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Evaluation of the optimal fruit load using the examples of pome and stone fruits

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Ministerium für Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und Klimaschutz

Federal State

Brandenburg und Berlin


Postfach 60 11 50
14411 Potsdam

Website: External link to the authority

Project Title

Evaluation of the optimal fruit load using the examples of pome and stone fruits

Project description

The fruit sizes reached in commercial orchardry in Brandenburg often are insufficient to be marketed in accordance with trading standards. More attractive fruit sizes with high marketing potential, improved flavor characteristics and a continuous yield could be achieved by specific thinning measures. However, currently there are no target figures for the optimal intensity of thinning out. The aim of the project is the development of a plant physiological approach for the determination of the yield capacity of pome and stone fruits (apple and sweet cherry) considering cultivation sites of Brandenburg. Therefor, spatially resolved data on growth capacity shall be collected by using automatable laser scanners. The evaluation of data will be made by georeferencing and taking different types of soil into account. In addition, the project aims to derive recommendations for the thinning out of flowers and for the optimal fruit load. For this purpose, the growth capacity and the growth efficiency shall be used.

Results focusing on practiceorientation

In the Primefruit project, a new method was developed for mapping and georeferencing individual tree’s fruit bearing capacity (FBC) by utilising optical LiDAR sensor. Input factors for the model are: leaf area of the trees, seasonal weather data and target fruit size. The model can be applied for evaluating the actual number of fruit per tree in comparison to a specific production target on the individual tree scale. It was demonstrated that the modeled fruit bearing capacity of the trees, with little deviation, coincided with the actual number of marketable fruit per tree. Furthermore, the mean fruit mass and mean soluble solids content per tree correlated with the amount of photons absorbed by the tree per fruit during the cell expansion stage. The field-uniform thinning of heterogeneous trees revealed avoidable yield losses on 20% of the trees. The field-uniform analysis of fruit bearing capacity was implemented in a app, which is available for evaluation by farmers.

Key words

  • Farming practice/activity
  • Plant production and horticulture

Main funding source

Rural development 2014-2020

OG contact information

Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. (ATB)
Max-Eyth-Allee 100
14469 Potsdam

Phone: 0331 569 961 2

Email: mzude@atb-potsdam.de

Type of OG partners

  • Farmer
  • Farmer

Begin of project


Project status


Total budget applied for in EUR


Link 1


Link 2

Practice abstracts

Link 3

More information


DE 404 Potsdam, Kreisfreie Stadt

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