Profitability of Artificial Pollination in ‘Manzanillo’ Olive Orchards
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The fruit set in monovarietal ‘Manzanillo’ olive orchards is significantly increased under cross-pollination. This response lead to pollination designs including pollinizer selection, the number of pollinizer trees per hectare and their distribution in the orchard. However, the assignment of a substantial area to pollinizers of lesser commercial value might decrease profits. The strong influence of variable climates on the overlap of the blooming phenology of ‘Manzanillo’ and its pollinizer, and on pollen production and dispersal, are also notable risks. Artificial pollination is a feasible alternative to pollination designs, especially for wind-pollination crops such as olives. Here, we present the effects of treatments with different number (zero, one, two or four) of mechanical applications of ‘Barouni’ pollen on fruit set, size, yield, and cost–benefit ratios in heavy- and light-flowering trees of ‘Manzanillo’ trees situated in monovarietal orchards in Sonora, Mexico. Our results s...