Stress in orchards and how to deal with it: BTU-CENTERs recommendations

Horticulture is a branch of agriculture that is heavily dependent on meteorological factors. Perennial plants are planted with a significant risk, since young plants require intensive care and attention, while fruit-bearing and profit earning occur only in 2-4 years in the case of berry crops, and in 4-5 years in the case of fruit trees. During the year, the garden plant is exposed to various natural factors and, unfortunately, most of them have a negative impact on the growth, development and fruiting of plants. These factors include adverse overwintering conditions, spring and early autumn frosts, hail, soil and air droughts, etc.

Overview of the climatic conditions of recent seasons

Using the example of Ukraine, lets explore how climatic conditions can affect orchard crops and the future harvest, respectively.

In recent years, the flowering period has become crucial for horticultural crops. The reason was the abnormally warm winter with frequent alternation of short periods of temperature drop and increase, resulting in a short period of dormancy of trees in winter.

Consequently, early flowering of orchards took place throughout Ukraine, and then the orchards were struck by frosts up to -10 Co. Such freezing weather usually damages the flowers and results in harvest losses. Moreover, short-time low and moderate frosts, that do not leave visible damage, cause profound changes in physiological processes.

In addition, there is a lack of moisture in the soil (50-70% of long-term averages), which weakens plants and worsens the fruit setting. On top of all, these factors create comfortable conditions for the more intensive spread of pests and diseases.

As a result, in most regions, farmers lost their harvest. In particular, in Zaporizhzhia region the mortality rate of apricots was 90%, peaches 70%, apple trees of certain varieties 50%, and cherries also 90%. In Odesa, Volyn and Bukovyna regions frosts killed flowers in the buds. In addition to this, there was a prolonged cessation of pollination due to cold and mostly windy weather. 

How to deal with stress in the orchard practical experience of BTU-CENTER

In order to resolve these issues, the experts of BTU-CENTER have developed and implemented an innovative program STOP STRESS, based on the complex use of biological products ORGANIC-BALANCE, AZOTOHELP-r(l) and LIPOSAM. The basic goal of the program comprises the following: increasing the resistance of plants to stress factors (biotic, anthropogenic, climatic, edaphic), and accelerating the restoration of growth and development of plants after stress.

Trial with apple and pear trees

In 2020, the specialists of BTU-CENTER tested the effect of using the microbial products in industrial orchards (100 hectares of apple trees, 13 hectares of pear trees, 12 hectares of strawberries), including the program STOP STRESS. The farm has established 2 trial fields of 6 hectares of pear and apple trees with BTU-CENTER products. Previously, agronomists of the farm have been using or establishing trial fields with a line of other products for orchards for a long time.

This time the farm faced a problem when the ovaries were struck by severe frosts (- 3-5 Co) and the key task was to save the future harvest. Specialists of BTU-CENTER found a solution and suggested the use of these products: ORGANIC-BALANCE (vegetation) 1.5 l/ ha, AZOTOHELP-r and LIPOSAM - 1 l/ha of each.

As Maksym Boiko, Agronomist-Consultant of the farm, noted: "Heres what's interesting areas, where we used chemical plant protection products, were affected by at least 50%, but areas where biological products were previously used - barely suffer from frosts (losses were at the level of 3-5%).

After the use of the STOP STRESS program, the recovery of ovaries was 100% in trial fields with pear and apple trees, but in the rest of the orchard - up to 70% of trees were saved. As a result, we managed to receive up to 10-12 tons of pears per hectare and 25-30 t/ha of apples, respectively, depending on the variety," the agronomist said.

As you can see, the use of biological products after and during the flowering allows to increase stress resistance and general immunity of plants for further survival of the ovaries in the first months of shifty spring temperatures. This is an optimum combination and symbiosis of a variety and natural activators/stimulants that works in favor of the orchard and the future harvest of the farm.


Flowers and leaves of a pear tree after spring frosts


Pear ovaries after spring frosts: at the right picture healthy pear ovaries after using the STOP STRESS Program, at the left picture pear ovaries before treatment.

Trial with grapes

A similar situation happened at the Farming Enterprise VITIAZ of Zaporizhzhia region the year before, where the farm has been successfully applying the technology of BTU-CENTER for 3 years, using the company's product line for grapes. In addition to grapes, the farm also grows stone fruits (peach and apricot), cereal crops, legumes, oilseeds, vegetables, melons and gourds.

"We hold control over most diseases, which results in increasing the quantity level of ovaries and retaining more berries on the plant. In addition, there was an issue with the ovaries falling off, but the situation got back on track. Now we are looking to the future, because we achieved the desired aim with BTU-CENTER products 3 times already. Thanks to their products, you can run a business without any worries and not fear the future, "said the director of the farm Olena Beriozina.

According to Olena, any situation can be fixed, whatever conditions with precipitation, wind and hail might be, we try to remedy everything and to respond rapidly with a help of treatments in order to solve problems. Biological products are used during the flowering, development and even ripening of grapes, as they are safe for humans, beneficial insects and bees. The waiting period is 1-3 days after treatment.

In the spring we had a slight after-growth of sprouts, but the combination of AZOTOHELP-r and ORGANIC-BALANCE solved this problem with a bang. There was a visible delay in bud bursting and initial regrowth in the spring, but after the STOP STRESS application this problem was eliminated like with a wave of a magic wand. We will have an excellent harvest of grapes,"  added a satisfied owner.


Young shoots of grapes damaged by frosts

Condition of the vineyard (June 2019) after applying the STOP STRESS Program (AZOTOHELP-r (1 l/h) + ORGANIC-BALANCE (2 l/ha) + LIPOSAM (1 l/ha))

Trial with raspberry

The specialists of BTU-CENTER had a positive experience of applying the STOP STRESS Program to remontant raspberries during early autumn frosts, which have become more frequent. In particular, at the private farm of Lviv region, remontant raspberries of autumn fruiting were pre-treated with products of the STOP STRESS Program before the frosts (AZOHELP-r 1 l, LIPOSAM 1 l, ORGANIC-BALANCE 2 l per 1 ha). In a few weeks after the frosts, which lasted several days, the treated plants retained their fruit-bearing ability and produced yields until the persistent frosts. In the meantime, the fruiting of untreated berries ceased.

Recommendations for application:

The STOP STRESS program can be used during different periods of vegetation of plants, however, BTU-CENTER experts recommend the following most usual periods of its application:

  • In advance (before the stress factor).
  • Simultaneously with the factors of adverse impact on the plant.
  • After the stress factor.
  • For foliar fertilizing of garden plants.

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