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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Performance of Eight Heat Unit Methods in Estimating Fruit Initiation and Optimum Harvest Dates

Authors
item Davidson, James
item Griffin, W - BERTIE CTY. EXT.SERVICE
item Farris, J - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Schubert, M - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Layton, Richard

Submitted to: Peanut Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2000
Publication Date: April 1, 2000

Interpretive Summary: Peanut production costs in the United States must be reduced substantially by 2002 to effectively compete on the world market. This challenge will require new "cutting edge" technology with added research emphasis on "timing" that will improve management efficiency for scheduling peanut production practices. Accumulated heat units required for each significant tperiod of the peanut plants development would provide growers with a highl effective prediction tool for precisely "timing" all production practices that would improve their competitive position in the global economy. One method, No. 7, proved to be the most effective method of seven proposed or currently used methods in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas for the years 1995-1998. This method will provide an estimated 5-10% increase in peanut production efficiency, thereby favorably impacting the agribusiness of the United States' peanut industry. This research also suggests a new hypothesis-that soil temperature rather than air temperature may be a more significant parameter for developing improved methodology for estimating heat units.

Technical Abstract: This paper provides results of research conducted to evaluate seven different methods for calculating daily heat units for peanuts at Dawson, GA, Lewiston, NC and Lamesa, TX during 1995-1998. Method number seven gave the highest correlation coefficient for accumulated heat units to predict fruit initiation (FI) and optimum harvest (OH) dates. Correlation coefficients (R2) ranged from 0.5-0.62, 0.21-0.59, and 0.15-0.53 for North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas, respectively. Generally, the correlation coefficients (R2) for predicting FI and OH dates for all methods evaluated were significant at the 0.05 level but were not high enough to provide accurate estimates of FI and OH dates. Improved methods for calculating heat units and additional knowledge of other variables such as seed quality, pest control, and other cultural practices would provide more accurate estimates of FI and OH dates for peanuts.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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