Supporting Peach Growers with a Phenological Approach for Best Management Practices

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2022: $16,281.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2024
Grant Recipient: Auburn Univiersity
Region: Southern
State: Alabama
Major Professor:
Melba Salazar-Gutierrez
Auburn University

Information Products


  • Fruits: peaches


  • Crop Production: best management practices, phenology, physiology

    Proposal abstract:

    One of the main grower's concerns every year is the completion of the chilling hour requirement for peach cultivars. In the context of climate variability, the understanding of winter dormancy and dormancy/growth cycle transitions in peaches are key for crop management practices. Every year, during the spring season, peach growers face the challenge of making decisions about the occurrence of freeze events and the possibility of potential damage to the growing peach crops. The goal of this study is to support peach growers with a phenological approach for best management practices. The understanding of physiological aspects of the crops and the interaction with events such as dormancy, growth cycle transitions, phenology, and growth development is a key determinant for planning and executing management practices. To determine the time required to reach bud break and to determine the connection between cold and heat accumulation for peach development three Peach cultivars (Prunus persica (L.), including  Harvester, Red Globe, and Ruby Prince will be evaluated. Five samples of branch segments with base, mid-section, and Apex buds for every cultivar on different dates will be collected, to follow the progression of chill accumulation, the development of dormancy, bud break, and physiological stages transitions. The results of this study will provide valuable information to one of the implicit research priorities for peach producers which is the understanding of the impact of climate variability on dormancy, phenology, for crop production and best management practices.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    • To determine the timing in dormancy and phenological stages transitions in selected peach cultivars for management practices recommendations.
    • To analyze the influence of climate variability on phenological stages for selected peach cultivars under Alabama conditions.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.