Sustainable production systems for apples
Organic apples are normally sold for fresh consumption, which means, that they have to meet high quality demands. They have to be of a certain size and condition. The worst problem is apple scab (Venturia inaequalis), that can make apples unsuitable for consumption. This fungal disease is responsible for a large decrease in both yield and quality. In Denmark, only about five percent of the fruit production area is grown organically, and there has been a slight decrease during the last five years.
The use of cultural methods to reduce the apple scab infection is stressed in Denmark, where the use of organic pesticides is limited compared to other countries in the world. One of the best culture technical ways to control apple scab is to plant scab-resistant cultivars. However, a degradation of the scab resistance is occurring. Other solutions are smaller, open trees with a moderate growth and a limited use of nitrogen.
The overall objective in this project is to reduce the infection risk of apple scab in organic apple orchards using culture techniques. The expected achievement is to increase the Danish production of high quality organic apples.
The objective of the project is to find new resistant varieties suitable for the Danish climate through a close cooperation with a big breeding program in France. Another objective is to find the best combination of nitrogen supply, use of rootstocks, planting distance and root pruning to prevent apple scab infections and improve productivity and fruit quality.
I.2 Development of sustainable production systems for apples (ORGAPP)
Hanne Lindhard Pedersen, Head of research unit
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Horticulture
Kirstinebjergvej 10, DK-5792 Aarslev
Phone: +45 63 90 43 43, Fax: +45 63 90 43 96
Birka Falk Kühn and Marianne Bertelsen, DIAS