The sprouting induction is a fundamental cultural practice in peach orchards grown in subtropical regions around the world. The evaluation of alternatives compounds to induce sprouting is necessary mainly considering its effects on fruit quality. Two alternative compounds such as 2.5% nitrogen fertilizer (NF) + 4% calcium nitrate (CN) and 4% calcium nitrate (CN), besides the control were compared with 0.6% hydrogen cyanamide (HC), the most effectiveness chemical to induce budburst in peach crops grown in subtropical regions of Brazil. The field experiment was undertaken in São Paulo state, southeast Brazil, in two crop seasons. The hydrogen cyanamide increased crop performance of the ‘Douradão’ peach. Regardless, nitrogen fertilizer + calcium nitrate promoted an intermediate yield performance. Both treatments enhanced total phenolic compounds in fruits and their antioxidant activity. The efficacy of hydrogen cyanamide in a region with low chill accumulation was confirmed. Furthermore, nitrogen fertilizer + calcium nitrate are promising sprouting inducing and may be an alternative to replace hydrogen cyanamide, because of improved crop performance and peaches quality and considering the need for new products with less toxicity and characteristics of reducing environmental risk profiles and for the consumer market.
Key words: Prunus persica, hydrogen cyanamide, nitrogen fertilizer, calcium nitrate, bioactive compounds.
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