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Groundnut growth and development in contrasting environments 2. Heat unit accumulation and photo-thermal effects on harvest index

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Bell, M. J. and Wright, G. C. (1998) Groundnut growth and development in contrasting environments 2. Heat unit accumulation and photo-thermal effects on harvest index. Experimental Agriculture, 34 (1). pp. 113-124. ISSN 0014-4797

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0014479798001082


When the same cultivars of groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea) were grown under a wide range of environmental conditions, temperature and irradiance played a major role in determining crop duration and partitioning of dry matter to pods, the latter assessed by harvest index. Utilizing published data for the Virginia groundnut cultivar Early Bunch under non-limiting conditions, we show that accumulation of thermal time using three cardinal temperatures (Tb=9 °C, To=29 °C and Tm=39 °C) has considerable potential for predicting crop maturity. In sixteen sowings ranging from the wet tropics in Indonesia to the elevated subtropics in Australia, harvest date for Early Bunch corresponded to the accumulation of 1808 (±23) degree-days after sowing. In all sowings except one in the semi-arid tropics, this value of thermal time was within eight calendar days of actual harvest maturity. Harvest index varied greatly with both location and sowing date, ranging from 0.31 (Indonesia) to 0.58 (subtropical Australia). Using total short-wave solar radiation incident during the growing season and calculated values of thermal time, the growing season for each sowing in each location was described in terms of a photo-thermal quotient (PTQ, MJ m−2 degree-day−1). Values for PTQ ranged from 0.99 (Indonesia) to 2.11 (subtropical Australia). Variation in harvest index could be explained largely by a curvilinear function of PTQ (R2=0.98), provided data were not confounded by the effects of photoperiod. In the semi-arid tropical environment, decreases in photoperiod associated with delayed sowing were the dominant factor controlling harvest index.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Plant culture > Food crops
Live Archive:15 Mar 2024 04:39
Last Modified:15 Mar 2024 04:39

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