MODELING CHILLING INFLUENCE ON CUMULATIVE FLOWERING OF RABBITEYE BLUEBERRY

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  • 1 Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, Georgia Experiment Station, Griffin, GA 30223

A Weibull distribution function was used to develop a model for estimating cumulative flowering and the distribution of flowers of `Tifblue' rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) as a function of growing degree days (GDD) after chilling for chill hours ranging from 300 to 1200. Controlled chilling and flowering conditions were imposed on blueberry plants to obtain data for model development. Once developed the model was validated using independent data sets which were available in the literature. Given information concerning chilling and historical GDD, the model can be used to predict the onset of flowering, cumulative flowering, total number of flowers, and flower frequency at discrete intervals. It is expected that the techniques developed will be applicable to a range of fruit species in which chilling influences flowering habit.

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