- Author: Elizabeth Fichtner
Dr. Carol Lovatt, Professor of Plant Physiology, Botany, and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside, worked with Dr. Elizabeth Fichtner, UCCE Tulare County Farm Advisor, to prepare a ‘Manzanillo' olive block at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center (LREC) for bloom treatments to be included in a study aimed at mitigation of alternate bearing in olive. The LREC olive block has been used over the past 4 years to characterize the mechanisms contributing to alternate bearing in ‘Manzanillo' olive and investigate the potential use of plant growth regulators (PGRs) for mitigation of alternate bearing. At it's inception, the research project relied on trunk injection of PGRs to investigate the potential for PGR treatments to either enhance summer vegetative growth or enhance floral bud break in spring. PGR treatments resulting in bioactivity in proof-of-concept studies were then applied as foliar sprays during the 2014-2016 seasons to determine their viability in commercial use.
This multi-year study has been funded annually by the California Olive Committee and this year is also being supported by Valent BioSciences.