MASK is a flowable micronized dispersion of calcium carbonate. It’s designed for foliar application and is recommended for use as a protectant against sunburn and heat stress and can also be used to increase chilling hours in crops. This product can be applied to all crops that are not calcium sensitive. Contact your local Simplot Grower Solutions Crop Advisor for more information.
MASK for Protection from Heat Stress
How do you see the light that falls on your crop? Do you see the light as the free energy source to make your crop more profitable? Do you see light as a vital resource like water and fertilizer which can be managed and modified as needed?
Now, you can manage how the light falls on your crop and modifying it for enhanced photosynthesis, more crop vitality, increased water use efficiency, less sunburn and heat stress, and an advanced harvest with higher yields and profits. MASK is your tool for managing light and making it work best for you.
Light is providing the energy for photosynthesis, which takes the water from the soil and CO2 from the air to form all the build blocks of every plant structure. Of course, light can also destroy these structures including the photosystems designed to harness it. So then, the light needs to be maximized when it is weak and minimized when it is too strong. From the rising of the sun to its setting, MASK modifies the light to capture its greatest potential.
It sounds almost too good to be true, the ultra-fine ground calcium carbonate in MASK refracts and diffuses the light, making it softer and more available to activate the chloroplasts where photosynthesis takes place, at the same time reducing the intensity so that the light is less destructive and does not heat the plant structures as much; thus limiting sunburn in the harvested crop, increasing the photosynthetic potential and efficiency, while maintaining better leaf water balance and making this essential, ever more costly and fraught over resource, go farther in agriculture than ever before.
Studies from research centers and farmers in over a dozen countries absolutely confirm these results of greatly reduced sunburn, increased yields and better water use efficiency. Change the way you see light; manage it with MASK.
MASK for Sufficiant Winter Chilling Hours
Not getting the chill you need to produce your best crop?
In order for most deciduous fruit and nut trees and vines to break dormancy and begin flowering in the spring, they must first be exposed to chilling temperatures for a sufficient period of time each winter. In the past 50 years, central California has seen a 20% reduction in chilling hours and the decline is expected to continue. The connection between the low chill accumulation and poor performance in spring bud break, bloom, and fruit set is well documented.
Switching to lower chill varieties is a long term solution but only partial because it can cause problems in the late winter because lower chill requirement varieties tend to come out of dormancy easier which increases the danger of damage by a late winter freeze.
Almonds, cherries, peaches, pistachios, pomegranates, walnuts and grapes are just some of the crops not getting sufficient winter chill mainly due to milder winters with more sunny days and less fog. The biggest problem is that on sunny winter days the bark, stems and buds can easily reach 20oF hotter than the air temperature.
Applications of MASK simulate a cloud cover; through refraction and diffusion, it diminishes the intensity and softens the light striking the plant tissue limiting the temperature increases and reducing the time at detrimental levels for chill accumulation on sunny winter days which effectively increases the chill accumulation, prevents premature bud swell and lowers the consumption of stored energy needed for spring bud break. This results in more even bud break (both flowers and vegetation), better fruit and nut set, yielding increased quality, volume and value of harvest.
For example one pistachio grower on 600 acres got between 12% and 27% increase in pounds of In Shell Splits and had a 22% dollar income increase. Another pistachio grower reported a 32% increase in harvested volume and most of the crop coming off on the first shake. In table grapes, a grower noted that most of the crop was ready at the first pick. In cherries, a much larger fruit set and fruit size with earlier and more even maturation was reported. Even though pomegranates require only 100-200 chill hours, another grower reported more even bloom, better fruit set and larger harvest.
MASK works to improve chill accumulation and the dormancy response to adequate chilling without interfering in any spray program. Applications are effective even in good chill years; this shows that trees and vines can benefit from the lower tissue temperatures every year, to keep them healthy and profitable.