Crop Phenology for Irrigated Chiles (Capsicum annuum L.) in Arizona and New Mexico
AffiliationDepartment of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona
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AbstractTo determine growth and development patterns of irrigated green chile plants as a function of heat units accumulated after planting (HUAP), as well as to develop a general irrigated chile plant development model as a function of HUAP. Field experiments were conducted in 2004 and 20055 at Sunsites in Cochise County, AZ (about 4,000 ft. elevation) and at the Massey Farm in the Animas Valley, NM (about 4,392 ft. elevation). Basic plant growth and development measurements were collected routinely and important phenological stages that corresponded to first bloom, early bloom, peak bloom, physiological maturity, and red harvest were identified and recorded. Results indicate that among all sites, all varieties have performed similarly in relation to HU accumulation patterns and preliminary plant phenology models are under development in this program. The primary difference between sites was that at Sunsites varieties tend to reach a 50/50 (green: red chile) ratio at 2900 HUAP and for Animas valley; this same ratio was reached at 3200 HUAP. Also, a general irrigated green chile plant development model as a function of HUAP for all sites and varieties was obtained. The purpose of this phenological baseline or model is to assist growers in predicting and identifying critical stages of growth for crop management purposes. First bloom occurred at 1369 ± 72 HUAP, early bloom at 1667 ± 79 HUAP, peak bloom at 1998 ± 84 HUAP; physiological maturity at 2285 ± 159 HUAP, and red chile harvest was identified to occur at 3295 ± 216 HUAP.