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Amy F. Iezzoni and Colleen A. Mulinix

Yield components were measured from 115 sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) hybrid seedlings from 13 full-sib families to investigate the potential of breeding for increased yield. Those families with the highest number of fruit and reproductive buds had the highest yields. In general, increased fruit size was not able to compensate for low fruit count. Fruit set and flower count per bud were inversely related, suggesting compensation between these two components. Yield components from six selections chosen for differing fruiting habits were measured for an additional 2 years. In year 1, those selections with a majority of their fruit on l-year-old wood had higher yield efficiencies (yield per branch cross-sectional area) than those with fruit on spurs; however, but year 3, the higher-yielding selections were those that fruited primarily on spurs. The data are discussed relative to selecting for yield in a sour cherry breeding program.

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Matthew Arrington and Lisa Wasko DeVetter

. Consequently, reduced honey bee foraging during key pollination periods may negatively impact fruit set and other yield components in blueberry cultivated in western Washington and elsewhere in the PNW. In addition to the reduced foraging activity during

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Kent E. Cushman, Thomas E. Horgan, David H. Nagel and Patrick D. Gerard

Pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo, C. moshata) were grown in northern Mississippi during 2000 and 2001 for the purpose of more narrowly defining plant population recommendations for commercial production in the humid southeastern United States. Four plant populations were examined for `Aspen': 908, 1361, 2045, and 3068 plants/acre (2244, 3363, 5053, and 7581 plants/ha, respectively) and for `Howden Biggie': 605, 908, 1361, and 2045 plants/acre (1495, 2244, 3363, 5053 plants/ha, respectively). Plant populations were adjusted by varying in-row spacing while holding between-row spacing constant at 8 ft (2.4 m). Plant population significantly affected yield of `Aspen' and `Howden Biggie'. Linear and quadratic terms were significant for `Aspen', with maximum yield (ton/acre and fruit/acre) for the quadratic relationship occurring at about 2045 plants/acre. In contrast, yield of `Howden Biggie' decreased significantly (ton/acre) and nonsignificantly (fruit/acre) in a linear relationship as plant population increased from 605 to 2045 plants/acre. Plant population significantly affected fruit weight and size. As plant population increased, weight and size decreased slightly but significantly in a linear relationship for `Aspen' (lb/fruit and inch3/fruit) and `Howden Biggie' (lb/fruit). The quadratic relationship for `Howden Biggie' (inch3/fruit) was significant and the minimum value occurred at about 1361 plants/acre. Plant population significantly affected pumpkin yield components associated with plant productivity. As plant population increased, number and weight of fruit per plant decreased sharply in a quadratic relationship for `Aspen' (lb/ plant and fruit/plant) and `Howden Biggie' (lb/plant). The linear relationship for `Howden Biggie' (fruit/ plant) also decreased significantly. At the highest plant populations for `Howden Biggie', 40% of the plants did not produce marketable pumpkins. In conclusion, recommendations of optimum plant populations for a semi-vining cultivar such as `Aspen' should be centered on about 2045 plants/acre. Published recommendations from Kentucky appear sound, advocating plant populations within the range of 1360 to 2720 plants/acre (3361 to 6721 plants/ha). For a vining cultivar such as `Howden Biggie', recommendations can be as low as 605 plants/acre. Published recommendations from Kentucky and Georgia, along with those published in the Vegetable Crop Guidelines for the Southeastern U.S., advocate plant populations for vining cultivars of approximately 725 to 1465 plants/acre (1790–3620 plants/ha). Our results with `Howden Biggie', a cultivar that produces larger pumpkins than most other vining cultivars grown for the wholesale market, indicate that producers of vining cultivars should use plant populations from the lowest values of these recommendations or use even lower values. Our results also indicate that growers can control size and weight of pumpkins by varying plant population, with increasing populations resulting in a slight decrease of size and weight.

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Ana I. López-Sesé and Jack Staub

Three U.S.-adapted Cucumis sativus var. sativus L. lines and one C. sativus var. hardwickii (R.) Alef.-derived line were crossed in a half-diallel design to determine their combining ability for several yield-related traits (yield components). Six F1 progenies were evaluated in a randomized complete block design with eight replications in 1999 and 2000 for fruit number and length/diameter ratio (L:D), lateral branch number, number of female flowering nodes, and days to anthesis. Combining ability was significantly influenced (p < 0.05) by year for most of the horticultural traits examined. General combining ability (GCA) was significant for all traits in each year. Specific combining ability (SCA) was significant in magnitude and direction for only fruit number and days to anthesis. Data indicate that the C. sativus var. hardwickii-derived inbred line WI 5551 possessed SCA for yield component traits, and thus maybe useful for improving fruit yield in commercial cucumber.

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Derek W. Barchenger, Robert A. Clark III, Paul A. Gniffke, Dolores R. Ledesma, Shih-wen Lin, Peter Hanson and Sanjeet Kumar

is high and stable yield and yield components. Breeders must examine whether a given cultivar is better adapted to a specific type of environment, and whether its performance is stable relative to that of other cultivars. Predictable performance over

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Geoffrey M. May and Marvin P. Pritts

The main effects and interactions of soil-applied P, B, and Zn on yield and its components were examined in the field at two pH levels with `Earliglow' strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.). Applied nutrients had significant effects on several yield components, but responses depended on the levels of other nutrients or the soil pH At a soil pH of 5.5, yield responded linearly to B and quadratically to P. At pH 6.5, P interacted with B and Zn. Fruit count per inflorescence was the yield component most strongly associated with yield followed by individual fruit weight. However, these two yield components responded differently to soil-applied nutrients. Foliar nutrient levels generally did not increase with the amount of applied nutrient, but often an applied nutrient had a strong effect on the level of another nutrient. Leaf nutrient levels were often correlated with fruit levels, but foliar and fruit levels at harvest were not related to reproductive performance. Our study identifies some of the problems inherent in using foliar nutrient levels to predict a yield response and demonstrates how plant responses to single nutrients depend on soil chemistry and the presence of other nutrients.

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D.S. NeSmith

Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] cultivars StarBrite and Crimson Sweet were grown during 1991 and 1992 in rows 1.5 m apart at plant spacings of 0.9, 1.5, or 2.2 m. Total fruit yield, marketable fruit yield, fruit-weight distribution, and estimated gross returns were determined for each spacing treatment. Total and marketable fruit yields were greater overall for `StarBrite' than for `Crimson Sweet'. Except for 1991 `Crimson Sweet' yields, marketable fruit yields per unit land area increased 29% to 34% as plant spacing decreased from 2.2 to 0.9 m. The yield component contributing the most to increased yields with high-density plantings was increased fruit count per unit land area. Average fruit weight responded only slightly to decreased plant spacing. Fruit-weight distribution on a relative frequency scale was stable regardless of plant spacing or production year. The potential for increasing gross returns per unit land area exists by increasing watermelon plant populations beyond the current Georgia recommendation of 2500 to 3000 plants/ha.

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Bernadine C. Strik and Arthur Poole

Timing and severity of pruning in a 30-year-old commercial `McFarlin' cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) bed were studied. Treatments in 1989 and 1990 consisted of early or late pruning and heavy, moderate, light, or no pruning. Yield component data were collected in Fall 1989 and 1990, just before harvest. Time of pruning did not affect yield components. In 1989, the unpruned and lightly pruned vines had a higher total plant fresh weight, fewer berries, higher berry yield, longer and more fruiting uprights, and fewer nonfruiting uprights (U,) compared with moderately or heavily pruned vines. Average length of UN and anthocyanin content of berries in 1989 were not influenced by pruning. In 1990, the effects of pruning severity were similar to 1989. In 1990, unpruned vines had a lower percent fruit set and berries contained less anthocyanin than pruned vines. Annual pruning with conventional systems in use decreases yield.

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Milton E. McGiffen Jr., Dan James Pantone and John B. Masiunas

Path analysis is a statistical method for determining the magnitude and direction of multiple effects on a complex process. We used path analysis to assess 1) the impact of black nightshade(Solarium nigrum L.) or eastern black nightshade(Solarium ptycanthum Dun.) competition on the yield components of `Heinz 6004' processing tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and 2) the relationship between tomato yield components and total and marketable yield. Either black or eastern black nightshade was interplanted with tomatoes at population densities from 0 to 4.8/m2. Path analysis revealed that increasing weed population density led directly to fewer green and total fruit per plant, two components of marketable yield. However, the percentage of culls per plant and fruit weight were not affected by nightshade population density. Using correlation coefficients alone would have lead to the erroneous conclusion that the percentage of culls did not affect marketable yield; our path analysis demonstrated that decreasing the percentage of culls through breeding or cultural practices will strongly affect marketable yield. The total number of fruit was the most important yield component in determining total and marketable yields per plant. Breeding and management practices that maximize fruit set, increase maturity at harvest, and decrease the percentage of culls would be expected to increase marketable yield.

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Frank Kappel

Yield components of 8- to 10-year-old trees were compared among `Kieffer' [Pyrus communis (L.) x Pyrus pyrifolia (Burro.)] and `Harrow Delight' and `Harvest Queen' [Pyrus communis (L.)]. `Kieffer' set more fruit than the other cultivars, even though flower density was similar. `Kieffer' also had similar size or larger fruit than `Harrow Delight' or `Harvest Queen'. Path analysis showed that the direct and indirect effect of fruit number on yield was important for all cultivars. Flower density only had a small direct effect on yield and this was at times negative. Fruit size had a small effect on yield when compared to fruit number.