INFLUENCE OF CULTIVAR, PLANTING TECHNIQUE AND HARVEST DURATION ON ASPARAGUS YIELD

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  • 1 Cornell University, Dept of Fruit and Vegetable Science, Ithaca, NY 14853

Crowns and tranplants of `Martha Washington' (MW) and `Jersey Prince' (JP) asparagus were planted in 1985. Plots were harvested for 0,2,4 weeks (traditional schedule); 1,2,6 weeks (moderate harvest pressure); or 2,4,8 weeks (severe harvest pressure) in 1986, 1987, and 1988, respectively. All plots were harvested for 8 weeks after 1988. An AOV was performed to test the main effects of cv, planting technique and harvest schedules and interactions on early and total season yield of large, medium-sized and total spears. MW produced a significantly higher yield of both early and total season large spears than JP in all years. Total yields did not differ between cvs. There was no significant effect of planting technique on yield in any year. Harvest schedules imposed in the first 3 years had significant long term effects on yield. Although severe harvest pressure produced larger yields than the other schedules in 1986-1988, from 1989-1991 yields were lowest in the severe harvest pressure plots. The traditional harvest schedule produced similar yields to the moderate pressure schedule. There were no consistent interactions between cultivar, planting technique and harvest schedule These data indicate that a slightly more aggressive harvest schedule in the early years of an asparagus planting would not have long term deterimental effect on yield. However, severe cutting pressure can reduce yields compared to traditional cutting schedules for at least 3 years after initial harvest pressure treatment

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