Two peach planting systems, Small Vase (SV) and Y-trellis (Y), were evaluated and compared in the Mediterranean settings of Southern Italy. The two orchards were located next to each other on relatively uniform soil and terrain, and the observations included two peach (Rich May and Summer Rich) and two nectarine (Big Bang and Nectaross) cultivars. In the SV system, trees were spaced at 4.5 x 2.5 m (888 trees/ha), whereas in the Y system, trees were spaced at 5.5 x 2 m (909 trees/ha) and no roof gap was left between rows. Yield per tree, fruit size grade, unit price of sold peaches for each size grade, materials and labor for cultural management and associated costs, fixed costs at planting, and grower's profit were quantified during the first six years from planting. Fixed costs at planting were twice as much in the Y system, and no significant yield was recorded in the first two years in any of the two systems. Regardless of cultivar, the Y system reported 20% higher yields, 31% greater amount of management labor, and 10% lower labor efficiency (kg fruits/hr) than the SV system. Fruit unit value (euro/kg) was similar in the two systems. Profit varied greatly depending on the cultivar, and only 'Nectaross' generated a greater profit in the Y than the SV system. For this cultivar, the pay-back period (years needed to pay off the additional investment of establishing a Y trellis by its additional profit) was 2.5 years, indicating an advantage of the Y system over the SV by the 4th year. The yield gap between the two systems tended to decrease after the 5th year. The latter trend, along with the high initial investment and management costs in the Y system, suggests better performance and more sustainable productions in the SV than in the Y system.
|Numero di pagine||6|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2015|
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