As a means of forecasting probable maturity dates of standard Elberta peaches, the growers in Mesa County, Colo., in past seasons have had only the 126-day average elapsed time from full bloom to the date of shipment of the first car. Methods for forecasting maturity dates more accurately than those formerly used were developed by the authors and are described in this paper. Empirical methods, utilizing daily maximum temperatures from full bloom until June 30, gave calculations accurate within plus or minus 3 days in 25 of 26 years, relative to the first 25-car day, and in all 26 years relative to the first carlot equivalent. The new methods appear to offer a means to enhance harvesting and marketing operations, effect financial savings, and reduce waste.


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