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Jacqueline K. Burns, Louise Ferguson, Kitren Glozer, William H. Krueger, and Richard C. Rosecrance

physiological maturity ( Ferguson et al., 2005 ). Harvest is done by hand labor over a period of ≈2 months. Increased labor costs and low labor availability have intensified industry interest in mechanical harvesting. Unusually low temperatures during flower bud

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Carl E. Motsenbocker, J. Blair Buckley, William A. Mulkey, and James E. Boudreaux

Field studies were conducted in 1991 with `Jalapeno-M' and `TAM' Jalapeno pepper. Plants were established by direct seeding at 10, 20, 30, and 40 cm in-row plant spacing. Lodged plants, fruit quality and yield were monitored. A commercial snap-bean harvester was evaluated for harvest. Closer plant spacings resulted in greater yields and reduced plant lodging. No interaction of variety with plant spacing was observed. There were, however, differences in several yield parameters due to variety. Fruit quality characteristics of mechanically and hand harvested pepper stored at 6 C were similar. The use of the mechanical snap-bean harvester appears to be a feasible technique to harvest Jalapeno pepper.

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Jim E. Wyatt, James A. Mullins, and Charles A. Mullins

Several spacing, cultivar, ethephon and harvest sequence studies were made on summer squash in 1989 evaluating cultural practices which maximized marketable once-over yield of fruit for processing. Optimum spacing was 30 cm within rows and 45 cm between rows. The zucchini and yellow hybrids producing the highest marketable yield were `Classic' and 'Gold Slice', respectively. Ethephon applied at 0.77 kg/ha resulted in higher yield than no ethephon. Harvesting two times followed by a seven day delay before a once-over, destructive harvest produced a marketable yield equal to three harvests/week for three weeks. A prototype mechanical harvester has been used successfully on yellow hybrids; zucchini hybrids require more force for successful fruit separation.

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Matthew W. Fidelibus, Kimberley A. Cathline, and Jacqueline K. Burns

to mechanical harvest ( Studer and Olmo, 1971 , 1974 ). Berries on dried rachises tend to detach from clusters with their pedicels (cap-stems) attached ( Studer and Olmo, 1971 ), which helps to prevent rupturing and tearing of the berries ( Studer

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J. R. Morris, D. L. Cawthon, G. S. Nelson, and P. E. Cooper

Abstract

Succinic acid-2,2-dimethylhydrazide (daminozide) applied to ‘Raven’ blackberries at 4000 ppm and to ‘Raven’ and ‘Brazos’ at 2000 ppm between full bloom and first color development and at 2000 ppm in a multiple application applied at full bloom, 2 weeks, and 3 weeks after full bloom resulted in reduced berry size and yield with no beneficial effects on fruit quality. (2-Chloroethyl) phosphonic acid (ethephon) applied to the same cultivare at 1000 ppm 4 days prior to the first harvest increased the amount of fruit mechanically harvested on the first harvest. Ethephon treatment improved color but resulted in mechanically harvested fruit having lower soluble solids and acidity.

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Kevin L. Cook and Leonard M. Pike

An `intermediate leaf' hybrid pickling cucumber (TAMU 884304 X ARK H-19 `little leaf') was direct-seeded at four plant densities (94,570; 48,440; 32,290; 25,375 plants/ha) using four within-row spacings (15, 30, 45, 60cm) at two locations and two seasons. Optimum yield based on marketable fruit number, grade distribution and fruit quality occurred with 94,570 plants/ha. Optimum harvest time depended on location and season. Delayed harvest times were also evaluated. Harvests with fruit >5.1cm in diameter had severely reduced brining quality. Fruit did not enlarge or enlarged slowly to oversize. This resulted in a mixture of fruit ages within the largest marketable fruit grades. It is recommended that `little leaf' lines and their hybrids such as `intermediate leaf' be harvested when fruit 3.8 to 5.1cm in diameter appear and before oversize fruit are produced. Spacing did not significantly effect length/diameter ratio(LDR) but LDR was significantly greater for delayed harvests.

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Bjorn H. Karlsson and Jiwan P. Palta*

Supplemental calcium application has been shown in our previous work to improve tuber quality and reduce internal defects. We evaluated the response under field conditions of five commerically significant cultivars to a combination of calcium nitrate, calcium chloride and urea (168 kg·ha-1 per season) over three seasons. We were able to determine that the cultivar with the greatest response to supplemental calcium for reduced bruising, `Atlantic' had the lowest levels of tuber tissue calcium. Conversely, cultivars with least response to supplemental calcium, `Dark Red Norland' and `Superior', had the highest levels of tuber tissue calcium. `Snowden' was both intermediate in response to calcium and tuber tissue concentration. Based on data for 3 years, we determined that across cultivars the calcium concentration at which tubers no longer respond is ≈250 ppm and ranges for individual years from 195 to 242 ppm. These results suggest that seasonal variation for individual cultivars may affect the tuber need for calcium for reduced bruising. Although the exact mechanism is not known, we believe that calcium supplemented to bulking tubers may lead to improved cell membrane stability, increased wall structure or enhanced ability of tubers to repair following injury. The results of our study show that supplemental calcium fertilization has the ability to significantly reduce the incidence of tuber bruising for several cultivars.

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M. Zahara, S. S. Johnson, and R. E. Garrett

Abstract

The average time required to harvest a carton of lettuce by hand ground pack was 12.67 minutes in 1960-1963 and 3.57 minutes in 1970-1973. The change in the number of harvests, trimming, packing, and method of pay is the reason for the big difference in the time required. Selecting, cutting, and trimming lettuce heads consumed 45.4 to 46.3% of the total harvest time. Film wrapping lettuce heads increases harvest time to 11.19 minutes per carton. An experimental 1-bed harvester increased the man-hour output to 20 cartons, a 3 carton increase over hand ground pack. Estimated cost of harvest with a mechanical harvester would be $.29 per carton, compared with the present cost of $.45. Labor is the major part of harvest costs regardless of method of harvest.

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W. A. Sistrunk and J. R. Morris

Abstract

Three cultivars of strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duch. cvs. Cardinal, A-5344, and Earlibelle) were harvested once-over by machine in 1975 and 1976 and separated into green and ripe fruit. Preserves and jam were manufactured from different combinations of sliced, ripe fruits, puree from ripe and from green fruit, then stored at 2°, 24° and 35°C for 0, 4 and 9 months. There were differences among cultivars and treatments in color attributes and sensory quality but both preserves and jams were highly acceptable from all cultivars and treatments. The greatest change in color and sensory quality was caused by storage at 35° for 4 and 9 months. Green fruit did not affect storage stability and development of browning. As much as half immature, green fruit can be used in the manufacture of preserves and jams without affecting quality in highly-colored cultivars.