Increase Melon Yields by Reducing Sunburn and Heat Stress
Protection From Sun and Heat for Melons
Melon field studies and years of commercial use in melons show Surround® Agricultural Crop Protectant applied close to harvest can dramatically reduce sunburn, thereby boosting marketable yields. If applied throughout the season, SURROUND has been shown to increase melon size and brix, and cause more uniform ripening.
SURROUND Offers Two Breakthrough Opportunities
The specially engineered kaolin particles of SURROUND reflect harmful infrared and ultraviolet radiation. With less radiation and cooler fruit there is less sunburn damage. For reducing sunburn damage to melons, SURROUND should be applied at 50 lbs/per acre prior to the occurrence of sunburn-causing conditions. Make one to two applications seven days apart to provide thorough coverage of the plant and fruit.
A second practice, demonstrated in field trials, is to treat melon plants from transplant to near harvest. This has been shown to provide both sunburn protection and enhanced yield. For this use, apply 12.5 lbs per acre approximately every two weeks starting immediately after transplant. Some growers simply add 12.5 lbs of SURROUND per acre to the other crop inputs they spray every two weeks. The initial benefit is the protection of the transplant from transplant shock, resulting in fewer transplant losses and faster initial establishment. Applications throughout the season keep the plants cooler. Season-long protection has been shown to enhance plant vigor and to increase yield by producing larger caliber melons.
Turning Down the Heat
The benefits of SURROUND have been demonstrated in trials conducted around the world. Proven in several crops, plants exposed to too much heat and sunlight suffer reduced photosynthesis. Leaf stomata close when temperatures rise above certain thresholds. With stomatal closure the plant takes in less CO2 . By reflecting away significant amounts of ultraviolet and infrared radiation, plants remain cooler and stomata remain open for more hours per day. Therefore, more CO2 is taken into the plant for photosynthesis, resulting in more carbohydrates for fruit growth. Additionally, open stomata allow continued transpiration and subsequent cooling.
SURROUND can suppress cucumber beetle and grasshoppers on melons. To be effective, SURROUND must be used in a preventive program and should be sprayed on plants before insects appear. SURROUND will reduce pest pressure and may delay or eliminate the need for a conventional insecticide spray. If pest pressure reaches an economic threshold, then a knock-down insecticide should be used.
SURROUND is OMRI-listed for organic pesticide use.
|Problem||Pounds / Acre||Application Instruction|
|Cucumber beetle, grasshoppers*||25-50||Start prior to infestation, applying every 5-7 days, with the first two applications 3 days apart.|
|Powdery mildew*||Apply every 7-14 days as required to maintain coverage.|
|Sunburn and heat stress||25-100||Apply to sunburn-prone fruit before conditions leading to sunburn occur. If initiating sprays for sunburn suppression, where there have been no prior sprays, provide thorough coverage of all fruit and leaves prior to sunburn-causing conditions with one to two full-rate applications 7 days apart. Depending upon the length of the high heat period, three to four applications in total often are needed with subsequent applications every 7-21 days. Make subsequent applications at half to full rates if even coverage is maintained throughout the high heat period. Under windy conditions, SURROUND WP can be rubbed off by leaf movement making reapplication necessary.|
|*Suppression Only. If complete control is needed, consider using supplemental controls.|
- Apply SURROUND to near-drip. Avoid foliage run-off.
- Change the direction of travel on alternate applications for best coverage.
- SURROUND can be tank mixed with most pesticides. When tank-mixing, always add SURROUND to the tank first. A pre-mix tank is suggested for sprayers without mechanical agitation.
- Use no less than 10 gallons per acre. Best mixing results are achieved when mixing no more than 1 lb per gallon of water.
- SURROUND may be applied using standard aerial application nozzles.
- Make applications not more than 10 feet above the top of the largest plant unless a greater height is required for aircraft safety.
- When spraying at low relative humidity, increase droplet size to compensate for evaporation.
- Fruit that are to be marketed fresh, if a white film of SURROUND remains at harvest, the fruit may be washed with common washing techniques found in packing houses.
- Field washing prior to harvest will help remove SURROUND in the packinghouse. Spray SURROUND treated crop with an approved detergent at 0.5 lb per 100 gallons of spray before the crop is harvested. Use sufficient water to thoroughly soak the fruit. Use overhead irrigation or spray clear water immediately following the detergent application.
- Physical removal of SURROUND in the packing house by pressure washing or brushing may be necessary to remove remaining film.
- Consult with post-harvest experts familiar with your crop for other washing techniques.
Photo credit: Seth Vidal, CC BY-SA 2.0