Small-scale vegetable farmers are interested in cover crops and reduced tillage, but scale-appropriate technology and equipment are necessary to expand these practices to the growing segment of small farms. We sought to determine the efficacy of tarps, an increasingly popular tool on small farms, to end overwintering cover crops and provide weed suppression for subsequent no-till cabbage production. In three fields over two seasons in Maine, we grew a winter rye (Secale cereale L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa L.) cover crop, which we managed by a factorial combination of tillage (no-till, till) and tarping (tarp, no-tarp) in June, followed by a transplanted cabbage crop (Brassica oleracea L. var. Capitata) in July. Within each treatment, subplots were either weeded by hand or left unweeded. Cover crop biomass ranged from 2.8 to 4.5 Mg⋅ha−1. Mean cabbage weights in the novel no-till system (no-till/tarp) were greater than (year 1) or equal to (year 2) those in tillage-based systems (till/no-tarp and till/tarp). In year 1, the mean cabbage weight in weeded subplots was 48% greater in no-till/tarp than in till/no-tarp systems. In unweeded subplots, this difference was 270%, highlighting the efficacy of the no-till/tarp system to reduce the impact of weeds. In year 2, weed biomass was higher with all treatments than it was in year 1, and unweeded subplots failed to produce marketable heads (i.e., >300 g). The mean cabbage weight in weeded subplots was equal among no-till/tarp, till/tarp, and till/no-tarp systems. Tarping had a strong effect on weed biomass and weed community composition measured at the time of cabbage harvest in unweeded subplots. In year 1, weed biomass at the time of cabbage harvest with tarp treatments was less than half that with no-tarp treatments. Tarps effectively facilitated the cover crop mulch-based no-till system. We propose that this system is an adaptive strategy for farmers affected by climate change. However, both cover crop production and tarping shorten the growing season. We discuss tradeoffs and opportunity costs using the metric of growing degree days.
Natalie P. Lounsbury, Bonnie B. Lounsbury, Nicholas D. Warren, and Richard G. Smith
Sanalkumar Krishnan and Emily Merewitz
Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) is a desirable turfgrass putting green species that is susceptible to drought stress. Planting drought-resistant creeping bentgrass will enhance the resilience of golf turf surfaces, lower required resource inputs, and reduce the environmental impact of golf courses. Creeping bentgrass cultivar performance data during drought stress are needed for informed selection of appropriate cultivars. We evaluated the drought performance of 19 cultivars of creeping bentgrass and found that newer creeping bentgrass cultivars such as Pure Distinction and others exhibited superior drought performance compared with older cultivars such as Penncross and L93 based on turf quality, photochemical yield, and leaf relative water content. The results of this work should be used to aid in the selection of drought-resistant creeping bentgrass cultivars for turfgrass practitioners.
Géza Bujdosó, Sezai Ercisli, Alina Ratiu, and Klara Cseke
Walnut ‘Esterhazy kesei’ has a late bloom as well as a pollen shedding period, enabling it to be grown successfully at more locations. As a result of some superior characteristics, such as late budbreak time, large nut size, excellent kernel characteristics, attractive appearance, and low yield, this variety can be planted in hobby gardens and landscapes.
The Carpathian Basin, where Hungary is located, is rich in Persian walnut (
Fengjiao Zhang, Tao Zhuo, Yingnan Guo, Xiaochun Shu, Ning Wang, and Zhong Wang
Guohui Xu, An Qi, and Hexin Wang
‘Yumeilan’ (CNPVP 20190405) is a new northern highbush blueberry (
Cyrus A. Smith, Dawn VanLeeuwen, Richard J. Heerema, Joshua D. Sherman, Mary J. Comeau, and James L. Walworth
Analysis of composite pecan leaf samples typically used to determine need for nutrient applications does not account for variability among trees in the sampled area. To account for this unmeasured variability, pecan orchard block nutrient standards are greater than actual single tree nutrient requirements. In 2018 and 2019, we measured variability in a pecan orchard block by evaluating nutrient status of all trees in a study area consisting of two cultivars (Wichita and Western) grafted on open-pollinated ‘Ideal’ seedlings. Foliar zinc (Zn) coefficient of variation (cv) ranged from 0.186 to 0.255 within individual cultivars and years but was as high as 0.30 when combining cultivars within a year. The ‘Western’ cultivar had higher foliar Zn concentrations than ‘Wichita’, but Zn concentrations were not consistently associated with other leaf nutrient levels, soil Zn status, or other soil properties. Using observed foliar Zn variability, we determined that it is necessary to sample 35 trees for a composite sample to achieve a relative margin of error of 10% and 95% confidence level in a pecan orchard block with more than 1000 trees. We developed field scale foliar Zn recommendations based on individual tree research that indicates a minimum acceptable leaf Zn concentration of ≈15 mg·kg–1 is needed to maintain optimal photosynthetic function in Zn chelate fertigated pecan trees. Assuming a Zn cv of 0.30 and a composite sample comprised of leaves from 35 trees, the minimum acceptable orchard block Zn level to ensure that less than 5% of trees had suboptimal levels of Zn was 27.6 mg·kg–1. An orchard block Zn level below 23.4 mg·kg–1 indicates that more than 5% of trees in the block had suboptimal foliar Zn concentrations.
Chunxian Chen, Lorraine Rodriguez-Bonilla, and Thomas G. Beckman
A rootstock collection of Prunus species and hybrids is maintained at the U.S. Department of Agriculture stone fruit breeding program at Byron, GA. We genotyped 66 Prunus rootstock accessions and clones using chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites in this study. Chloroplast microsatellites revealed that the accessions belong to four previously defined maternal lineage groups (MLG-1 to -4) and five new ones (MLG-9 to -13). MLG-1 and -2 share the same chloroplast alleles of ‘Chinese Cling’ peach (Prunus persica) derived scions and American scions and rootstocks related to early European introductions, respectively. MLG-3 included ‘Guardian’ rootstock and its descendants. MLG-4 had a single genotype, ‘Okinawa’, that is the maternal parent of ‘Flordaking’. MLG-9 and MLG-11 to -13 included hybrids with different plums (Prunus salicina, Prunus cerasifera, Prunus tomentosa, or Prunus angustifolia) in their maternal parentage. MLG-10 included hybrids from almond (Prunus. dulcis) in the maternal parentage. The neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree based on nuclear microsatellite genotyping data showed several clusters. Cluster I included only one scion cultivar Elberta from MLG-1. Clusters II, III, and V contained peach accessions mostly in MLG-2. Clusters IV and VI included accessions mostly in MLG-3. Cluster VII included most accessions of plum-peach hybrid origin and those found within MLG-13. Cluster VIII was found to be mixed with different plum-peach hybrids and hybrids from other Prunus species, most of which were found in MLG-10, -11, and -12. Most accessions in Cluster IX were related to plums in MLG-11 and a few accessions in MLG-9.
Jung-Yi Wu, Ting-Fang Hsieh, Chin-Yi Tsao, and Keng-Chang Chuang
Breeding for new phalaenopsis varieties has been conducted for many decades. With the efforts of breeders, a lot of varieties have been bred and sold in the market, including many colorful varieties with various flower sizes. However, new varieties are constantly being bred and selected every year and are expected to create new colors or new types that are different from those on the market. Breeding for indigo flowers has been a common goal for many breeders in the world. Currently, indigo
Alexandre Furtado Silveira Mello, Giovani Olegário da Silva, Juscimar da Silva, Tarcísio Samborski, José Carlos Ferreira, José Luiz Viana de Carvalho, Marília Regini Nuti, Ana Carolina Silva Siquieroli, Marcos Brandão Braga, Federico Celedonio Diaz Trujilo, and Wolfgang Grüneberg
The number of registered sweetpotato cultivars in Brazil is limited and they are mostly white-fleshed cultivars (
Kaitlin A. Hopkins, Charles R. Hall, Michael A. Arnold, Marco A. Palma, Melinda Knuth, and Brent Pemberton
Conjoint analysis can be used to simultaneously investigate consumer preferences on multiple attributes and levels. Our objective was to gain insight regarding consumer preferences for attributes and levels attributed to Ratibida columnifera, a wildflower of potential commercial interest. A ratings-based conjoint analysis using petal color (bicolor, marble, red, yellow), petal shape (circular, oval, notched, lobed), petal number (less than 10, more than 10), and price ($10.00, $15.00, $20.00) was conducted to elucidate part-worth utility from data from 1000 subjects recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), a crowdsourcing marketplace. Subjects were then clustered according to their conjoint utility scores. In addition to the conjoint analysis, a principal component analysis was performed based on native plant knowledge of the respondent. Conjoint results revealed that petal color was the most important attribute in decision making, followed by price, petal shape, and petal number. Utility values revealed preference for bicolor petals, followed by red, yellow, and marbled color petals. Preference for price went from least expensive to most expensive. Circular petals were favored over oval, notched, and lobed. Subjects also preferred to have 10 petals or more, vs. less than 10 petals. Cluster analysis yielded three consumer segments, which differed in their utility values. These clusters differed in both demographics and R. columnifera preferences. Overall, consumers preferred R. columnifera with partial (bicolor) or complete red coloration over other options, lower prices, more petals, and entire circular or oval petals.