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Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan--Achievements-Innovative techniques

Innovative techniques

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Formulation to reduce pineapple stalk cracking
Figure 1: Without treatment, stalk cracking occurs in the developing fruit
Figure 1: Without treatment, stalk cracking occurs in the developing fruit
Figure 2: No stalk cracking after formulation treatment
Figure 2: No stalk cracking after formulation treatment

    Pineapple is one of the major fruit crops in Taiwan. Unfortunately, many pineapple farmers are confronted with stalk cracking problem (Figure 1) in pineapple field, which has been an increasing trend in recent years. This disorder often occurs when the emergence of inflorescence coincides with warm-wet weather, and results in malformed fruits. The fruit usually bends over and grows in a nearly horizontal position (Figure 3). The malformed fruit is unsuitable for the fresh market. To overcome this problem, the Institute has developed a formulation that balances the growth, reduces incidence of stalk cracking (Figures 2 and 4) and stabilizes fruit quality.

    Experimental observations showed that the stage of inflorescence emergence (from February to September) is most susceptible to stalk cracking, especially during the months of February and March when weather turns warm and wet. Without taking any preventive measures during these two months, the rate of stalk cracking could reach 80-90%. Should there be a number of hot days after September when weather turns cool, the disorder incidence could also get to 25%. A remedial action to be undertaken is the application of this very formulation at the proper stage along with appropriate cultivation practices. This integrated crop management measure could reduce stalk cracking in pineapple field by two thirds; it is a significant feat of technology for the farmers to adopt.

Figure 3: Without treatment, the maturing fruit is bended
Figure 3: Without treatment, the maturing fruit is bended
Figure 4: Maturing fruit after formulation application (without stalk cracking)
Figure 4: Maturing fruit after formulation application (without stalk cracking)