Growing scab-resistant apple cultivars on fully dwarfing rootstocks increases the feasibility for producing organically grown apples in the Midwest. However, in an organic orchard, fruit thinning to optimize crop load must be done by hand at a very high labor expense. The alternative is biennial bearing and inconsistent supply to meet consumer demands. Recently, sprays containing organicapproved materials such as liquid lime sulfur, fish, and various vegetable oils, salts, and kaolin have been tried alone or in combination for thinning apples with some degree of success. Lime sulfur alone or in combination with spray oil was recently labeled for use in Washington state orchards. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of liquid lime sulfur alone and in combination with spray oil applied at various times during bloom on thinning three scab-resistant apple cultivars under Iowa conditions.
Iowa State University
Domoto, Paul A.; Katuuramu, Dennis; Nonnecke, Gail R.; and Schroeder, Lynn R., "Thinning Scab-resistant Apples with Liquid Lime Sulfur Sprays during Bloom" (2012). Iowa State Research Farm Progress Reports. 53.