Thursday, 15 April 2021

Effects Of T.E.A.M.® Program And Metalosate® Products On Bitter Pit Rate On Braeburn Apples In France


The purpose of this trial was to evaluate the effect of a Metalosate® and T.E.A.M.® program on Braeburn apple in northern France by evaluating bitter pit levels in fruit at harvest as well as after 151 days in refrigerated storage. The incidence of bitter pit was particularly high in 2008 due to an unusually wet season.


This experiment consisted of a treated area and a control area. The treated area trees received a complete Metalosate foliar program monitored by T.E.A.M. in addition to the grower’s standard program. The control area was treated with the grower’s standard program only. NPK fertilizers, irrigation, and phytosanitary treatments were identical for both plots.


Randomly selected marketable apples from each test plot (69 apples from the control plot and 60 apples from the treated plot) were then placed into refrigerated storage.

On February 27th, 2009, after 151 days in refrigerated storage, the apples were again evaluated for bitter pit incidence. The plot treated with Metalosate had a 6.66% occurrence of bitter pit while the control plot exhibited 15.94% with bitter pit.

Fruit calcium levels and bitter pit incidence have a strong correlation. It is interesting to look at the total amount of calcium applied in this trial and compare that to the level of bitter pit observed. The control treatment, 14,100 g/Ha (12.59 lbs./acre) of calcium were applied. In the Metalosate treatment 684 g/Ha (0.61 lbs./acre) of Metalosate Calcium was applied in addition to the 11,240 g/Ha (10.04 lbs./acre) of calcium that was applied as the grower’s standard program. This was the same form of calcium applied to the control trees with less having been applied. In total, the Metalosate treatment received 11,924 g/Ha (10.65 lbs./acre) of elemental calcium. This can be seen in Table 1.

Figure 1 indicates that with less elemental calcium applied in the treated plot, lower bitter pit levels were recorded. The addition of 684 g/Ha (0.61 lbs/acre) of bioavailable calcium from Metalosate Calcium at the critical stages between flowering and fruit set may have helped in reduce the rate of bitter pit by building a calcium supply early in the small fruit which helped in the formation of stronger cell walls. A previous study carried out in Poland in 2007 showed early Metalosate Calcium applications followed by CaCl2 throughout the rest of the season achieved significantly higher fruit calcium at harvest than CaCl2 alone.

For more information on this experiment or information on how the Metalosate products can benefit you please contact your local Albion Plant Nutrition representative.

Table 1. Approximate Elemental Calcium Added g/Ha (lbs./acre)


g/Ha (lbs./Acre) 
Metalosate Treated

Calcium from Metalosate® Calcium


684 (0.61)

Calcium from other sources

14,100 (12.59)
11,240 (10.04)

Total calcium applied

14,100 (12.59)
11,924 (10.65)

Figure 1. Bitterpit Rate at Harvest vs. Quantity of Approximate Elemental Calcium Added per Area
Figure 1. Bitter pit Rate at Harvest vs. Quantity of Approximate Elemental Calcium Added per Area


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