Bagging Organic Peaches Reduces Physical Injuries and Storage Decay with Minimal Effects on Fruit Quality Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Fruit bagging is an acceptable cultural practice for organic production that provides a physical barrier to protect fruit. It can reduce pest and pathogen injury for a variety of fruit crops, but quality attributes have been inconsistent for peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] and other bagged fruit. A 2-year experiment on a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic-certified peach orchard in central Florida was conducted to analyze the effects of a commercially available paper bag designed for fruit protection and cardinal quadrant (north, south, east, and west sides) of the tree canopy on low-chill peach TropicBeauty fruit quality. Protective bags appeared to delay fruit maturity. Flesh firmness and chlorophyll concentration of bagged fruit were 31% and 27% greater than unbagged fruit, respectively. Bagged fruit were protected as demonstrated with a reduction in mechanical injury by 95%, fruit fly injury by 450%, and scab-like lesions by 810%. Bagging reduced fruit brown rot (Monilinia fructicola) at harvest and 7 days after harvest; unbagged fruit were 2 and 3.5 times more likely to have rot at harvest and 7 days after harvest, respectively. Fruit bags did not affect yield, fruit size, total soluble solids, titratable acidity, pH, peel lightness, peel hue angle, or flesh color. Overall, canopy cardinal quadrant location had minimal effect on fruit quality or fruit injury. These results demonstrate that bagging peach fruit protects against various pests and diseases but has minimal effects on fruit quality. Broad adoption of this technology is highly dependent on available labor, market demands, and profitability but may be suitable for producers using direct-to-consumer market channels.

published proceedings

  • HORTSCIENCE

author list (cited authors)

  • Campbell, D., Sarkhosh, A., Brecht, J. K., Gillett-Kaufman, J. L., Liburd, O., Melgar, J. C., & Treadwell, D.

complete list of authors

  • Campbell, David||Sarkhosh, Ali||Brecht, Jeffrey K||Gillett-Kaufman, Jennifer L||Liburd, Oscar||Melgar, Juan Carlos||Treadwell, Danielle

publication date

  • January 1, 2021 11:11 AM