Sampling of cashew nuts as an aid to research for the genetic improvement of cashew tree

Abstract: The objective of this work was to estimate sample sizes of cashew (Anacardium occidentale) nuts as an aid to the genetic improvement of cashew tree. Nuts were separated by size: nuts < 17 mm were classified as size 1 (S1); 17 mm ≤ nuts < 19 mm, size 2 (S2); 19 mm ≤ nuts < 23 mm, size 3 (S3); 23 mm ≤ nuts < 25 mm, size 4 (S4); and nuts ≥ 25 mm, size 5 (S5). Sizing the sample for each stratum depends on the variance of nut size and on the error level B allowed for either the estimates or the desired precision in the results. The sample size will be larger the greater the variance of the stratum, the lower the error level allowed for the estimates, or the greater the precision desired in the results. For an error B = 0.2 g, the sample sizes of the S5, S4, and S3 strata were n5 = 42 nuts, n4 = 30 nuts, and n3 = 19 nuts, respectively. In the S5 and S4 strata, with better nut classifications, the average weight was 12.71 and 9.76 g, respectively. The Sm stratum - formed by the mixture of nuts of several sizes - should not be used as a parameter in this context due to its great variability, which is far larger than that of the other strata. Stratified sampling composed of six strata (S1, S2, ..., S5, Sm) is effective for estimating different sizes of nut samples.