Delaying Harvest Improves Bell Pepper Yield

in HortScience

Delaying or limiting the number of harvests could improve yield and reduce inputs in bell pepper (Capsicum annuum var. annuum L.) production. Fruit were harvested in a variety of timing methods, which include three times over 14 days with the second and third harvests occurring 7 and 14 days after the first. Fruit from other plants were harvested once at either 7 or 14 days after the first harvest from plants that had several harvests. Fruit length was not affected by time of harvest. Number of marketable fruit, fruit width at the shoulder, endocarp thickness, and fruit volume were increased in fruit from plants harvested once. Marketable yields from plants with a single harvest were, on average, 1.5-fold higher than those from plants with several harvests. Delaying harvests improved fruit quality and quantity. Limiting number of harvests would reduce passes through the field and the associated costs, possibly improving net income.

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