Spear leaf in determining the harvest timing of peach palm heart
The harvest timing of peach palm stems for heart-of-palm production is mainly defined by the height and diameter of the stem. Spear leaf parameters could be used in the field to obtain a higher heart-of-palm yield. The aim of this study is to verify if the length and opening of the spear leaf are related to the peach palm heart production. Three harvests were carried out in Campinas (SP), over a period of one year. Before harvest the plants were measured: main stem circumference, height, number
... nce, height, number of tillers and leaves, length and degree of spear leaf opening. After stem harvest, heart-of-palm production was evaluated. Regardless of the harvest date, the length of the first-rate heart-of-palm was longer when the spear leaf was open. Total mass production of heart-of-palm as a function of spear leaf opening is variable and dependent on weather conditions. When there was a difference in total mass production, this was higher when spear leaf was open. There was no correlation between spear leaf length and total heart-of-palm production. Although there may be an increase in the number of stalks, this had not resulted in a significant effect in terms of mass. The insertion of the spear leaf openness criterion in the determination of the harvest timing may not be worthwhile, since the payment to the producer occurs on the total mass of first-rate heart-of-palm, which may not be higher due to the degree of spear leaf opening.