Foliar spray promoted as solution to bitter pit on apples

A British firm has claimed to have come up with a solution to bitter pit, a form of calcium deficiency in apples which manifests itself as small, bitter-tasting lesions, and which can lower yields by up to 20 per cent.

Ametros, a foliar spray from Plant Impact, improves the tree's calcium management and has shown a reduction of up to 75 per cent in the incidence of bitter pit in trials. Described as a "more plant-safe" form of calcium, it is partnered with zinc in a new formulation that improves the mechanism by which calcium is delivered to the plant.

"The standard treatment for many years has been applications of products based on calcium nitrate or the harsher calcium chloride, but these are outdated and inefficient," said Plant Impact technical marketing manager Paul Thomas.

"They work on the principle that if you throw enough calcium at the plant, it's bound to take enough of it in to avert the bitter pit problem," he added.

"Yet in all other areas, we're moving to precision applications of active substances. Ametros uses less active substance yet with greater effectiveness."

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