New Accede® Plant Growth Regulator Liquid Concentrate from Valent U.S.A. Delivers the First Commercially Viable Chemical Thinner for Peaches & Nectarines
It’s a persistent challenge for peach and nectarine growers — finding qualified workers to hand thin orchards in a timely fashion. Each day that unwanted fruitlets remain on a tree, they steal vital carbohydrates and nutrients away from the final crop, ultimately impacting fruit quality and size.
“Growers have a tough time finding experienced labor,” says Jozsef Racsko, Valent U.S.A. PGR product development manager. “Usually, hand thinning takes place in late April and early May. Over the last few years, however, hand thinning has continued well into the middle of summer as growers align their crop load management goals.”
Beyond the negative effects delayed thinning has on crop quality and marketability, hand thinning expenses are rising with the increasing minimum wage. And the minimum wage in California has increased by 50% in the last five years. Cost can range from $2,500 to $4,000 per acre, Racsko says.
Reduce Thinning Costs
While mechanical thinning is available, it leads to other issues such as blossom and leaf damage. And chemical thinning hasn’t been an option — until now. Accede® Plant Growth Regulator Liquid Concentrate is a first-of-its-kind chemical thinning solution for peaches and nectarines that enables growers to thin stone fruit earlier in the season, saving money and improving overall fruit quality.
Accede works by using a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid to stimulate the production of ethylene, which triggers seed abortion and activation of the abscission zone at the base of the fruit stem. The result is a 15% to 30% reduction in fruit set, saving labor and shortening the time required to hand thin a tree by 30% or more.
Improve Fruit Quality and Size
Applying Accede at bloom allows growers to tackle crop load management earlier in the growing season, removing fruitlets even sooner than timely hand thinning — this often results in a larger fruit size after an Accede application compared to hand thinning alone. Fruit may also mature earlier and more uniformly, allowing for earlier harvest and reduced number of picks. This is very important as harvest labor is a major cost category within the total peach/nectarine production cost.
Accede can be applied from pink bud through petal fall. Racsko recommends targeting application between mid- to full-bloom for best results. It is important to avoid or delay applications when daily minimum temperatures are forecasted near freezing. Applications made at cold temperatures (below 36° F) may cause over-thinning.
Accede can be applied at 300-600 ppm rates. In most cases, 300-400 ppm rate provides sufficient thinning efficacy. “In our trials, we have seen varietal differences in response to Accede, so it’s best to apply a lower rate until a grower has a better understanding of how the product performs with any particular variety,” Racsko says.
To learn more, talk to your PCA, contact a sales rep or visit Valent.com/Accede.