PLANT&FOREST

Effect of plastic film rain shelter installation in Asian pear orchards on frost and freeze damage and fruit quality

Hyeong-Seok Lee1, Yu-Rim Kim1, Young-Jik Ahn2, Ho-Seok Son3, Jong-Pil Chun1,4,*

1Department of Bio-AI Convergence, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
2Department of Horticulture, Paichai University, Daejeon 35345, Korea
3Daejeon Horticultural Agricultural Cooperation, Daejeon 34934, Korea
4Department of Horticultural Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea

*Corresponding author: jpchun@cnu.ac.kr

Abstract

This study evaluated the impact of rain shelters made of plastic film on spring frost damage and fruit quality in Asian pears (‘Niitaka’) over two years. In 2021, during the coldest spring days (between 0:00 am and 7:00 am), temperatures dropped to -1.20 – 0.43℃ at 120 cm and -1.33 – 0.57℃ at 200 cm above ground level in the control. Conversely, the rain shelter treatment maintained higher temperatures, -0.40 – 0.87℃ at 120 cm and -0.43 – 0.77℃ at 200 cm. Flower damage was significantly lower in the rain-sheltered group, with incidences of 1.3 and 6.9% at 120 and 200 cm, respectively, compared with 18.1 and 22.6% in the control group. Visual observations verified the prevention of frost adhesion on flower organs in the sheltered group, compared with noticeable pistil death and petal browning in the control group. In 2022, when temperatures remained above 0℃, fruitlet stalk length was 5 – 6 mm longer in the sheltered group. The cumulative impact of rain shelters was evident in the improved fruit quality over the two years. This study suggests resilient cultivation strategies in the face of climate change to reduce frost damage, increase productivity, improve fruit quality, and potentially increase incomes of the farmers.

Keywords

Asian pear, climate change, flowering season, frost damage, rain shelter

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