Temperature Effect on Nut Filling in Three Pecan Cultivars

in HortScience

The influence of temperatures during nut filling on nut size, kernel percentage, kernel color, percent oil, and fatty acid composition were evaluated over 3 years in `Cheyenne', `Mohawk', and `Pawnee' pecans [Carya illinoenensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch]. Nuts were harvested at shuck split at 14 sites located in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Arizona, and California and Coahuila, Mexico. Weather data for 12 weeks before shuck split at each site were used to determine degree days by the formula: degree days = summation n(m–t) where n = number of days, m = (max + min temperature) ÷2, and t = 10°C. The degree days ranged from 996 to 1675. The oleic: linoleic ratios in all three cultivars were positively correlated with degree days in 2 of 3 years. `Mohawk' nut size was positively correlated with degree days all 3 years and `Cheyenne' and `Pawnee' were larger 2 of 3 years in the warmer climates. `Pawnee' kernel percentage and oil content was higher in the warmer climates. Warmer developmental temperatures had no influence on `Cheyenne' kernel color. `Mohawk' kernels were not affected 2 of 3 years, but `Pawnee' developed darker colors 2 of 3 years.

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