Evaluation of technical scenarios for the peach-brown rot system using a virtual fruit model simulating quality and storage potential


Abstract: Improving fruit quality while reducing pesticide and water use supports both consumers’ requirements and environmental and health concerns. This objective promotes some alternative technical scenarios that use more cultural than chemical control for pest management. Our study focused on the peach-brown rot system (Monilinia laxa). It aims at determining sets of cultural options providing an optimal trade-off between revenue build-up, consumers’ requirements and environmental impacts. We used a modelling approach to simulate technical scenarios by using a virtual fruit model describing the seasonal changes in peach fruit quality traits during final swelling under the influence of climatic, biotic and cultural factors. We defined 243 virtual scenarios based on agronomical and epidemiological inputs (time and intensity of thinning, irrigation, cultivar choice and disease control). Virtual scenarios were evaluated on a multi-criteria profile of performance integrating storage potential, organoleptic and environmental factors, according to different objectives of profitability, water saving and no pathogen entry (cuticular crack) on fruits. Scenarios including water stress during final swelling are promising while requiring an evolution of market standards.

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