Controlling Blueberry Fruit Development using Plant Growth Regulators
Title: Controlling Blueberry Fruit Development Using Plant Growth Regulators
Principal Investigator: Dr. Charitha Jayasinghege, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Duration: April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2024
Development of new labour-saving solutions is recognized as a high priority to the blueberry industry. In addition, introduction of cultural practices and technologies that will improve production efficiencies and reduce labour demand are high priorities. This study will evaluate the potential of using plant growth regulators (PGRs) to provide solutions for two specific issues:
- Currently, manual de-blossoming is the only practical way available to remove flower buds from plants during field establishment. A PGR-based approach to remove flowers from young plants could be a cost-effective way to promote plant growth in the early years of establishment.
- An oversupply of blueberries during the peak season results in downward pressure on market prices. A PGR-based treatment to increase floral bud dormancy may provide an effective solution to this problem by shifting the harvesting time of a new mid-late season cultivar, ‘Calyspo’.
- Examine the de-blossoming effectiveness of PGRs on establishing blueberry plants;
- Determine the possibility of improving flower bud dormancy by applying PGRs; and
- Evaluate the effects of PGRs on plant and fruit development in the years following application.