Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Prevention of Fruit Loss in Orange Crops

Amy Boudreau
ENVS 1020

Although most of the worlds' citrus is harvested manually, it is said that mechanical harvesting is on the rise, and its use is expected to increase in the coming years. The mechanical harvesting of 'Valencia' sweet orange though has had many reports of a reduction yield, within the 30% - 40% range, for which the cause is the removal of small immature fruit during harvesting. A recent study has been done in which they determined if winter drought stress can delay flowering thus avoid immature fruit loss during the late-season mechanical harvesting.

The second source, an article found on EurekAlert, adequately summarizes the primary source "Winter Drought Stress Can Delay Flowering and Avoid Immature Fruit Loss during Late-season Mechanical Harvesting of 'Valencia' Oranges". All the information in the secondary source, "Winter Drought Stress Can Delay Flowering, Prevent Fruit Loss in Orange Crops", is completely releveant and can be entirely found in the research paper. The article summarizes the paper in a way that allows the reader to understand what is going on even without prior knowledge on the subject of mechanical harvesting of orange crops. For example: ... becomes large enought to be susceptible to mechanical harvesting (EurekAlert 2010) allows us to infer that mechanical harvesting can only proceed if the crop is large enough, therefore delaying flowering would make certain that immature fruits could be harvested. The article states the hypothesis; if winter drought stress could successfully delay flowering and fruit development of immature 'Valencia' sweet oranges to avoid young fruit loss during late-season mechanical harvesting (EurekAlert 2010). And briefly talks about the experiment as well as the reults. The article takes information from the paper and bends it in a direction which approves the hypothesis, as well as relays some important negative information which readers should be warned about.
The secondary source did exceptionally well in promoting its claim using the information from the research paper considering the length of the article. It could have taken more time to explain things such as what type of mechanical harvesters are out there and how they work. The article could also have stated more clearly why flower delay is imperative for a higher yield. Only through reading the primary source did I fully understand why flower delay would help improve the yield of 'Valencia' orange crops. The article also could have gone into greater detail in describing the experiments and the reasoning behing them. This article is a quick reading and informative if you have no previous knowledge on citrus. There is much more in-depth information only found in the primary source. The article is effective in portraying its stance on the data collected from the primary source with the barest of details. The secondary source did not mention certain data, for example: that no yield loses are reported only if the diameter is smaller than approximately 2.5 cm (Melgar and Dunlop and Albrigo and Syvertsen 2010).
The primary source, "Winter Drought Stress Can Delay Flowering and Avoid Immature Fruit Loss during Late-season Mechanical Harvesting of 'Valencia' Oranges" is a research paper containing loads of data and information. Of course, not all of this information is relayed in the secondary source, but this primary source is excellent for those who want to know more. It is divided in sections, and sub-sections which make it easy to read and find what you're looking for. The Abstract is a summary of the findings, followed by the Introduction, which contains information about mechanical harvesters, citrus flowering, climates needed for 'Valencia' sweet oranges and the hypothesis: we hypothesized that if the Florida 'Valencia' bloom perioud could be delayed by a few weeks using winter drought stress without negative effects on the quality of the current season's crop, the fruitlets from delayed flowering would be too small to be affected by mechanical harvesting late in the current harvest season and thus safely extend the mechanical harvesting period (Melgar and Dunlop and Albrigo and Syvertsen 2010). This is followed by the Materials and Methods which contains information about the age, type and amount of citrus trees used. It contained precise information about stem water potential, flowering intensity and fruit set, juice analysis, harvesting, and statictical analysis (Melgar and Dunlop and Albrigo and Syvertsen 2010). The primary source basically goes into much greater detail about the experiment then the secondary source, though the very basic information is the same. Next we have the results themselves, followed by the Discussion, Conclusion, and finally Notes and Literature Cited. The Discussion and Conclusion are the Results, digested and processed, in order to make a very informative and easily understandable summary. The second source then takes this summary, and condenses and simplifies it to an even greater degree.
The only downfall with the primary paper is that those with no prior knowledge will have a difficult time understanding the processes and language used. And what makes this paper even more difficult to fathom is that the grammar and tone is all over the place. There are no commas, and sentences must be reread often because they make so little sense. Fortunately though, after rereading multiple times, the tone sets in and it becomes easier to understand. Those without prior knowledge will have to research words and methods in order to get the most out of what this paper has to offer.
Therefore, in conclusion, the secondary source would be an excellent starting point because it is an easy-to-read summary. It is simple and contains only a minimum amount of details, whereas the primary source is the core base where all the information can be found. The secondary source loses some information, but contains the important facts, and if you want to go into greater detail, then the primary source is where you can find all the initial un-biased research material.

Works Cited:

Winter Drought Stress Can Delay Flowering and Avoid Immature Fruit Loss during Late-season Mechanical Harvesting of 'Valencia' Oranges
(February 1st 2010). Retrieved from

Winter Drought Stress Can Delay Flowering, Prevent Fruit Loss in Orange Crops
(September 20th 2010). Retrieved from

Photograph Retrieved from

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