COMPARISON OF CACTUS PEAR (OPUNTIA SPP.) CULTIVARS FOR FRUIT YIELD AND QUALITY IN THE CENTRAL FREE STATE, SOUTH AFRICA
Cactus pear cultivar recommendations for the central Free State area of South Africa are mainly based on their performance in areas other than the central Free State. The aim of this study was, therefore, to evaluate cactus pear cultivars for fruit yield and quality in the central Free State over two seasons. A cactus pear orchard, laid out in a complete randomised block design with two replicates of five data plants each, was used for data collection. Fruit yield (t ha-1), fruit mass, pulp percentage, peel thickness, total soluble solids (TSS) and fruit firmness data were collected. Fruit yield of all cultivars increased from 2007-2008 to 2008-2009. The highest yield was obtained for Nudosa (10.39 t ha-1) and Ofer (10.26 t ha-1) in 2007-2008 and for Meyers (20.64 t ha-1) and Morado (18.53 t ha-1) in 2008-2009. Fruit mass of Messina, Meyers, Nudosa, Postmasburg, Van As and Vryheid fulfilled the minimum export requirement in the first season. Quality parameters such as % pulp, TSS, peel thickness were within the minimum requirements for export, with the exception of pulp percentage of Messina and TSS of Nodusa. During 2008-2009, Nudosa, Muscatel, Postmasburg and Vryheid met the minimum export requirement for fruit mass. Quality parameters of these cultivars, with the exception of a low TSS in Nodusa, was within the minimum export requirements.
Engelbrecht, G.M., Ntsane, S.M. and Fouché, H.J. (2013). COMPARISON OF CACTUS PEAR (OPUNTIA SPP.) CULTIVARS FOR FRUIT YIELD AND QUALITY IN THE CENTRAL FREE STATE, SOUTH AFRICA. Acta Hortic. 995, 225-228
fruit mass, total soluble solids, pulp percentage, peel thickness, fruit firmness