very rapidly (in real

time and online) and very accurately.

The method is based on measuring the fl uorescence

of the chlorophyll in the skin of the fruit by

using a FIRM TM Sensor (Fluorescence Interactive

Response Monitor) to monitor a sample of six

apples (Figure 1). If light of a certain wavelength

comes in contact with the chlorophyll of the apple,

the chlorophyll returns the light at a diff erent

wavelength (fl uorescence). Below a certain

oxygen level that is specifi c for the fruit, there is

a clear rise in the fl uorescence signal. Using this

information, it is possible to dynamically adjust

the atmosphere in the store to the ripeness, the

annual diff erences and the diff erences in origin of

the apples to be stored. The oxygen concentration

in the atmosphere is reduced to just above

the safe level.

DCA storage has been successfully introduced

in the North Italian fruit region of South Tyrol, by

Dr Angelo Zanella from the Laimburg research

station. After several years of scientifi c research,

followed by four years of large-scale practical

trials at several cooperatives, DCA storage was

used during the 2006/2007 storage season in a

total of 81 stores and during the 2007/2008 season

in 120 stores.

DCA storage has proved its value in South Tyrol, in

particular for varieties that are susceptible to scald

Figure 3: Due to its susceptibility to internal

browning, Braeburn is diffi cult to keep under ULO


(including Granny Smith, Red Delicious, etc.).

The shelf life after DCA storage is also clearly better,

in particular with respect to the internal quality

(fi rmness and titratable acid) of the fruit and

fruit rot. DCA technology can be very interesting

for organic farmers for the storage of Topaz as it

off ers an alternative to the chemical post-harvest

treatment that they cannot use.

DCA storage trials for Braeburn

and Topaz in Austria

The positive experiences with DCA technology in

South Tyrol have resulted in many research stations

in Europe including the use of DCA technology in

CA 2

CA 1



kg/cm 2



6 6 24

0 10











DCA Storage trial Braeburn - Internal browning 2007/08

6 52

2 40


20 30 40 50 60 70 [%]

core browning cavities fl esh browning

Figure 4: The infl uence of various storage techniques and harvesting times on the occurrence

of internal browning in Braeburn

DCA Storagetrial Braeburn 2006/07 - fi rmness

their research programmes. Since 2006, the Haidegg

research station (Steiermark, Austria) has also

been working on DCA storage, and has purchased

six fl uorescence sensors for this purpose. In the

2006/2007 season, the research concentrated on

Braeburn, which, as is commonly known, is very

diffi cult to store in normal ULO stores due to its

susceptibility to internal browning (core and fl esh

browning, cavities) (Figure 3). In the 2007/2008

season, the apple variety Topaz and the pear variety

Uta, both grown by the organic sector, were

included in the research programme. In addition,

practical experience could be gained from a large

practical trial of DCA storage at a fruit trading


In summary, the most important results of the

DCA Braeburn trials

• Reduction of core and fl esh browning by approximately

30 to 50%, depending on the moment

of harvesting (Figure 4)

• If the DCA conditions are incorrectly controlled

alcohol damage can occur

• SmartFresh exacerbates internal browning,

also in combination with DCA










15.02.2007 26.06.2007 06.07.2007

date of analysis

Figure 5: Graph showing the fi rmness of Braeburn apples kept diff erently during the

2006/2007 storage season



DCA has the same objective

as DCS storage,

which is to keep the

oxygen level in the atmosphere

in the store

to just above the alcohol

formation level.

DCA uses a number of

sample apples and a

sensor to continually

monitor the chlorophyll

fl uorescence (see

text in article). Chlorophyll

fl uorescence is

related to the alcohol

content in the fruit.






10,0 1,0 28,0

• Better internal quality through to the end of the

storage period.

• No infl uence on the sugar content (°Brix)

• Limited infl uence on acidity

Increased fi rmness of the fruit, also during the

shelf life (Figure 5)

• Signifi cant better assessment of the fl avour

in the DCA and MCP objects

In addition to Braeburn, DCA storage trials have

also been carried out on Topaz – the main variety

grown organically in Austria. Due to its susceptibility

to Gloeosporium fruit rot, organically grown

Topaz is problematic in long-term storage. Moreover,

fl esh browning increases with the storage

time. The objective of the trials was to reduce the

occurrence of Gloeosporium and fl esh browning

and so to improve the storage quality of Topaz.

The fi rst trials gave the following results:

• Reduction of core and fl esh browning by approximately

70% (Figure 6)

• Reduction of storage loss due to Gloeosporium

by approximately 20% (Figure 7 a+b)

• Better internal quality during storage

• Improved fi rmness of the fruit, also during the

shelf life

There is no infl uence on sugar content

• Minor eff ect on acidity

The fi rst trials with DCA storage of Braeburn and

organically grown Topaz were very promising,

Storage trial Topaz 2007/08

3,2 72,3

0 20 40 60

storage losses in %

80 100 120

core browning fl esh browning cavities

Figure 6: Results of storage trials for Topaz 2007/08


both in small containers in the Haidegg research

station and in large stores at cooparatives. For

this reason, the owners of cold stores are showing

great interest in this new storage technology. It is

expected that the number of stores where DCA

storage is used will increase considerably. More

so because for Braeburn, due to the infl uence on

internal browning, and for Topaz, due to the legal

situation, it is not possible to use SmartFresh to

improve storage and fruit quality.

Experiences with SmartFresh in


SmartFresh has been successfully used in Austria

since 2004, in particular for the apple varieties

Elstar, Gala, Golden Delicious and Jonagold. A

Figure 7a: Topaz after ULO storage Figure 7b: Topaz after DCA storage

clear increase in the treated volumes can be seen.

In 2007, SmartFresh was used for approximately

25% of the apples stored in Austria.

Infl uence on fruit quality

In all of the trials and in practice the use of Smart-

Fresh resulted in a signifi cant improvement in

the fi rmness of the apples. This positive eff ect is

already noticeable immediately following storage,

but the eff ect is greatest after the fruit has

been on the shelf for 8 days at 20°C (Figure 8).

SmartFresh improved the fi rmness by on average

15-20%, with a clear relationship being seen between

variety, ripeness and storage duration. In

addition to the infl uence on fi rmness, SmartFresh

also slowed down the reduction in acid content.

Apples treated with SmartFresh had a titratable

acid content that was 10-15% higher than that

found in untreated apples. Furthermore, Smart-

Fresh clearly slowed down the transition of the

background colour from green to yellow. However,

the sugar content did not improve when

SmartFresh was used.

In the majority of cases, all of these positive infl uences

also led to a higher valuation in the fl avour

tests (Table 1). Exceptions to this were Fuji (no

signifi cant diff erence when compared to untreated)

and Golden Delicious that had been picked

too early, which due to the lack of aroma were

clearly rated lower in the fl avour test than the

untreated fruits.

Infl uence on physiological

damage and storage disorders

While most varieties including Gala, Elstar, Jonagold

and Golden Delicious clearly reacted well

to SmartFresh, the treatment was not a success

for Braeburn, in particular, due to its promotion

of fl esh and core browning. Extremely positive

eff ects are also seen against scald. For instance,

in Granny Smith, a variety known for its extreme

susceptibility to scald, the occurrence of scald

could be completely prevented even when the

fruit was stored until June. Due to the delay in

aging of the fruits after SmartFresh treatment,

they retain their natural resistance to the fungi

that cause fruit rot for longer. Therefore, by using

SmartFresh it is possible to reduce the occurrence

of Gloeosporium and other types of fruit rot, in

particular in sensitive varieties including Elstar,

Rubens and Topaz (unfortunately SmartFresh is

not allowed for organically grown produce).

A negative aspect of SmartFresh is the slight promotion

of skin spots in sensitive batches of Elstar.

After extended storage to July-August, skin damage

could sometimes also be found in Golden Delicious.

Based on the experience gained in recent

years, Golden Delicious treated with SmartFresh

seems to be more sensitive to high concentrations

of CO 2 . This is particularly the case when the

stores are fi lled very rapidly (within 1-3 days), the

as yet not completely cooled fruits are treated with

SmartFresh and the store is immediately brought

to ULO conditions. After extended storage up to

July-August, skin damage was visible 4-5 days after

opening the cell. Gradual cooling and bringing

the store down to ULO conditions slower has led

to less damage in trials and in practice.


The introduction of the new storage technologies

can reliably improve storage and fruit quality

when compared to the normal CA and ULO


However, both approaches place higher demands

on the fruit growers and cold store managers, in

particular due to the necessity to accurately determine

the optimum harvesting moment, the

homogeneity of the stored batches and the rapid

fi lling of the cold stores.

In addition, DCA storage is associated with considerably

higher costs due to the installation of

higher-capacity scrubbers, the supplementary

supply of nitrogen and the careful monitoring

and control of the storage conditions.

kg/cm 2



Storage trial Golden Del. Reinders - fi rmness



7,0 6,8
















CA 23.09.2003

CA 07.10.03

MCP 23.09.2003

MCP 07.10.03





Einlagerung 38057 38155 38169

date of analysis

Figure 8: Infl uence of SmartFresh on the fi rmness of Golden Delicious.

Table 1: Flavour assessment of various apple varieties with and without SmartFresh (storage

duration depending on variety 240 − 270 Days, ULO).


At approximately two euro cents per kilogram,

the costs of SmartFresh treatment are not cheap.

In spite of these higher costs, both technologies

have already been widely used, because the costs

are clearly outweighed by the advantages in storage

and fruit quality.




Streif J., McCormick R., Neuwald D., 2008. Haltbarkeit

und Fruchtqualität durch Fortschritte in

der Lagertechnik verbessern: ULO pur, DCA oder

MCP. Teil 1: Besseres Obst 8, 9 − 11. Teil 2: Besseres

Obst 9, 10 − 12.

Lafer G., 2008. Die Fruchtqualität erhalten durch dynamische

CA-Lagerung. Besseres Obst 9, 17 − 20.

Gasser F., Höhn E., 2007. Dynamische CA-Lagerung

− Versuchsresultate und Vergleich mit MCP. Vortrag

im Rahmen des Interreg IIIA Projektes in Ravensburg

am 16.08.2007.

Zanella, A., Cazanelli, P., Panarese, A., Coser, M.,

Cecchinel, M. and Rossi, O. 2005. Fruit fl uorescence

response to low oxygen stress: Modern storage

technologies compared to 1-MCP treatment of apple.

Acta Hort. 682: 1535−1542.

Zanella A., 2004. Dynamische CA-Lagerung und

Anwendung von 1-MCP. Besseres Obst 9, 11 − 13

Flavour (1 – 10)

Without 1-MCP With 1-MCP

Elstar 26.08.2002 6.1 a 6.1 a

Gala 26.08.2002 2.2 a 3.9 b

Rubens 10.09.2002 2.6 a 4.6 b

Golden Klon B 12.09.2002 4.8 b 1.7 a

Golden Reinders 12.09.2002 2.5 a 5.1 b

Fuji Kiku 8 16.10.2002 4.6 a 4.4 a

Numbers followed by the same letter do not diff er signifi cantly from each other. The signifi cance

calculations were only performed within the variety (assessment 1=very poor, 10 = very good)


Dr. Gottfried Lafer

Versuchsstation für Obst-

und Weinbau Haidegg

A-8047 Graz




Gerard Poldervaart

Automatic bagging

machine saves labour

The English supermarkets sell lots of apples

in bags of 1 or 1.5 kilos. The large

packing stations use fully automatic

bagging machines to count and weigh

the apples. However, such machines are

mostly too expensive for smaller packing

stations. During the National Fruit

Show, a fruit exhibition in Kent, UK, various

suppliers presented bagging machines

that can be of interest to smaller

packing stations.

The large packing stations use fully automatic

machines to bag the apples. These machines

count and weigh the fruit and can be adjusted

to ensure that almost exactly the same weight

of fruit ends up in each bag. The machine also

closes the bags and attaches a label. Hardly any

human intervention is required. Due to the price,

approximately €200,000 each, these machines

are often unprofi table for the smaller packing

stations. Suppliers of grading and packing equipment

saw that the smaller packing stations needed

smaller bagging machines. Maf Roda, Greefa

The Burg’s Machinefabriek machine closes and labels the bags.

Photos: EFM

Using the Greefa machine, one person can fi ll seven to

eight bags per minute.

and Burg’s Machinefabriek presented such machines

at the show.

Blow the bag open

All three bagging machines do not weigh the

apples, but count the number of apples using a

photocell. The desired number of fruits per bag

can be set in advance. To ensure as little weight

loss as possible, the apples must therefore be

very accurately graded.

With the Greefa and Maf Roda machines, a jet

of air blows the new bag open, after which two

steel brackets keep it open. The full bags must

be manually removed from the machine, closed

and labelled. The apples roll into the bags, which

could cause some bruising. Both machines can

be connected to the output of the existing grading


Careful placement

The bagging machine from Burg’s Machinefabriek

does not roll, but as it were ‘places’ the apples

into the bags. Another diff erence is that the

machine also closes the bags, labels them and

deposits the full bags in a bin or box. Obviously,

the Burg machine requires fewer personnel than

the Greefa and Maf Roda machines, which is also

refl ected in the price.


The Burg machine costs around €55,000 excluding

vat. Greefa’s machine around €7,000. The Maf

Roda sales rep declined to give a price.

Using the Greefa machine, one person can fi ll

seven to eight bags per minute, explained the

company representative. A person fi lling the

bags by hand would fi ll approximately three

bags per minute. The fully automatic machines

used in large packing stations fi ll twenty bags

per minute.

Gebr. Bonenkamp b.v.

IJsselstein/Tiel – Holland

��(+31) 30 688 0 999

��(+31) 65 493 0 408

Diverse Fendt smalspoor occasions

Used Fendt Specialty tractors Gebrauchte

Fendt Schmalspurtraktoren


Lindeweg 24


Telefoon +31(0)527 202 377

Fax +31(0)527 202 604



Europe’s most sought-after new variety

with built-in colour guarantee

The tastiest apples grow under the Hungarian sun

High sugar content • Very firm • Beautiful colour • Fine flavour

Thanks to the ideal Hungarian climate and the fertile soil

of the beautiful national park Balaton – Felvidéki Nemzeti!

Using modern techniques, we supply a wide range of apples including :

Gala, Braeburn, Fuji, Idared, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Jonagored.

We can also supply many types of pears and other apple varieties.

Fruit tree rootstocks (VF)

(All kinds of Malus, Pyrus and

Prunus; VF certified

by Naktuinbouw)

Fruit trees in many varieties

Berry-bearing shrubs and

plants (Ribes, Rubus,

Vaccinium, etc.)

Rose plants and rose


Rootstocks for trees

and shrubs.

For more information:


Phone: +31 – (0)495 – 632793, Fax: +31 – (0)495 – 632128

E-mail:, Internet:

Thanks to our modern, in-company grading and packing facilities, we can meet almost all of the packing

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Want to know more?

Call +36 (83) 370 148


Production and market developments



Dutch fruit growers planted fewer new varieties in 2008

than in the previous year. This is shown by the fi gures

published several weeks ago by the Dutch Central Statistical

Offi ce. In the 2007/2008 winter, 224 hectares of

the three new varieties Kanzi, Junami and Rubens were

planted. The year before, the fi gure was 345 hectares. In

total, in 2008, there were 934 hectares of Kanzi, Junami

and Rubens in the Netherlands (see Table)





Relatively little fruit is currently sold in

supermarkets in Poland. Professor Eberhard

Makosz estimates that around a

quarter of all apples are sold through this

channel. The supermarkets have an even

smaller segment of the market for other

fruit types like pears, cherries, strawberries

and raspberries. Makosz has noted

a trend towards more fruit being sold in

supermarkets, at the expense of weekly

markets and green grocers.

In the North German fruit region das Altes

Land, the Jonagold strain Red Jonaprince

is very popular, reports consultant Wouter

van Teeff elen of WTE-Fruitadvies in his electronic

newsletter. According to a spokesperson

of the sales organisation Elbe-Obst, this

planting season, growers are planting lots

of Jonagold and more than 90 percent of

these are the dark strain Red Jonaprince.

For the grower, Red Jonaprince combines

the advantages of a high percentage of

top quality fruit with an easy harvest. The

situation for Braeburn is comparable. In

comparison to the Netherlands and Belgium,

Braeburn is planted a lot and a large

proportion of the planted trees are the dark

strain Maririred.

Table: Hectarage and hectarage development of new varieties in the





Jazz is getting close to becoming the

main variety grown in New Zealand after

Breaburn and Gala. The acreage planted

with Jazz rapidly rose to 577 hectares in

2007. The target acreage is 1100 hectares,

in other words, 12% of the total New Zealand

apple acreage. At the moment, Jazz

is the fourth apple variety, with slightly

less acreage than Fuji, but more than

Pacifi c Rose and Cripp’s Pink.

Jazz is popular with New Zealand growers

due to the high prices it attracts. For

Ras 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Junami 0 26 101 259 363

Kanzi 8 51 192 306 381

Rubens 0 3172 145 190

Total 8 108 365 710 934

of which newly


8 100 257 345 224

Source: CBS



the fruit harvested in 2007, the growers

received a net price of 0.66 dollars per

kilo. This compared favourably to the

prices received for Braeburn and Gala,

which were respectively 0.19 and 0.25

dollars. The high price makes growing

Jazz attractive, despite the lower level

of production and smaller fruit size. The

production level in New Zealand is 30 to

35% lower than for Braeburn and 20%

lower than for Gala. The fruit is smaller

than or in the most favourable case the

same size as Gala. Even in the warm New

Zealand climate, many fruits are less than

70 mm. Jazz is harvested 7 to 10 days

before Braeburn.

Red Jonaprince is frequently planted in Das Alte Land. Photo: EFM

Growers tell growers


Roland Schmitz-Hübsch from Bornheim-Merten has two

hectares of cherry trees that are now in their fourth leaf. The

orchard contains 13 varieties varying in ripening time from

early (Earlise) to late (Sweetheart). The orchard is laid out in

such a way that there is a maximum of two rows next to each

other of every variety, and every variety borders two diff erent

pollination varieties. The Gisela 5 rootstock is used for dwarfing

varieties such as Earlise, Samba, Skeena and Sweetheart.

The more vigorous varieties such as Burlat, Bellise, Kordia and

Regina grow on Gisela 3 rootstock. On the very good soil (100

soil points*) around the village of Merten, even the trees on

Gisela 3 still grow too vigorously. Therefore, in March this year,

Schmitz-Hübsch pruned the roots of all of the trees with an

inclined knife. What struck the grower was that the trees on

Gisela 5 had much thicker roots at the location where the

knife passed than those on Gisela 3, where only thin roots

were found. “The trees on Gisela 5 shook as the knife passed.

When passing trees on Gisela 3 nothing was seen or felt.”


Brothers Wimco and Maurits van de

Water from the company Van de Water

Fruit bv from the villages of Beesd and

Rhenoy, near Geldermalsen (NL) bought

an 10 hectare plot of land in 2007 and

planted it completely with Sweet Sensation

in 2008.

The well-branched one year old trees

were cultivated in Italy and are spaced

at a distance of 300 x 0.50 cm at the van

de Water Fruit company. The trees are

planted on ridges and are provided with

fertigation. The fi rst year of growth has

mainly seen growth in the top of the

trees. Each tree now has 5 to 10 one year

old side shoots. Van de Water plans to

leave these shoots as much as possible

and let them produce buds.

Early in March, the trees were root

pruned on one side using an angled

knife. “Because we planted wellbranched

trees at 50 cm, they don’t

need to grow much more. We hope

the root pruning will lead to the trees

both producing buds and growing a

little more,” Maurits van de Water explains

their decision to root prune the

trees already in their second year of


The van de Water brothers’ trees were cut on one side using an angled

knife in early March. Photos: EFM



News of the world



Fruit growers in South Tyrol in Northern

Italy received on average 47.8 cents per

kilo from the cooperative for the 2007

crop of apples. This is reported by the

Raiff aisenverband South Tyrol. The price

paid was 26% higher than the price the

growers received for the 2006 crop. This

is the net price, the costs for storage,

grading and sales do not need to be

deducted anymore. The price has been

calculated for all of the apples supplied

to the cooperative, therefore including

the Class 2 apples. Cripp’s Pink (Pink

Lady) attracted by far the best prices.

The diff erence between this variety and

Golden Delicious and Fuji was more

than 20 cents per kilo.

The apple hectarage and the production

volumes in South Tyrol are still increasing,

while in various other growing

regions in Europe, the hectarage is


In 2007, more than 900,000 tonnes of

fruit were sold through the cooperatives.

This is 6.6% more than in the previous







The number of fruit farms in the main

fruit growing region of Germany, das

Alte Land in the north, has halved in

fi fteen years. According to the fi ve-yearly

inventory of the hectarage, in 1992

there were 1500 fruit farms in das Alte

Land. In 2007, only 769 remained. The

area covered by fruit in the same period

declined by ‘just’ 734 hectares. In

2007, the fruit region had in total 9,491

hectares of apple, pear, cherry, plum

and damson. As in various other fruit

growing regions, the fruit farms remaining

in das Alte Land are becoming ever

larger. In 1997, the average size of a fruit

farm was 8.15 hectares. Ten years later,

this had grown to 12.15 hectares per

farm. Apple is by far the most important

fruit crop, accounting for 88.1% of the

hectarage, followed by sweet cherry

at 5.7%. Few pears are grown, they account

for just 3.4% of the hectarage.

Plums and damsons account for 2.6%

and sour cherries 0.2%.

The most important apple varieties are

Jonagold and its strains that account for

32.6% of the hectarage, followed by Elstar

at 29.5%. It is striking that Braeburn

has developed into a variety with a 5%

share of the total apple hectarage.



In the German agricultural and horticultural

sectors the number of seasonal

workers from Romania and Bulgaria is

increasing, while the number of Poles,

Croats and Slovaks is falling. According

to the latest statistics from the German

Federal Employment Agency, there

were about 71,000 Romanians working

in agriculture up to the end of July 2009.

This is 30% of the total foreign seasonal

workforce, and 14,700 more than in

2008. At 61% of the total, Polish workers

still form the largest group. In 2008

67% of foreign seasonal workers came

from Poland and 25% from Romania.

The number of workers from Bulgaria

- 2,000 - is not yet very high, but this

number is rising rapidly.

In the south of France, numerous experiments

are underway into the total protection of orchards

from insects using nets. In addition to

the existing hail nets, both apple and plum

orchards are being wrapped in insect nets at

the sides and ends. This prevents insects such

as the codling moth and the oriental fruit moth

(Cydia Molesta) from fl ying in. The latter moth

is also occurring more frequently in apples.

Both organic and conventional growers are

wrapping up their orchards.

When new hail nets are erected, the headland

at the end of the row is also wrapped in, so that

the net does not have to be lifted at the end

of every row when spraying or mowing. For

existing hail nets, several growers have made

a structure that allows the net to be rolled up

over the entire width of the plot.

(Hans Scholten, consultant in France;

Orchard in the south of France with nets to protect apples from insects.

Photo: Hans Scholten

News of the world




Germany is not particularly well known

as a country that grows a lot of pears.

However, over the past few years there

have been several breeding programmes

in which new pear varieties have been

bred. One of these programmes was

set up by Professor Helmut Jacob of the

Geisenheim Research Centre. Breeding

has since ceased, but the last crossings

to be carried out may well result in an

interesting new pear variety.

Professor Jacob is mainly known for his

work as a breeder of damson varieties.

A large number of new varieties has

been introduced and planted on fruit

farms over the past few years. All damson

varieties starting with Top, such as

Topper, Tophit plus, Topstar plus and

Topgigant, originate from the Geisenheim

breeding programme. Besides

plums, Jacob has also bred mirabelles,

sour cherries, apples, walnuts and, as

mentioned, pears.

Three of the pear varieties bred by Jacob

are currently being tested in greater

depth and evaluated for suitability. The

fi rst selection, a cross between Williams

and Conference, has been named Jaco.

Jaco will ripen at the end of September

in central Germany, and is said to be

a good keeper and very fl avoursome.

The second variety, Bronzet, is a cross

between Williams and Tongern. As the

name suggests, the fruit has a goldenbrown

appearance. Bronzet ripens at

the same time as Jaco, at the end of

September, and also keeps well. The

fruits are bigger than those of Jaco, so

no thinning is needed. The third variety

is called Schöne Helene and is a cross

between Conference and Bonne Louise.

This variety ripens a month earlier than

Jaco and Bronzet.

During a visit to the Geisenheim Research

Centre at the end of July, the

three varieties gave a good impression

in terms of growth, fruit size and productivity.

It was obviously not possible

to evaluate fl avour and shelf life at

that point.

Schöne Helene is one of the varieties from Professor Jacob’s breeding programme in Geisenheim.

Photos: EFM



When fruits are crossed to develop new varieties, this is usually done within the same species. All over

the world, large numbers of breeding programmes are being undertaken within the European pear

species (Pyrus communis) or within the nashi species (Pyrus pyrifolia) to develop new varieties. But

technically it is also perfectly possible to cross the European pear with the nashi. In this way, the typical

properties of both species could be combined in one variety.

During his time as a breeder at the Geisenheim Research Centre in Germany, Professor Jacob did just

that. One of the progeny from a cross between the Harrow Sweet pear and the Niiseiki nashi pear is

currently being evaluated for suitability for commercial growing. The cross has the number BN 49-30

and has the appearance of a normal pear.



Research News



Researcher Duane W. Greene from the

University of Massachusetts has developed

a method to predict apple

June drop when the fruit are just 10

to 12 millimetres. The Fachhochschule

Weihenstephan magazine reports that

the method is being trialled this year by

the Schlachters research garden near

the Bodensee in South Germany. The

idea behind Greene’s model is that fruits

that fail to grow as fast as the average

fruit will drop during the June drop.

To be able to determine the June drop,

six to eight fl ower clusters on four trees

are marked and the fruits numbered.

Shortly after blossoming, when the

fruits are four to seven millimetres, the

size of every separate fruit is measured.

This is repeated one week later. According

to Greene, fruits that show less than

half of the average growth will drop.

Therefore, if the average growth of fruits

is 6 millimetres in the week, all fruits

that have grown 3 millimetres or less

will drop.



A rain cover or plastic tunnel prevents ents

cherries from cracking due to rain. However,

this does not mean that cherries rries

will not crack at all. At a trial orchard rd of

cherry specialist Greg Lang from the

Michigan State University in the United nited

States, even in a plastic tunnel a large arge

proportion of the cherries cracked. d.

After a week in which in total 100 mm m

of rain fell, 91% of the Lapins and d

89% of the Rainier fruit grown with-

out a rain cover had cracked. However,

even in a tunnel the percentage

of cracked cherries was high:

32% of Lapins and 60% of Rainier.

Lang explains this by the fact that t

the water that fl owed off the tun-

nel reached the roots and was then en

absorbed by the trees. In the days fol- ol-

lowing the rain, which saw high temperatures

and a high air humidity, the

leaves were unable to evaporate the

water, as a result of which it was absorbed

by the fruit.


The return made on cherries grown in a

tunnel or greenhouse depends largely

on the yield that can be achieved. In

an experimental tunnel greenhouse of

Greg Lang from the Michigan State Uni-


versity in the United States, two sprinklers

were installed above the trees that

could also be used to apply crop protection

products. This approach means

that you do not need any tracks in the

tunnel to be able to spray using a tractor

with a sprayer. The relatively expensive

space in the tunnel is therefore used

more eff ectively and higher production

levels are possible.

In the past storage season, Elstar growers were once more confronted with serious

skin spot damage. Unfortunately, the exact cause of the problem has not yet

been found. However, what is clear is that as with russeting, cracks in the skin play

a role. Cracks that occur in the period up to 6 to 8 weeks after blossoming can later

be seen as russeting. Cracks that occur in July and August are probably visible

later as skin spots. On the initiative of the Dutch fruit grower organisation (Nederlandse

Fruittelers Organisatie - NFO), paid for by the Product Board for Horticulture

(Productschap Tuinbouw - PT) and carried out by the research department of the

Dutch AFSG, an investigation was carried out to determine whether using GA 4/7

or Platina (Plato) can prevent cracks in the skin and the associated skin spot. With

one treatment of 1 litre GA 4/7 on 27 August or with three treatments of 0.5 litre

GA 4/7 on 9, 16 and 27 August, the amount of skin spots could be reduced by approximately

16%. Platina had no eff ect on skin spots.

Skin spot on Elstar.

Photo: EFM

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New Products


The Pink Lady of the north: an alternative name for the new

apple variety Maribelle. Some twenty years ago, the late Piet

de Sonnaville, a private plant breeder, crossed the Meiprinses

and Gloster apple varieties. He then crossed the resulting

apple variety with Elstar. One of the progeny of that cross is

now marketed under the name of Maribelle by his son Ben

de Sonnaville, working together with Jan van Ingen of the

Boomkwekerij van Rijn tree nursery and Mathieu Gremmen.

Due to its pinkish-red blush, Maribelle looks a bit like a Pink

Lady apple.

Maribelle is a ‘fruit grower-friendly’ apple. The variety has a

high yield, a good fruit size, easy colouring, high pack-out

and low susceptibility to diseases. “Maribelle has a fresh taste,

a good sweet and sour balance, a sugar content of approx.

14ºBrix and a fi rmness of 7 to 8 kg/cm 2 and has a crisp bite as

well,” says Gremmen, summarising the qualities of Maribelle.

The apples are picked in the same period as Golden Delicious

and Jonagold and keep for a long time.

Unlike most other new apple varieties, Maribelle will not be

marketed under a tightly managed ‘club’ concept, but as a

variety which can be grown and sold freely. However, the

parties that took the initiative to develop and introduce Maribelle,

want to support and coordinate the sales eff orts. And

Tanalith is a relatively new preservative for impregnating

wooden posts. During the recent apple day at Klein-Altendorf,

researcher Achim Kunz demonstrated this product to

PWO Robert Lindner and Brändlin guarantee posts impregnated with




since Maribelle is not a club variety, lots of trading companies

have already expressed an interest in the variety.

Maribelle is still only produced on a small scale. De Sonnaville

himself has 1 hectare which is in its third year of growth. A

total of 7,000 trees were planted at other companies in 2009

and another 58,000 trees will follow in the 2009/2010 season.

“It depends on the demand for these apples how many trees

will be planted in the future,” says nurseryman Van Ingen. In

addition to being grown by fruit growers, Maribelle can also

be found in a large number of trial gardens in Europe.

Maribelle has a pinkish-red blush. Photos: EFM

visitors. The use of fl uoride-containing salts for impregnating

wooden posts was banned in Germany last year. Expectations

are that preservatives containing chromium salts or

creosote oil will also be banned there within a few years.

Posts preserved with Tanalith have been on sale in Germany

for the past two years. They have been available much longer

in the UK. Tanalith is made of copper salts, triazoles (fungicide)

and water-repellent additives. Tanalised posts (posts

impregnated with Tanalith) are claimed to last much longer

than those impregnated with the preservatives used in the

past. Two German suppliers even provide a 25-year warranty

on tanalised posts. PWO Robert Lindner GmbH provides a

staggered warranty on tanalised posts made of German pine.

From the 11th to the 25th year, the amount the company

will pay for posts covered by the warranty drops from 100

to 15%. Brändlin uses Scandinavian pine posts preserved

with Tanalith in its anti-hail net structures. According to this

company, these posts will last for at least 30 years. Brändlin

provides a full 25-year warranty on the posts.

Agenda und Aktivitäten / Agenda en activiteiten / Agenda and activities

Gleisdorfer Bioobstbautage 2009

Land: Österreich

Sprache: Deutsch

Datum: 15. und 16. Dezember 2009

Lokation/ Ort: Fachschule für OBST-Wirtschaft und EDV Technik

in Gleisdorf


Anmeldung: bis 30. November 2009


Kosten: € 60,-


Land: Österreich

Sprache: Deutsch

Datum: 17. Dezember 2009

Lokation/ Ort: Fachschule für OBST-Wirtschaft und EDV Technik

in Gleisdorf

Info: www.lfi .at

Anmeldung: zentrale@lfi

Kosten: € 35,-

Fructura Vakbeurs voor hard- en zachtfruit

Land: België

Datum: 18 - 20 december 2009

Locatie: Belgische Fruitveiling (BFV)

Montenakenweg 82, 3800 Sint-Truiden

Organisator: Fruittelers Zuid-Limburg vzw en Groene Kring

Fruittelers Zuid-Limburg


Bundesseminar Kernobst

Land: Deutschland

Sprache: Deutsch

Datum: 05-01-2010 bis 07-01-2010

Lokation/ Ort: Andrea Hermes Akademie

In der Wehrhecke 1

53126 Bonn-Röttgen


Anmeldung: DLR Rheinpfalz / KoGa


Agrosimex 2010

Country: Poland

Language: Polish

Date: 6 and 7 January 2010

Location: EXPO-center XXI,

ul. Pradzynskiego 12/14



Steirische Obstbautag

Land: Österreich

Sprache: Deutsch

Datum: 13. Januar 2010

Lokation/ Ort: LVZ Haidegg

SIVAL Angers

Country: France

Date: 12 – 14 january 2010

Location: Parc des Expositions, route de Paris, Angers

Program: Trade fair for equipment and techniques in viticulture,

horticulture, arboriculture and vegetable



International Fair of Fruit Agrotechnology

Country: Poland

Language: Polish

Date: 15 and 16 January 2010

Location: Warsaw


Sandomierz 2010

Country: Poland

Language: Polish

Date: 26 and 27 January 2010

Location: Sandomierz (PL)


Fruit Logistica 2010

Land: Deutschland

Datum: 3. bis 5. Februar 2010

Zeit: Alle Tagen 09.00 – 18.00 Uhr

Ort: Messe Berlin, Messedamm 22, 14055 Berlin

Programm: unter

Veranstalter: Messe Berlin


Norddeutschen Obstbautagen 2010

Land: Deutschland

Datum: 10. und 11. Februar 2010

Ort: Schützenhofstraβe in Jork

Programm: Fachausstellung von Maschinen und Geräten für

den Obstbau

Veranstalter: OVR Altes Landes, OVB Jork, LNK Stade


Fruchtwelt Bodensee 2010

Land: Deutschland

Datum: 19. - 21. Februar 2010

Ort: Messe Friedrichshafen


Intervitis-Interfructa 2010

Land: Deutschland

Datum: 24. bis 27. März 2010

Ort: Messe Stuttgart

Programm: Technologiemesse für Wein, Obst, Fruchtsaft und



Fruchtwelt Bodensee (D)


Powerflex- Foliensystem





Ernteverfrühung bzw. -verspätung

Pflanzenschutz usw.

Das Powerflex-Foliensystem kann in Verbindung mit Hagelschutznetzen

montiert werden, wobei das Öffnen und Schließen von Folie und Netz völlig

voneinander unabhängig ist


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– Origin CZ Holovousy

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– High crack resistance

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III Edition January 6-7




The CONFERENCE program:

The lectures and presentations concerning the possible solutions

to solve current problems in fruit growing industry will

be given by Polish and international experts Exhibition of Machinery

& Equipment for fruit growing industry will amount

to 4500 square meters of space Exhibition of companies which

supply pesticides and fertilizers

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