Preliminary assessment of maturity and picking dates of avocado under Lebanese growing conditions

J. Merheb, G. Lahoud, S. Fahd, H.A. Yehia, I.B. Rached, J. Kahwaji, C. Berbari, M. El Riachy, F. As-sadi, M. Massaad, F. Obrien, L. Chalak
Introduced in Lebanon since the seventies, avocado has progressively gained a place in the Lebanese production system. Avocado trees are growing along the coastal areas where climatic conditions are appropriate for the development of this subtropical fruit crop. Although avocado fruit is witnessing a great acknowledgment in the last few years in both the local and export markets, the maturity index under the Lebanese conditions remain not yet identified. In this study, we determine the earliest picking dates for the most important midseason cultivars cultivated in Lebanon, 'Hass', 'Lamb Hass', 'Pinkerton' and 'Reed', cultivated at different elevations in four different geographic areas. Both dry matter and oil content in the period extending from January to March were examined with respect to the Californian Avocado Standardization Bill minimum maturity standards. Based on the resulting data, a minimal dry matter index will be proposed for each cultivar as a harvest maturity indicator in Lebanon. This preliminary harvesting index will need to be refined over time with the extension of samples to more geographic cultivation areas and different climatic conditions.
Merheb, J., Lahoud, G., Fahd, S., Yehia, H.A., Rached, I.B., Kahwaji, J., Berbari, C., El Riachy, M., As-sadi, F., Massaad, M., Obrien, F. and Chalak, L. (2020). Preliminary assessment of maturity and picking dates of avocado under Lebanese growing conditions. Acta Hortic. 1299, 361-368
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1299.54
Persea americana Mill., dry matter, oil content, maturity index

Acta Horticulturae