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Open access

Andre Luiz Biscaia Ribeiro da Silva, Marcos Fabricio Landim de Barros, Wheeler Foshee, Joara Secchi Candian, and Juan Carlos Diaz-Perez

Parsley seeds are known for nonuniform and long germination; consequently, vegetable nurseries commonly use priming techniques to improve the production of parsley seedlings. The objectives of this study were 1) to characterize the imbibition curve of parsley seeds, 2) to evaluate the effect of different priming agents on parsley seedling production, and ultimately 3) to compare priming techniques for emergence and vigor of parsley’s seedlings, thus providing an optimal priming strategy for parsley seedling production. Using three priming agents—water (seeds imbibed for 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours), polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000) (seeds imbibed at –0.5, –1.0, –1.5, and –2.0 MPa for 29, 58, 87, and 116 hours), and gibberellic acid (GA) (seeds imbibed at 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 g·L−1 a.i. of solution for 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes), and two parsley cultivars (Krausa and Titan), three experiments evaluated parsley seedling parameters, including emergence speed index (ESI) and total emergence (TE) in a complete randomized block design (n = 4) each. In Expt. 1 (hydropriming), increasing water imbibition time (IT) reduced ESI on both parsley cultivars. In addition, the TE quadratically reduced with the increase of water IT. In Expt. 2 (osmopriming), there was no significant main effect or interaction of treatments on ESI. Regardless of PEG6000 concentration, the TE had a linear increase with the increase of IT for cultivar Krausa but not for cultivar Titan. In Expt. 3 (hormonal priming), there was a significant increase in ESI and TE with the increase in GA rate. Ultimately, strategies for analysis of best priming were water at 24 hours of IT, PEG6000 at –2.0 MPa for 116 hours of IT, and GA at 2.0 g·L−1 a.i. of solution for 15 minutes of IT. Once compared with an untreated seeds treatment, priming strategies of water imbibition for 24 hours and PEG6000 at –2.0 MPa for 116 hours had the highest ESI and TE.

Open access

Vedat Bedirhanoğlu, Hui Yang, and Manoj K. Shukla

Water scarcity is a major problem for crop production around the world including Southwestern United States and growers are increasingly using groundwater for agriculture in Southern New Mexico. Most of the groundwater in New Mexico is brackish and continuous long-term use could lead to salt accumulation in the soil. Reverse osmosis (RO) can desalinate brackish groundwater (BGW), however, environmentally safe disposal of RO concentrate is costly. This greenhouse study evaluated the effects of BGW and RO concentrate at various growth stages of two chile pepper cultivars, NuMex Joe E. Parker and NuMex Sandia Select. Five salinity treatments were applied to plants, three of them used saline waters of 0.6 (control), 4.0 (BGW), and 8.0 dS/m (RO) throughout the growing season, whereas the other two changed waters of 4.0 and 8.0 dS/m to waters of 2.0 and 6.0 dS/m from the beginning of the flowering stage. Number of flowers, days to flowering, relative plant heights, relative fresh biomass, fruit yields, photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductivity (g S), and actual evapotranspiration (ETa) significantly decreased with increasing irrigation water salinity levels. Concentrations of Mg2+, Na+, and Cl in plants increased with increasing water salinity levels. Changing to irrigation with reduced salinity waters of 2.0 and 6.0 dS/m at the flowering stage initiated reproductive development more rapidly and alleviated the adverse influence of salinity on the number of flowers of chile pepper, plant height, Pn, as well as fresh shoot and fruit weight than that with continuous irrigation with electrical conductivity (EC) of 4.0 dS/m and 8.0 dS/m beyond the flowering stage. Irrigation that practices a change from high salinity to lower salinity at the flowering stage can optimize the use of saline irrigation water for growing chile peppers.

Open access

David Karp and Ksenija Gasic

Open access

Hunter Slade and Lenny Wells

Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) orchards in Georgia and throughout the southeastern United States are commonly established from land that had previously been used for row cropping systems. Soil quality is characteristically low in the loamy-sand, low pH soils of the southeastern Coastal Plain. Changes in land use are known to exhibit different effects on soil quality; however, no studies specifically address soil enhancement from converting row crop land to pecan orchards in this region. Sampling was conducted in eight counties throughout the coastal plain of South Georgia in 2020 and 2021. The objectives of this study were to analyze and compare soil quality indicators of pecan orchards of varying ages and adjacent row crop fields. Soil quality indicators analyzed include soil organic matter (SOM), active carbon or permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC), aggregate stability, cation exchange capacity (CEC), bulk density, porosity, Solvita CO2-Burst, SLAN (Solvita labile-amino nitrogen), pH, and total N. Results from this study demonstrate that pecan orchards under commercial management had higher soil quality compared with row crop fields based on the indicators measured. Active carbon and Solvita CO2-Burst measurements suggest that pecan orchards exhibited significantly higher rates of microbial activity and soil respiration. Indicators of soil microbial activity such as active carbon and Solvita CO2-Burst were strongly correlated with SOM, which explained much of the variation observed in these measurements of soil microbial activity. Selected soil quality indicators also provide evidence that the soil quality of commercial pecan orchards in this region improves with orchard age.

Open access

Mishi Vachev, Jason Cavatorta, and Liza J. Conrad

Open access

Chenqiao Zhu, Lijun Zhang, Yunli Gao, Dong Qin, and Junwei Huo

Open access

Zilfina Rubio Ames, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Mercy A. Olmstead, Thomas A. Colquhoun, and Shea A. Keene

Although consumers are not very familiar with peach production in Florida, Florida peaches are the first domestic peaches produced in the United States, being available from mid-March through early May. Moreover, Florida peach acreage has increased 8.5-fold in the past 10 years. Using a conjoint-based experimental design and analysis, we measured U.S. consumer reactions to diverse groups of ideas describing peaches, including production regions, and identified attributes that positively and negatively influence consumer preference. The main objective of this research was to identify external and internal attributes that make the “ideal peach.” Are consumers willing to pay more for a locally grown peach? Will consumers prefer a Florida peach instead of a Georgia or California peach? The top three peach attributes identified were “juicy and fully ripe,” “strong peach aroma and sweet peach taste,” and “grown in Georgia.” Cluster analysis revealed two segments of consumers: consumers in the first segment focused on physical aspects of the peach, and consumers in the second segment were concerned with peach production regions and health benefits. The findings from this research will be helpful in developing marketing programs for Florida peaches as an item that is perfect for snacking because of their small size and desirable texture and flavor.

Open access

Chen Lian, Yuyan Li, Haiying Li, Yaxin Zhao, Juan Zhou, Sijie Wang, Jingran Lian, and Yan Ao

Open access

Dong-mei Chen, Lin-guang Jia, Guo-dong Zhao, Chao-hong Zhang, Feng-qiu Yang, Xin-sheng Zhang, Tong-sheng Zhao, Chun-min Li, and Yong-bo Zhao

Open access

Hao Wang, Yuan-hao Su, and Jian-ping Bao

Korla fragrant pear is the main pear variety and one of the most famous fruits in Southern Xinjiang. The use of protective nets in fruit tree production is increasing; however, the cultivation of Korla fragrant pear in Xinjiang has yet to be developed. Therefore, we used the ground and underground microclimate anti-hail network and open-air conditions to determine the fruit quality and measure tree growth-related indicators. Additionally, we subsequently recorded the average yield of fragrant pear fruits to evaluate their economic value under the anti-hail net and open-air environments. Furthermore, we performed a correlation analysis to explore the correlation between environmental factors and fruit quality and growth under the two conditions. We found that the anti-hail net cover provided a conducive environment for the vegetative and reproductive growth of trees. Under similar fruit quality conditions, the average yield was markedly higher under the anti-hail net environment than under the open-air environment. Furthermore, the economic benefit under the anti-hail net was higher for all factors, except for the average facility cost during the previous year, than that under the open-air condition.