Thinning Season Pt 2

Thinning Season Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Fruit growers know that Springtime is thinning time in the orchard, but sometimes they need encouragement.

Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission project manager, Tory Schmidt says don't over-think it. Be aggressive ...

SCHMIDT ... "The main sin, or error, that most growers will make in their approach to chemical thinning is that they're not aggressive enough. And, you hear a lot of horror stories getting passed around about how they dropped a whole crop because they were too aggressive with some particular chemical and that scares a lot of growers into thinking I don't want to get too far out there over their skis. They want to not get too aggressive."

Schmidt says being overly timid is very common mistake ...

SCHMIDT ... "I would say, in my experience, I probably see 40 or 50 cases of under-thinning for every one case of over-thinning. So, the mantra that we tell our growers is that if they're not over-thinning some of their blocks some of the time, they're not being aggressive enough."

Schmidt says there's no time like the present ...

SCHMIDT ... "I would just tell growers, as I always do, get out there, be early, and be aggressive if you want to give yourself a chance of helping your bottom line and producing high-quality fruit. Don't be timid! Now is not the time to be shy."

Schmidt says if growers are patting themselves on the back now, by June they're going to be crying in their beer at harvest because they'll have figured out they weren't aggressive enough.

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