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BRIX 2.0 – Achieving higher Brix with Plant-Dynamic Deficit Irrigation Protocol

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

The end of summer is around the corner, days are getting shorter and shorter. Citrus growers in the northern hemisphere are approaching a special time in the season. Growers aiming for high quality fruits, are now preparing to start deficit irrigation (also known as Regulated Deficit Irrigation or RDI) aimed to increase sugar level in the fruits, also known as Brix.

Many markets pay premium price for those fruits containing high Brix degree. Brix level can often be a ripping millstone. If a certain required Brix level is not achieved, packing houses, processing factories and market distributers will refuse to accept the fruits. Hence, achieving higher Brix as soon as possible is key for achieving farm profitability.

The Brix challenge

Dr. Ido Gardi, head of Phytech's Agronomic Research, explains the plant-based approach leading to a new way to optimize Brix. "To achieve high accumulation of high energy compounds such as sugars, the plant must channel its energy reservoir towards the fruits on the account of other parts. But how can a grower affect and maximize this internal biological mechanism of the tree? Can we help trigger this process and help the plant allocate its energy towards producing sweeter fruits?"

A trunk sensor (Dendrometer)

"Without this clear understanding, growers are left with traditional practices or common beliefs and most importantly, without a way to know beforehand if the fruits are 'on the right way' to high Brix level"

Different tactics to manage Brix

Over the years, there has been an effort to achieve higher sugar content by selecting special