Bre­vis – a rev­o­lu­tion in ap­ple thin­ning

The Orchardist - - What’s New -

For a prod­uct newly-re­leased in New Zealand, Bre­vis, an in­no­va­tive thin­ner spe­cially for­mu­lated for ap­ples, has a lot of his­tory be­hind it.

Al­ready reg­is­tered in 22 coun­tries, Bre­vis, from crop pro­tec­tion company Adama, has been the sub­ject of more than 600 tri­als world­wide.These cov­ered mul­ti­ple ap­ple va­ri­eties, a range of or­chard man­age­ment sys­tems and dif­fer­ing cli­mates. The re­sult­ing ex­ten­sive data has seen it ap­proved in New Zealand on all ap­ple va­ri­eties in­clud­ing those tra­di­tion­ally con­sid­ered dif­fi­cult to thin.

Lynne Roberts, Adama com­mer­cial man­ager lower North Is­land, says thin­ning can be dif­fi­cult in or­chards with tra­di­tional chem­i­cal thin­ning of­ten be­ing “hit and miss”. “The suc­cess, or oth­er­wise, of thin­ning used to come down a lot to weather con­di­tions and the abil­ity to cor­rectly pre­dict them.”

Lynne Roberts says the launch of Bre­vis will help pro­vide some of the con­sis­tency, cer­tainty and flex­i­bil­ity that the New Zealand pipfruit in­dus­try has been look­ing for.

Rather than us­ing syn­thetic plant hor­mones Bre­vis, a sec­ondary fruit thin­ner, works by tem­po­rar­ily and safely in­hibit­ing pho­to­syn­the­sis. In sim­ple terms, it mim­ics the ef­fects of shad­ing.

Ap­plied when fruitlets are be­tween 8 and 14mm in size, Bre­vis re­duces the pro­duc­tion of car­bo­hy­drates by the tree. Re­main­ing car­bo­hy­drates are sent to shoots rather than fruit. Those car­bo­hy­drates that are sent to fruit are di­rected to the largest and dom­i­nant king fruitlets at the ex­pense of the oth­ers.

The smaller fruitlets stop grow­ing and will drop from the tree in about 7 to 10 days, con­sid­er­ably quicker than with tra­di­tional thin­ners, while the larger fruitlets con­tinue to thrive.

Be­cause of its unique mode of ac­tion, Bre­vis is much less tem­per­a­ture de­pen­dent than con­ven­tional thin­ners and can be ap­plied at tem­per­a­tures be­tween 10 and 25ºC. This avoids the uncertainty and guess­work needed with thin­ners that re­quire con­sec­u­tive days within a rel­a­tively nar­row tem­per­a­ture range for suc­cess­ful re­sults. Pre and post ap­pli­ca­tion weather con­di­tions can af­fect the strength of the thin­ning re­sponse achieved with Bre­vis. Adama has es­tab­lished a com­pre­hen­sive un­der­stand­ing of the im­pact of weather and thin­ning re­sponse through global trial work.

Global Bre­vis spe­cial­ist Ton Bes­sel­ing vis­ited New Zealand in Au­gust to talk to dis­trib­u­tors and grow­ers about the lat­est re­search find­ings. “Re­sults glob­ally show that Bre­vis sim­ply de­liv­ers, re­peat­edly and with more con­sis­tent thin­ning re­sults com­pared to tra­di­tional chem­i­cal thin­ners. These find­ings are also backed up by tri­als

con­ducted lo­cally in the last three sea­sons.”

Lynne Roberts says there are also other ways that Bre­vis helps get the fo­cus off sec­ond-guess­ing the weather and back on pro­duc­tion.

“Fast-up­take means Bre­vis is rain­fast within two hours. So when grow­ers see an op­por­tu­nity, they can act on it. And or­chard re-en­try is pos­si­ble af­ter just three days. That means work­ers can be back in a block quickly, and reg­u­lar or­chard tasks are sub­ject to much less dis­rup­tion.”

“It’s re­ally got the po­ten­tial to make or­chard man­age­ment more pre­dictable.”

As Bre­vis is non-toxic to ben­e­fi­cial or­gan­isms it also pro­vides an ex­cel­lent fit for the IPM pro­grammes that are the cor­ner­stone of many New Zealand or­chard man­age­ment sys­tems. Fur­ther­more, Bre­vis does not neg­a­tively af­fect shoot growth or flower bud re­turn.

For more in­for­ma­tion on how Bre­vis can rev­o­lu­tionise ap­ple thin­ning for you talk to your lo­cal tech­ni­cal ad­vi­sor or visit

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