Return On Investment
ProTone Plant Growth Regulator allows growers to produce enough fruit of ideal color at key harvest times.
Global table grape markets demand high quality fruit with size, firmness, sugar and color attributes that meet local and export market requirements. Commercial standards for red colored grapes place great emphasis on the intensity and uniformity of color in both the berries and the overall cluster. Bunches with poor or uneven color are commercially of low value while those that are well colored receive premium pricing.
With harvest and processing costs comprising 55% to 65% of the annual operating costs for table grape production, it is important that picks be made only when enough fruit is colored in a block to cover the cost of the harvest. Typically this will mean approximately 10% of a crop must be colored before a pick will be economically justified. Letting fruit hang and not harvesting them can be a difficult decision, particularly late in the season when fruit are still of good commercial quality but lack color.
By investing in a coloring program containing ProTone, losses due to poor color development can be decreased. ProTone increases color development allowing more fruit to be harvested at each pick. This often results in earlier and fewer picks, lowering the overall seasonal operating costs.
Early Color = Increased Harvest Flexibility
Early color development gives flexibility in harvest scheduling. By being ready to meet market demands earlier in the season more opportunities for selling at a premium price exist. In addition, by reducing crop loads early in the season better coloring of the remaining crop can occur.
ProTone® In Tulare, California
|Untreated||Grower Standard (ethephon)||ProTone® (1x Full Rate)||ProTone® (1x Full Rate) +
ethephon (1x 16 oz.)
In Kingsburg, California use of ProTone significantly increased the number of boxes that this grower was able to pick early in the season. In addition, he was able to harvest nearly 300 more boxes than he had with his standard coloring program, netting an additional $4,500 per acre.
More Harvestable Bunches
In the Aconcagua Valley of Chile, coloring of Crimson Seedless table grapes can be challenging. Use of ProTone can significantly increase the number of harvestable bunches, as is shown in this example.
Even after sugar development has begun, ProTone can be applied to good quality grapes and produce marketable color. ProTone is also exempt from the requirement of a tolerance, making it ideal for grapes destined for export markets.