Artificial supplementation of pollen is practiced commercially in some agricultural crops in order to improve their quality and yield, but its use in other crops is uneconomical, usually because of the high cost of pollen collection. Simulations of improved techniques, utilizing electrostatic pollen supplementation (ESPS), for almonds and dates were presented in our previous articles. Biological aspects and partial results of field-tests for almonds, dates, and pistachios were also presented. This article details the development of the electrostatic pollen applicator (ESPA) and additional results, which are relevant to the commercial application of the technology, are also discussed. With whole-tree application in commercial almond orchards ESPS increased the total yield by up to 13%. With dates, ESPA could significantly reduce the pollen dosage. With pistachios, ESPS increased the total yield and also increased the percentage of split fruits when the male and female blooms did not overlap sufficiently. However, pollen supplementation when there was good bloom overlap occasionally reduced pistachio yield. Tests on kiwi showed a tendency for yield improvement but a second season test is required for verification. These results indicate that ESPA can be a powerful tool for an innovative grower.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Applied Engineering in Agriculture|
|State||Published - Mar 2003|