Submitted to: Experiment Station Bulletins
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2002
Publication Date: 9/20/2002
Citation: WALL, M.M., WALKER, S., WALL, A.D., HUGHS, S.E., PHILLIPS, R. YIELD AND QUALITY OF MACHINE-HARVESTED RED CHILE PEPPERS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETINS. New Mexico Chile Task Force Report 3. 2002. p. 1-12.
Interpretive Summary: This is a report of a large-scale trial to investigate the effect of harvest aid chemicals and machine harvest on yield, harvest efficiency, and quality of four red chile cultivars commonly grown in the Southwest and dehydrated for paprika or mild red chile powder. Yield and quality of the cultivars were compared following mechanical harvest and dehydration. There were cultivar differences in mechanical harvest efficiency, yield, and quality, as well as differences in response to harvest and chemicals.
Technical Abstract: Chile peppers (capsicum annuum L.) are a major crop in the southwestern United States. Several chile types are grown regionally, including long, green chile for fresh market and canning; dried, red chile for pungent powder, paprika and oleoresin; jalopenos; and cayenne peppers. During the last decade, the high cost of hand labor in the region, compared with overseas competitors, has threatened the Southwestern chile industry. Innovative industry members are developing chile harvest machines to sustain the industry. However, this study was done because information is lacking on agronomic performance of chile cultivars for machine harvest, yields and quality of machine-harvested chile, and best management practices for producing chile intended for machine harvest. Tests were conducted to investigate the effect of an ethylene-releasing compound (ethephon) and machine harvest on the chile cultivars New Mexico 6-4, B-18, B-58, and Sonora grown under standard production practices. Yield and quality of the cultivars were compared following mechanical harvest and dehydration. There were cultivar differences in mechanical harvest efficiency, yield, and quality, as well as differences in response to harvest and chemicals.