Improving Kiwifruit Growth and Quality with Pruning and Thinning

Jim Crocker
1st May, 2024

Improving Kiwifruit Growth and Quality with Pruning and Thinning

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study from India shows pruning to 12 nodes/cane and thinning to 6 fruits/shoot optimizes kiwifruit growth
  • This pruning and thinning enhance fruit quality, increase yield, and improve fruit size and nutrients
  • The technique boosts farmer profits by maximizing harvest quality and quantity sustainably
The kiwifruit, often associated with New Zealand, actually originated from China and has become a significant crop worldwide due to its health benefits and economic importance. Recent research from Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry[1] has provided new insights into how to maximize the growth, yield, and fruit quality of kiwifruit through innovative pruning and thinning techniques. This study is particularly relevant as the demand for quality kiwifruit increases globally, and farmers seek more efficient and profitable cultivation methods. Kiwifruit is known for its high vitamin C content and numerous health benefits, including aiding digestion, boosting the immune system, and potentially improving metabolic health[2]. However, to deliver these benefits, the fruit must be of high quality, which is where canopy management and orchard techniques play a critical role. The study at hand has investigated the effects of extending cane length and fruit load on the kiwifruit's performance, which could revolutionize kiwifruit farming practices. The research team explored five different pruning levels, varying the number of nodes per cane and the number of fruits per fruiting shoot. The findings indicated that pruning up to 12 nodes per cane and thinning to 6 fruits per fruiting shoot led to optimal results. This approach enhanced the cane diameter, leaf area, and the leaf-to-fruit ratio, which are indicators of a plant's health and productivity. It also advanced flower initiation and increased the bud break percentage, which is the proportion of buds that develop into flowers or shoots. Furthermore, the study revealed that this particular pruning and thinning combination not only increased the yield and proportion of high-grade "A" fruits but also improved various physico-chemical parameters of the fruit. These include fruit weight, diameter, volume, total soluble solids (TSS), TSS to acid ratio, total sugars, and the carbon to nitrogen (C: N) ratio of the leaf and shoot, which are all quality indicators of the fruit. Interestingly, previous research on kiwifruit has shown that fruit size and weight can vary depending on the vigour of the canes from which they grow[3]. This new study complements these findings by suggesting that controlled pruning and thinning can be used to manage cane vigour and, consequently, fruit quality. The environmental impact of fruit cultivation is also a concern, as traditional thinning practices can lead to waste and soil pollution[4]. By optimizing the thinning process, this study contributes to more sustainable farming practices, potentially reducing waste and environmental stress. The study's recommendation for pruning up to 12 nodes per cane with thinning up to 6 fruits per fruiting shoot is particularly significant for farmers. It not only increases the quality and quantity of the harvest but also maximizes the net return per hectare, making kiwifruit farming more profitable. This research ties in with the understanding of fruit set in crops like tomatoes, where the competition for assimilates within the plant can affect fruit development[5]. By adjusting pruning and thinning techniques, farmers can better manage this internal competition in kiwifruit, leading to more uniform and successful fruit set. In summary, the study from Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry provides a practical and profitable approach for kiwifruit farmers. By adjusting pruning and thinning techniques, farmers can improve not only the size and quality of the kiwifruit but also the overall yield, contributing to the economic and nutritional value of this important crop. As the kiwifruit continues to gain popularity for its health benefits, such research is invaluable for meeting the increasing market demands sustainably and profitably.

FruitsAgriculturePlant Science


Main Study

1) Appraisal of extended cane length and fruit thinning strategies on the performance of growth yield and quality of kiwifruit.

Published 30th April, 2024

Related Studies

2) The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: a review.

3) The effect of cane vigour on the kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) and kiwiberry (Actinidia arguta) quality.

4) Comprehensive Utilization of Thinned Unripe Fruits from Horticultural Crops.

5) Competition for assimilates and fruit position affect fruit set in indeterminate greenhouse tomato.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙