Effects of harvest date on sweet corn maturity, sugar content and yield Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6q182n382

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  • Studies were conducted in 1976 and 1977 on the effects of harvest dates on maturity, yields and sugar content of four cultivars of sweet corn. The cultivars were 'Golden Cross Bantam', 'Jubilee', 'Rapidpak' and 'Tendertreat'. Moisture content of kernels ranged from 80 to 67 per cent for the six harvest dates. A regression technique was used to estimate relationships of yield, percent moisture in kernels and sugar content to the six harvest dates. Relationships of yield and sugar content to percent moisture, content in kernels were also estimated. Yield of husked, acceptable (good) ears, which was used as a standard of yield estimation, was increased by a delay in harvest. The increase averaged 0.135 tons per acre for each day's delay in harvest for three cultivars in 1976 and 0.152 tons per acre per day in 1977. No evidence of linear or quadratic relationships between yield and harvest date were found for 'Tendertreat'. Kernel moisture loss was highly correlated with harvest date and degree hours. Kernel moisture loss averaged 0.687 per cent for each day's delay in harvest in 1976 and 0.577 per cent per day in 1977. Yield increases averaged 0.173 tons per acre for each one percent drop in moisture content of kernels for three cultivars in 1976 and 0.264 tons per acre percent moisture drop of kernels in 1977. Quantitative analysis of sugar content in kernel samples that had been frozen was made by using a gas chromatography technique. Total sugar and sucrose contents dropped most rapidly at early harvests, then decreased slowly. Average rate of sucrose decline was 0.579 per cent for each day of delay of harvest in 1976 and 0.226 per cent per day in 1977. Total sugar decreases averaged 0.589 per cent for each one percent drop in moisture content of kernels in 1976 and 0.304 per cent with each per cent moisture drop of kernels in 1977. Reducing sugar decreased rapidly as harvest was delayed and fructose decreased faster than glucose. There were differences in cultivars in initial sugar content and rapidity of loss as maturity progressed. It appears that a 1:10 ratio of fructose to sucrose may be related to good quality of kernels. The use of the accumulated heat unit system for predicting optimum maturity showed no increase in precision over the use of the number of days from planting to harvest. Proper timing of harvest and selection of cultivars need to be made, as well as giving consideration to other factors, to achieve optimum yields and sugar content of sweet corn.
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