Priming kiwifruit for optimal flowering

Priming kiwifruit for optimal flowering

Priming kiwifruit for optimal flowering

Timing and application technique are critical steps in getting the best result from your bud-break enhancer this season. Before the sprayer gets near the orchard, pruning for the best type of budwood will set the stage for a good outcome.

Thirty years after it first became available to New Zealand growers, Hi-Cane® remains the industry standard bud-breaker in terms of reliability and consistency. Close attention to detail at pruning in G3 blocks helps it express its true potential, according to Chris Brenan, Territory Manager for Nufarm and Hi-Cane specialist.

“Flowering is affected by many factors beyond grower control, temperature and winter chill being among the main ones,” says Chris. “But certain things can be controlled – cane angle and wood vigour, for example.

“Lower cane angle increases flower numbers, and tip terminated wood with moderate vigour will give a better result than high vigour wood.”

Combined with careful management of carbohydrate reserves and correct application timing, these practical techniques prime the vine for optimal results from Hi-Cane, including more uniform budbreak, a greater number of floral shoots and higher flower number.

Driftstop® surfactant remains an essential part of the process, as do sprayers equipped with air inclusion nozzles and set up correctly. Growers need to check nozzle output, direction and targets, and confirm coverage. It’s also important to watch and adjust sprayers during application to maximise coverage and minimise off-target losses. If you have to store a tank of Hi-Cane overnight, you need to re-add a half rate of Driftstop before application the next day. Thorough re-agitation is required at any time if spraying has had to be stopped.

Driftstop was developed specifically by Nufarm for Hi-Cane application and has been shown to increase the speed of Hi-Cane uptake by dormant buds and canes compared with Hi-Cane alone. This improves rainfastness and absorption over a range of temperatures, particularly at low temperatures, because it reduces the need for spray re-application where rainfall occurs within 15 minutes of spraying.

Enhanced crop safety is another benefit, Chris says. “Adding Driftstop to Hi-Cane applications reduces the level of pooling of spray around the buds, as well as spray accumulation at drip points, which can lead to burning.”

“Growers can be reassured this is not just a proven product. The supply chain, in partnership with Fruitfed Supplies, is also proven with the process of getting Hi-Cane into New Zealand and onto orchards with a short turn-around is a well-oiled machine after all these years.”

For more information, contact your Fruitfed Supplies Technical Horticultural Representative.