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2020, Vol. 18, Special Issue 4

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  • Kirje
    Precision fertilisation technologies for berry plantation
    (2020) Virro, Indrek; Arak, Margus; Maksarov, Viacheslav; Olt, Jüri; Estonian University of Life Sciences. Institute of Technology
    Increased cost-effectiveness in crop production can be achieved by automating technological operations. This is also the case for berry cultivation in plantations. Starting any berry cultivation automation process should, quite naturally, begin with fertilisation, since this is the first technological operation to be carried out during the vegetation period and is a relatively simple one. The main task here is to apply the correct amount of fertiliser under the canopy of plants. Blueberry plantations that have been established on milled peat fields have plants that have been planted in parallel rows at a pre-designated interval. The fertilisation of plants must take place individually in the first years of their growth, so that each plant is fertilised separately. This form of fertilisation can be referred to as precision fertilisation. The aim of this paper was to provide an overview of the levels of technology now available when it comes to precision fertiliser equipment and to introduce the concept of a new precision-automated fertiliser unit, while also justifying the efficiency of using automated equipment. The automated fertiliser unit that is to be designed will be autonomous, will move unmanned through the plantation, and will include the necessary sub-systems for the precision fertilisation of individual plants, such as a plant detection system, a fertilising nozzle, a motion system and, additionally, a service station. On the basis of the results obtained, it can be argued that the use of an automated precision fertilisation unit increases productivity levels by approximately 2.25 times and decreases the specific fertiliser costs by approximately 8.4 times when compared with the use of a portable spot fertiliser.
  • Kirje
    Suitability of blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.) cultivars of different origin for cultivation in the Nordic-Baltic climate
    (2020) Vinogradov, Mailis; Rätsep, Reelika; Arus, Liina; Polli Horticultural Research Centre. Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Estonian University of Life Sciences; Estonian University of Life Sciences. Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences. Chair of Food Science and Technology
    The rising trend of blue honeysuckle has led to the increase in new plantations and berry production in recent years in Nordic-Baltic region, including Estonia. This crop is naturally distributed in the temperate climate zone of Northern Hemisphere. Estonia is also located in the same climate zone, but differs only from warm maritime air. The main aim of this research was to find out cultivars’ adaptation to the changing weather conditions regarding winter hardiness, fruit weight, yield and occurrence of secondary flowering. The data was recorded from two closely situated plantations in Polli village, Viljandi County, Estonia. Eighteen cultivars of blue honeysuckle with different origin (Russia, Canada, Poland and Czech Republic) were tested. In 2016, greater winter damage was recorded when compared to the period of 2017–2020 with just marginal damage. In conclusion, the Canadian cultivars (‘Borealis’, ‘Indigo Gem’, ‘Indigo Treat’ and ‘Tundra’) and Polish ‘Duet’, presented their best properties and suitability to Estonian climatic conditions.
  • Kirje
    Influence of Raspberry bushy dwarf virus on pollination of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) cultivars
    (2020) Sproģe, L.; Strautiņa, S.
    Raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV) is one of the major pollen-borne pathogens of the genus Rubus that causes drastic reduction of yield and degradation of berry quality. The aim of the study was to evaluate the quality of raspberry pollen and the effect of RBDV on pollination process. The research was carried out at the Institute of Horticulture. Within two years, 2017 and 2018, the pollen viability and pollen germination capacity of nine raspberry cultivars were analysed. The cross-pollination was done and the pollination quality of 31 crossing combinations was evaluated. The study found that although the pollen viability of cultivars infected with RBDV was higher than that of uninfected cultivars, there were no statistically significant differences. The viral contamination of the mother plant played a more important role in the pollination process. Pollination was better on uninfected mother plants and pollen germinated was faster than on infected plants. However, when the virus-infected cultivars were pollinated with infected pollen, the virus had an effect on the growth rate of pollen tubes, that decreased and the pollen tubes did not reach the ovary.
  • Kirje
    Variability in yield of the lowbush blueberry clones growing in modified soil
    (2020) Siliņa, D.; Liepniece, M.
    In Latvia blueberry plantations are represented by approximately 486 ha in 2018, and about 44% of blueberry plantations are established in cutover peat bogs and approximately 40 ha of them are growm lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.). In Latvia, lowbush blueberries are not grown on modified mineral soil (peat on the top of mineral soil). Ten lowbush blueberry clone were sampled from a commercial field to estimate potential productivity. The experiment was done at the Faculty of Agriculture, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies. The plantation was established in peat (pH 3.8), which was covered in a layer of about 40 cm on mineral soil, rooted cuttings were planted in 2012, at a distance of 0.5x0.9 m, if necessary, the plantation was watered. The yield was estimated for a five year period, from 2015-2019. Significant differences in yield were found both by years and between clones. Over a five-year period, yields between clones ranged from 0. 18 kg (2017) to 4.79 kg (2019) per bush. The high coefficient of variation (from 24.6 to 84.9) indicate differences in yield between clones, with only 4 clones being below 30%. The average yield of clones by years was higher in 2019 (2.24 kg per bush), the lowest in 2017(1.12 kg per bush). The results indicate variability on yield between the clones included in the experiment and year.
  • Kirje
    The effect of Lamiaceae plants essential oils on fungal plant pathogens in vitro
    (2020) Lukošiūtė, S.; Šernaitė, L.; Morkeliūnė, A.; Rasiukevičiūtė, N.; Valiuškaitė, A.
    Fungal pathogens Alternaria spp., Botrytis spp. and Colletotrichum spp. cause a significant loss of horticultural crops and their yield annually. The most convenient way for controlling diseases caused by these pathogens is the use of chemical fungicides. However, current practices still result in soil, water and air pollution, contribute to the loss of biodiversity and climate change, also are harmful to human health. Therefore, there is a growing demand for environmentally friendly plant protection methods. Herbs, especially, volatile oils, are a natural source of active ingredients. The findings of antimicrobial and antifungal activities, low toxicity, and biodegradability of essential oils make them potential for use in plant protection against pathogens instead of chemicals. This research aimed to evaluate the ability of Lamiaceae plants essential oils to suppress the growth of Alternaria spp., Botrytis spp., and Colletotrichum spp. in vitro. The study was carried out at the LAMMC Institute of Horticulture, Lithuania. Essential oils from lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) were obtained by hydrodistillation and poured to potato dextrose agar medium at 200 1,000 L -1 concentrations. The radial colony growth of each pathogen measured after placing mycelial plugs of each fungus on Petri dishes. Results demonstrated that thyme essential oil significantly suppressed the growth of all three investigated fungal pathogens at concentrations starting from 400 L -1 7 days after inoculation as no growth of the pathogens observed. Meanwhile, lavender essential oil had lower antifungal activity than thyme. The most significant concentration of lavender essential oil was 1,000 L -1 . To conclude, thyme essential oil showed high antifungal activity, and lavender essential oil showed moderate antifungal activity for our tested horticultural crop fungal pathogens. Both oils can be applied as one of the eco-friendly ways to control plant pathogens.
  • Kirje
    Effect of planting scheme on photosynthetic activity and dry matter accumulation in apple leaves
    (2020) Laužikė, K.; Uselis, N.; Samuolienė, G.
    This study aims to identify changes photosynthetic rate and dry matter accumulation in apple leaves with decreasing plant to plant distance of the trees. Apple tree Auksis' was grafted on dwaring P60 rootstock and planted at different in distances: 0.5 m, 0.75 m, I m and 1.25 m between plant to plant distance in rows. Photosynthetic indices were measured at 1.00-1.20 m above ground inside the canopy. 20 randomly selected leaves from the whole apple tree canopy were used to determine leaf area, fresh and dry weight. Measurements were made in three different stages in May, June and September. By decreasing the distance between apple trees irom 1.5 m to 0.5 m, photosynthetic rate decreases correspondingly, decreasing by 23% in spring, and decreasing by 31% in autumn. Distance between trees has no significant impact on leave mass per area (LMA), however in spring is higher by 33-51% compared to summer and 42-78% compared to autumn. Dry and fresh weight ratio (DW/FW) significantly increased in summer by 27%% and in autumn - by 37% compared to spring, also DW/W significantly decreased by the decreasing distance from 1.5 m to 0.5 m by 4-6%. In summary, the decreasing distance reduces the photosynthetic rate, the accumulation of dry matter. Also, photosynthetic rate decreases from spring to harvest time, and on the contrary, the accumulation of dry matter increases as autumn approaches. After evaluating the obtained results, the aim is to further delve into the use and transpiration of water and the impact of the planting scheme on fruit quality.
  • Kirje
    Influence of vermicompost on strawberry plant growth and dehydrogenase activity in soil
    (2020) Laugale, V.; Dane, S.; Strautiņa, S.; Kalniņa, I.
    Vermicompost is increasingly becoming popular as an organic fertiliser used for different crops. Effects of vermicompost on strawberry plant growth and soil properties were studied in this investigation. The research was performed in LatHort from 2015 to 2017. Strawberry was grown on open field in rows. Two trials were established. In Trial 1, the application of vermicompost with a dose of 50 mL per plant was compared to growing without any fertilization. In Trial 2, several treatments were used: 1) only inorganic mineral fertilization applied; 2) vermicompost applied with a dose of 100 mL per plant in planting holes, later mineral fertilization applied; 3) vermicompost applied with a dose of 100 mL per plant in planting holes, no additional fertilization applied; 4) vermicompost applied two times per season on the ground around plants with dose of 50 mL per plant, no mineral fertilization applied. The plant growth was assessed two times per season by evaluating the amount of leaves and plant height. Soil dehydrogenase activity was evaluated during all growing seasons as indicator of soil microbial activity. The application of vermicompost positively influenced plant growth in comparison to growing without fertilization. In Trial 2, plant growth varied among years. During first two growing seasons better plant growth was observed for plants fertilized by inorganic mineral fertilizers, while later the growth levelled off for all treatments applied. The application of vermicompost had positive influence on the soil dehydrogenase activity in contrary to fertilization by mineral fertilizers.
  • Kirje
    Evaluation of the main biological and production traits of Latvian apple cultivars in the conditions of Central Russia
    (2020) Krasova, N.; Ikase, L.; Dēķena, D.
    Apple selections of Latvian breeding were evaluated in the Central zone of Russia since 1980, in total 32 cultivars and hybrids. After long-term evaluation, the following can be recommended for use in breeding of scab resistant cultivars with high quality fruits - ‘Dace’ (gene Rvi6), ‘Arona’, and good storage - ‘Edite’ (Rvi6), ‘Forele’, ‘Olga’, ‘Маdоna’, for breeding of early cultivars - ‘Roberts’ and DI-93-4-8, both resistant to scab (gene Rvi6) and fruit rots. Cultivars and hybrids with the best cold resistance of vital tissues were selected by artificially modelling winter-hardiness components − early colds (1st component) and mid-winter colds up to -38 °C (2nd component), showing reversible damages not exceeding 2.0 points: ‘Daina’, ‘Ella’, ‘Atmoda’, ‘Gita’, ‘Saiva’, of which the last 3 maintained high hardiness of bark, cambium and xylem with slight increase of bud damages also at -40 °C. Cultivars ‘Daina’ and ‘Ella’ showed resistance of buds and vital tissues on the level of ‘Antonovka’ after modelling a thaw with following freezing to -25 °С (3rd component), which suggests tolerance to fluctuating winter temperatures. These cultivars demonstrated good adaptation to different environment conditions and may be considered in breeding of new adaptive apple cultivars with high fruit quality.
  • Kirje
    Comparison of polyphenols and anthocyanin content of different blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) cultivars at the Polli Horticultural Research Centre in Estonia
    (2020) Kikas, Ave; Rätsep, Reelika; Kaldmäe, Hedi; Aluvee, Alar; Libek, Asta-Virve; Estonian University of Life Sciences. Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Polli Horticultural Research Centre; Estonian University of Life Sciences. Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences. ERA Chair for Food (By-) Products Valorisation Technologies
    The evaluation of blackcurrant cultivars and their fruit properties at the Polli Horticultural Research Centre has been active since 1945. In addition to the assessment of biological and economic properties of cultivars, it is essential to pay attention to fruit quality. In 2014, the laboratory building of Polli Horticultural Research Centre was reconstructed within the PlantValor competence centre project, enabling to introduce HPLC methods for the determination of polyphenolic compounds in fruit quality analysis. In 2017 and 2018, the fruit quality of 37 blackcurrant cultivars of different geographical origin (Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Sweden and Ukraine) was analysed. All cultivars were grown in the genetic resources collection (2008–2019) located at the Polli Horticultural Research Centre. The main aim of the study was to analyse the content of polyphenols and anthocyanins for selecting suitable blackcurrant genotypes for breeding programmes, fruit production and possible product development. In two consecutive years of the study, the total polyphenols content in the fruits of different cultivars varied 290–634 mg 100 g-1 fresh weight (fw) and the anthocyanins 183–471 mg 100 g-1 fw.
  • Kirje
    Evaluation of Estonian apple cultivars and hybrids in Latvia
    (2020) Ikase, L.; Rubauskis, E.
    Estonian apples have always been popular in Latvia. At present, ‘Tiina’ is widely grown commercially as well as in home gardens, and ‘Liivika’ is promising for organic and home orchards. A number of new Estonian apple cultivars and hybrids have been screened in 1990–2020. Several new selections by breeder Kalju Kask (Polli) are included in field trials at Institute of Horticulture - ‘Aule’, ‘Kastar’ and KK 201-2 (‘Karlote’) since 2011, ‘Kersti’ since 2014, KK 5-16 (‘Kelin’) with scab resistance gene Rvi6 and KK 2812 since 2015. Their trees were planted on dwarfing rootstock B.9 as one-year-old whips at distances 1.5×4 m, in 3 to 5 replications with 2 or 1 trees. Commercial cultivars ‘Auksis’, ‘Antei’ and ‘Zarya Alatau’ were used as controls. The highest productivity had ‘Aule’ and ‘Kastar’, the best fruit quality - ‘Aule’ and ‘Kelin’. ‘Aule’ has been highly esteemed also by some Latvian farmers. Fruits of ‘Kelin’ had the best storage, which is crucial for a cultivar’s commercial success in Latvia. On the other side, ‘Kersti’ proved to be unsuitable for Latvian conditions, having very strong tree vigour and low yields. ‘Kastar’ showed a high tendency to fruit cracking at calyx, while KK 201-2 and KK 2812 had irregular or low yields. Of newer acquisitions, scab resistant (gene Rvi6) ‘Virve’ and KK 4-11 show good preliminary results and have been propagated for trials on dwarfing rootstocks. Productivity, tree characteristics, fruit quality traits and taste panel evaluation of Estonian apples in Latvia are discussed.
  • Kirje
    Preliminary results of rootstock evaluation for Estonian sweet cherry cultivar ‘Anu’
    (2020) Dēķena, Dz.; Feldmane, D.; Laugale, V.
    Mahaleb cherry (Prunus mahaleb L.) is the most widely used rootstock for sweet cherries in Latvia, however it has several disadvantages - strong vigour of grafted trees and an intolerance to heavy, waterlogged soils. The aim of the study was to test the suitability of rootstocks of different origins for winter-hard sweet cherry cultivar in Latvian climate. The trial was established in the spring of 2014 at the Institute of Horticulture (LatHort) to test four clonal rootstocks: ‘PiKu 1’, PHL-A’, ‘GiSelA 5’, ‘VSL-1’, and generative rootstock P. mahaleb (control) grafted with cultivar ‘Anu’ (Estonian breeding). Cherries were planted at 5×3.5 m in a random block design in three replications with three trees per plot. Tree height, annual growth of shoots, the viability of trees after wintering period and the intensity of flowering and production were evaluated in 2016–2019. Sweet cherry cultivar ‘Anu’ had the best overall winter-hardiness in the combinations with rootstocks ‘GiSelA 5’ and P. mahaleb. The highest intensity of flowering and production were observed in trees grafted on ‘GiSelA 5’. Trees on ‘VSL-1’ had the highest decease rate and the lowest winter hardiness.