For many apple growers, ReTain® is a valuable tool to manipulate crop maturity dates for different blocks and varieties, smoothing out harvest peaks and optimising the available picking and post-harvest workforce.
Nufarm Technical Specialist Cynthia Christie says ReTain has been helping apple growers for over 20 years but reminds users to still review the product label each year for best results which depend heavily on correct timing.
Applications need to be made 21-28 days before harvest for varieties other than Braeburn and Cox’s Orange Pippin, which are 14-21 days. Monitoring temperature conditions around the planned time of application is critical. To work properly, ReTain must be used with Freeway organosilicone adjuvant at the correct rate for the apple variety.
“Applying the adjuvant to hot fruit is not advised,” says Cynthia. “We always recommend ReTain be applied in the cool of the morning. It should not be mixed with any horticultural product other than the specified adjuvant or Dipel DF.”
Planned calcium applications pre-harvest also need to be considered, allowing at least seven days between calcium sprays and ReTain applications. The product should not be applied if calcium residues are present or if previous calcium use has damaged lenticels.
After applying ReTain, allow a 24 hour interval before any other any other horticultural product or irrigation is applied. Where foil mulch or reflective films are used, ReTain should be applied before these are laid down. Growers should not spray ReTain if rain is expected in six hours.
For more advice on using ReTain to help manage your harvest this season, talk to your Fruitfed Supplies Technical Horticultural Representative.