High Risk of Chilling Disorders for 2014-15 Storage Season in Ontario

CIPRA is a computer-based program developed by the research team of Dr. Gaétan Bourgeois (AAFC-QC) that uses weather data to predict the risk susceptibility of apples to specific storage disorders (Bourgeois, DeEll, and Plouffe). According to the model within CIPRA (using weather data from Simcoe, Ontario), there is very high risk of chilling-related disorders developing this storage season. In fact, this year's risk is the 3rd highest since 1984 (Figure 1).

Therefore, it is extremely important this year to pay close attention and use the recommended temperatures and storage regimes for specific apple cultivars. 'Empire', 'McIntosh', and 'Honeycrisp' are especially susceptible to chilling-related disorders (i.e. flesh browning, low temperature breakdown, core browning, soft scald, soggy breakdown) and symptoms can usually be induced by using storage temperatures lower than optimum. Late harvested apples are also more prone to developing chilling-related disorders, such as flesh browning in 'Empire' or soft scald and soggy breakdown in 'Honeycrisp'. So manage your storage periods and marketing accordingly.

Graph shows chilling risk levels from 1985 to 2014 with peaks in 1985, 1992, 1997, 2009 and 2014.

* Graph supplied by D. Plouffe, AAFC-QC

(text version)

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca