Regional efforts among research and extension workers in Southeastern fruit crops have evolved from early meetings to write pest control recommendations to more formal interactions such as regional research projects, meetings and publications. For apples, there are currently three individuals in the Southeast working in more than one state. Why regionalize? Similar growing conditions, the need to react quickly to critical issues, intensification within production, broadening of responsibilities and a dramatic reduction in the number of research and extension personnel to address these issues necessitate cooperative efforts. Regional efforts pose special challenges such as increased workloads and greater travel demands, often without increased funding. Conversely, regionalization may enable specialists and researchers to focus their attention on fewer commodities and areas, thus becoming better resources for growers and the industry. In this vein, regional responsibilities entirely within research or extension might be a better option than split appointments encompassing research, extension and, perhaps teaching, within a state. In the future, state lines will become less distinct with research and extension appointments reflecting regional responsibilities. Growers do not care where their information comes from as long as it is available and pertinent to their operations. Regionalization is a positive step for increasingly challenging times.
David W. Lockwood
Joanne Logan, Dennis E. Deyton and David W. LockWood
Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] production in Tennessee has declined since 1985 due to the occurrence of freezing temperatures that kill the buds, usually in the spring. Analyses of long-term (1951-89) daily temperature data from four locations in Tennessee were used to evaluate the freeze risks for `Redhaven' peach tree buds at those sites. A model using daily accumulated chill units and growing degree hours (base 4.4C air temperature) was used to estimate the dates to begin and end chill unit accumulations and the dates of full bloom of `Redhaven' peach trees for each year in the climatological record. The actual dates of freezes with air temperatures at or below –2.2C and the estimated bud developmental stage on the date of each freeze also were determined. The model was tested using peach orchard records and was found to be an improvement over using only freeze data. The model indicated that Spring Hill had the highest risk for peach production and Jackson the lowest. Recent problems with spring freezes at Knoxville and Spring Hill were due to later than normal freeze dates rather than earlier development of the `Redhaven' peach tree buds. At Springfield, the recent freeze problems were due to earlier breaking of rest, earlier full bloom, and later freezes.