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Charles S. Vavrina, Stephen M. Olson, Phyllis R. Gilreath, and Mary L. Lamberts

`Agriset', `All Star', and `Colonial' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants set to a depth of the first true leaf and `Cobia' transplants set to a depth of the cotyledon leaves yielded more fruit at first harvest than plants set to the top of the rootball (root–shoot interface). The increase in fruit count was predominantly in the extra-large category. More red fruit at first harvest suggested that deeper planting hastens tomato maturity. The impact of planting depth diminished with successive harvests, indicating the response to be primarily a first-harvest phenomenon in tomato.

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Oyette L. Chambliss and A. Gene Hunter

Twenty-two southernpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) cultigens were evaluated in field plots in southern, central, and northern Alabama to establish a set of varieties that would reach harvest stage sequentially. As first pods reached the dry stage, subjective ratings were made to estimate percentages of the following pod maturity stages: presnap, snap, mature green, and dry. Mature-green and dry stages were combined to give the total percentage of mature pods. From a general linear model analysis on SAS, lines were highly significant sources of variation in percentage of mature pods up to 83 days after planting. At least three maturity groups were apparent: >80%, 50% to 80%, and <50% mature pods. These are represented by `Santee Early Pinkeye', `Coronet', `Texas Pinkeye', and `Pinkeye Purplehull BVR'; `C.T. Pinkeye Purplehull', `Epoch', and `Pinkeye Pinkpod'; and `Mississippi Pinkeye' and `Corona', respectively. All the plant introductions were in the late category and generally are not characteristic of commercial pinkeyes; they may be valuable in breeding for lateness in southernpeas.

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Walter Boswell, Bernard Bible, and Suman Singha

Flesh color has been proposed as a maturity index for peaches. The objective of the present study was to determine the effectiveness of this parameter in `Loring', `Jersey Dawn', `Madison', and `Raritan Rose' peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch). Fruit were picked at weekly intervals at three or four harvest dates, with five fruit per cultivar being picked from each of three trees. Flesh firmness and soluble solids were measured immediately following harvest, and CIELAB coordinates (L*a*b*) of blush and flesh color were determined with a Minolta CR-200b calorimeter. There was a highly significant correlation (P < 0.001) between firmness and flesh hue angle for all four cultivars and with flesh chroma especially for the white-fleshed `Raritan Rose'. The correlation values between firmness and blush hue angle were consistently lower. Soluble solids did not consistently correlate with flesh or blush color. Even though blush color influences consumer preference, it was not as good an indicator of maturity as flesh color for the cultivars that we tested.

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Steve J. McArtney, John D. Obermiller, James R. Schupp, Michael L. Parker, and Todd B. Edgington

objective of the current study was to evaluate the effects of various preharvest 1-MCP applications on the maturity of ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Law Rome’ apples at harvest and loss of firmness during storage. These cultivars were chosen because of their

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Francis X. Mangan, Charles S. Vavrina, and John C. Howell

The effects of transplant depth on lodging and yield were evaluated in five experiments in Florida and Massachusetts. `Cherry Bomb', `Jupiter', and `Mitla' pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) transplants were set at three depths so that the soil surface was even with the top of the rootball, the cotyledon leaf, or the first true leaf. Seedlings set to the depth of cotyledon leaves or to the first true leaf lodged less than did those set to the top of the rootball. No yield differences were recorded among treatments in Massachusetts; however, total weight of red fruit was greater in treatments that lodged less in 1 of the 2 years, suggesting that lodging delayed maturity. Soil temperature in Massachusetts declined at the level of the rootball as planting depth increased.

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Carlos H. Crisosto, David Slaughter, R. Scott Johnson, Luis Cid, and David Garner

Maximum maturity indices for different packinghouse conditions based on cultivar critical bruising thresholds and bruising potentials were developed for stone fruit cultivars. The critical bruising thresholds, based on fruit firmness, and the bruising probabilities varied among stone fruit cultivars. In general, plums tolerated more physical abuse than yellow-fl esh peach, nectarine, and white-flesh peach cultivars. Impact location on the fruit was an important factor in the determination of critical bruising thresholds. Potential sources of bruising damage during fruit packing were located using an accelerometer (IS-100). A survey of different packinghouses revealed that bruising potentials varied from 21 to 206 G. Bruising potential was reduced by adding padding material to the packinglines, minimizing height differences at transfer points, synchronizing timing between components, and reducing the operating speed. Bruising probabilities for the most-susceptible California-grown cultivars at different velocities and Gs have been developed. Development of a practical sampling protocol to determine fruit firmness during maturation was studied.

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Elena E. Lon Kan, Steven A. Sargent, Daniel J. Cantliffe, Adrian D. Berry, and Nicole L. Shaw

on the plant from green to orange; fruit harvested at the yellow and orange stages were more flavorful and had greater total carotenoids and lutein levels than those harvested at earlier maturities ( Lon Kan et al., 2007b ). The purpose of this study

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Renae E. Moran, Jennifer R. DeEll, and Dennis P. Murr

., 2003 ). Storage at a warmer temperature, in the range of 3 to 5 °C, has been recommended, but it is not always effective in preventing these disorders, particularly with advanced maturity ( Watkins et al., 2003 ). Furthermore, such temperatures can

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S.R. Drake, E.A. Mielke, and D.C. Elfving

`Concorde' pears from three plantings were harvested at various maturities, stored in regular (RA) or controlled atmosphere (CA) storage and their quality evaluated. Starting at a firmness of 57.0 N (12.81 lbf), `Concorde' pears can be harvested over a period of 14 days with no loss in quality and be good candidates for either RA or CA storage. A 14-day delay in harvest resulted in a one box size increase. Regardless of the time of harvest, `Concorde' pears can be stored in RA for periods not to exceed 90 days. RA storage beyond 90 days resulted in reduced appearance, poor pedicel condition, and enhanced internal breakdown. Early harvest should be considered when RA storage is expected to exceed 90 days; however astringency may develop. Regardless of harvest, `Concorde' pears can be stored for 180 days in CA with no quality loss, particularly if the CA composition is 1.5% oxygen (O2) and 1.0% carbon dioxide (CO2). Internal breakdown can be a problem in CA if the CO2 exceeds 1.0%. Low O2 (<1.5%) CA is not recommended for `Concorde' pears.

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James M. Wargo and Chris B. Watkins

`Honeycrisp' apples (Malus × domestica) were harvested over 3-week periods in 2001 and 2002. Maturity and quality indices were determined at harvest. Fruit quality was evaluated after air storage [0.0 to 2.2 °C (32 to 36 °F), 95% relative humidity] for 10-13 weeks and 15-18 weeks for the 2001 and 2002 harvests, respectively. Internal ethylene concentrations (IEC), starch indices (1-8 scale), firmness and soluble solids content (SSC) did not show consistent patterns of change over time. Starch hydrolysis was advanced on all harvest dates, but it is suggested that a starch index of 7 is a useful guide for timing harvest of fruit in western New York. After storage, firmness closely followed that observed immediately after harvest, and softening during storage was slow. No change in SSC was observed during storage in either year. Incidence of bitter pit and soft scald was generally low and was not affected consistently by harvest date. The incidence of stem punctures averaged 18.5% over both years, but was not affected by harvest date. Development of stem end cracking in both years, and rot development in one year, increased with later harvest dates. A panel of storage operators, packers, growers, and fruit extension specialists evaluated the samples for appearance and eating quality after storage, and results suggested that a 2-week harvest window is optimal for `Honeycrisp' apples that are spot picked to select the most mature fruit at each harvest.