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The art of controlling fruit size

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

As fruits become bigger in the northern hemisphere, apples, citrus and stone growers start to shift their attention from the trunk - to the fruit. The goal is to reach their desired fruit size - at just the right time.

By being connected to their trees and their fruits – via dendrometers and fruit sensors - our customers can navigate their fruit growth until their final 'size' destination.

Let's see how it works (Or watch our fruit webinar here)

Up until now, the main objective was maintaining a positive trunk growth to build and improve yield potential. Avoiding yield-affecting stress was crucial and achieved by monitoring the plant status (Avoiding the "red" zone) and following closely the growth and MDS (Maximum Daily Shrinkage) recorded in each block.

As trees transition from the vegetative stages to the reproductive ones, so should growers' irrigation tactics change to support their fruit size targets, even at the expense of the tree's growth rate.

The target size and harvest day is determined in the beginning of the season by the grower. Phytech's app then generates a trajectory for the fruit to reach its target size on the chosen date. This is like a navigation path upon the fruit 'drives', while the grower 'steers' the wheel and affects the size by adapting the irrigation or change harvest timing.

With fruit sensors detecting fruits' size and growth rate in real-time, dendrometers (trunk sensors) measuring growth and water demand - growers have all the data required to drive their fruit to its destination.

Phytech's irrigation recommendation is another benchmark to help navigate and optimize irrigation. Here are a few examples from the app that shows how this fruit size navigation system works:

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