High spring temperatures decrease peach fruit size
Gerardo Lopez, Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA)
R. Scott Johnson, UC Davis
Theodore M. DeJong, UC Davis
California Agriculture 61(1):31-34. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v061n01p31.
The growth and productivity of peach fruit can be limited by many factors, including weather. Previous research indicated that early-spring temperatures for 30 days after bloom have a strong effect on early peach fruit growth, and both the time and potential fruit size at harvest. We analyzed fruit-size trends of three major cultivars in the California fresh-market peach industry (Flavorcrest, Elegant Lady and O'Henry) over a 20-year period to determine if there is a clear relationship between early-spring temperatures and packed fruit sizes industrywide. This research confirmed two significant trends: the size of packed fruit has increased over the 20-year period between 1985 and 2004, and high early-spring temperatures tended to decrease the size of packed fruit at harvest for any given year.
G. Lopez is Graduate Student, Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA), Àrea de Tecnologia Fruticola, Centre UdL-IRTA, Lleida, Spain; R.S. Johnson is Extension Specialist; T.M. DeJong is Professor, both in the Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis. Author G. Lopez received a FPI grant from the Spanish Ministry of Research and Technology (MCyT) to visit UC Davis.