Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are among the grower’s most valuable tools in delivering large, top-quality fruit. When properly used, they can improve the most desirable attributes: size and shape. PGRs are also used to improve fruit set of pears, especially in years with cool weather during bloom. Equally important, PGRs can extend the harvest window, allowing growers to take a systematic, block-by-block approach to harvesting their crop. A larger window means fewer workers required to harvest the same area and less loss of fruit. That, in turn, leads to a better return on investment. Growers can use three key VBC products for these results in pears: MaxCel®, Regulex® and ReTain®.
MaxCel (6-benzyladenine) increases cell division, boosting fruit size beyond the direct thinning effect. MaxCel fits particularly well into a complete thinning program that involves other thinners such as NAA (naphthaleneacetic acid). In Argentina, MaxCel is widely used to thin pears. Adoption among pear growers continues to rise in the U.S., where MaxCel was registered on pears just a few years ago.
Regulex 10SG (gibberellins A4 and A7) plant growth regulator is widely used in Europe to improve the fruit set of pears especially when there is a frost during bloom.
ReTain (aminoethoxyvinylglycine) plant growth regulator extends the harvest window while still maintaining fruit quality, ensuring fruit has developed to optimal size, color and condition. After harvest, ReTain delays starch degradation and enhances fruit storageability.