Brevis – a revolution in apple thinning
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 www.adama.com.