Date of Award
Master of Science - Environmental Sciences
Kiwifruit is a perennial vine originating from China where it has been grown for centuries. In the United States, green kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) is primarily produced commercially in California. They are fuzzy, green fleshed and well known in the marketplace. Kiwifruit plants require low to moderate soil pH, adequate winter chilling and adequate precipitation to guarantee plant development and good fructification. Actinidia chinesis or golden kiwifruit are smooth skinned, feature golden flesh and are a more recent introduction into the global market. Kiwifruit crops have attributes that favor production in east Texas, including low pest problems, current long market window for the fruit, strong consumer acceptance and a growing marketplace. There are few kiwifruit study plots in Texas that will determine its adaptation in the region for commercial potential. In February 2021, Texas experienced a historic freezing event. Vines at evaluation plots were exposed to very low freezing temperatures, which could permanently damage the plants. This study covered the assessment of kiwifruit at five locations after freeze events from November 2020 to March 2021. The study indicated that different kiwifruit varieties experienced different responses to the freeze effect on plants. Green kiwifruit cultivars were more susceptible to the February freeze, thereby presenting more damage on plants than gold varieties. Also, the use of trunk protection in Hayward cultivar did not reduce plant damage. Another study, ‘Bruno’ rootstock had a different proportion of plant injury among study sites: Crockett, Nacogdoches, and Simonton (TX). A chilling hours map for east Texas counties was created using weather data from the past ten years. The map can be used as an auxiliary tool when deciding on cultivars according to their chill hour requirements. The suitability map to grow kiwifruit in the east exhibited a great portion of eastern Texas being optimal areas to grow kiwifruit. The suitability map is an additional resource to use in decision-making to grow the crop when in conjunction with other agricultural management.
de Oliveira Machado, Lais, "ASSESSING FREEZING EFFECT ON KIWIFRUIT CULTIVARS AND MAPPING SUITABLE AREAS FOR GROWING THE CROP IN EASTERN TEXAS" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 431.
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