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ASHS 2024 Annual Conference

 

High-tunnel Organic Ginger: Response to Propagation Material, Fertilizer, and Prepropagation Rhizome Storage

Authors:
Lurline E. Marsh Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 30921 Martin Court, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA

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Mohammad Ali Department of Business, Management & Accounting, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 2095 EASC Building, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA

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Brett D. Smith Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 30921 Martin Court, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA

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Petrina McKenzie-Reynolds Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 30921 Martin Court, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA

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Abstract

Ginger (Zingiber officinale, Roscoe) is a tropical rhizome crop typically grown from rhizome pieces, but can also be produced from seedlings. No information is available on how the seedling method compares with the rhizome piece method in organic ginger culture. In addition, information on the growing of organic ginger in the mid-Atlantic region is lacking. Some of the challenges include limited knowledge of rhizome storage, types of propagation materials for planting in the field or high tunnel, and acceptable organic fertilizers that will not increase the excess P currently polluting the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The objective of this study was to assess plant development, soil nutrients, and economic feasibility of organic ginger derived from different storage conditions and planting materials when grown in different nutrient sources in a high tunnel. Three types of plant material (single-shoot transplant seedlings derived from 36.5–40.0 g/rhizome, multishoot transplant seedlings derived from 60–120 g/rhizome, and rhizome seeds of 60–120 g) and three fertilizers types [cotton seed meal, 6N–0.9P–0.8K (0.18 kg⋅m–2), plus AZOMITE (1 kg⋅m–2); Nature Safe, 13N–0P–0K (0.07 kg⋅m–2); and Phytamin All Purpose Liquid fertilizer, 4N–1.3P–3.3K (0.26 L⋅m–2)] were used in 2018. In 2019 and 2020, three types of plant material and two fertilizer types at modified rates from the 2018 study, plus two storage containers (pans and flats), were tested. In general, the rhizome storage container did not affect plant height, leaf soil plant analysis development (SPAD) index, and rhizome yield, and its effect on tillers was none or mixed. Fertilizer type had mixed effects on plant height and tiller number, and no effect on the leaf SPAD index. Rhizome yields in 2019 and 2020 were unaffected by fertilizer, but Nature Safe produced a greater benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) and profitability index (PI) than Phytamin. Soil P was generally less in Nature Safe–fertilized soil than in Phytamin-fertilized soil. Multishoot seedlings produced the greatest rhizome yield, BCR, PI, and tallest plants, and had some of the highest tiller numbers. These findings show that it would be more profitable to use multishoot seedlings as planting material in high tunnels compared with single-shoot seedlings and rhizome seeds. Furthermore, the lower P levels in the Nature Safe–fertilized soils compared with the Phytamin soils, and greater PI suggest that using Nature Safe will be a better choice than Phytamin for growing organic ginger.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale, Roscoe) is one of the world’s leading spice crops and is used for both its medicinal and flavor qualities. It grows well in tropical regions such as Southeast Asia, from which it originated. The rhizomes mature in 8 to 9 months from planting (Nair 2019). However, there are consumer demands and efforts to grow the plant in areas that have short growing periods, including the Northeast and other regions of the United States (Ernst and Durbin 2019; Marsh et al. 2021; Rafie et al. 2012; Sideman 2018; Stephens 2018). With increasing consumer demands for organics in the United States (Organic Trade Association 2022), there is the opportunity to add locally grown organic ginger to certified crop lists.

Ginger can be grown from rhizome pieces (called seeds), from seedlings from mature rhizomes, or from micropropagated seedlings from buds, with the latter type of propagule known to produce disease-free material (Bhagyalakshmi and Singh 1988; Flores et al. 2021; Marsh et al. 2021; Rafie et al. 2012; Smith and Hamill 1996). According to Smith and Hamill (1996), micropropagated plants had a significantly reduced rhizome yield when compared with seed-derived plants. The main method for propagating ginger is the rhizome seed, which may vary across regions (Kandiannan et al. 1996). Some recommendations for rhizome seed weight for field planting in long seasons include 14.2 to 56.7 g (Kandiannan et al. 1996; Prasath et al. 2018). In shorter seasons with high-tunnel planting to extend the growing time, Rafie et al. (2012) produced rhizomes successfully with transplants derived from 56- to 113.2-g seeds. In addition to the variation in rhizome weight used in different areas, there is evidence that greater rhizome weight produces a greater yield (Beale et al. 2006; Hailemichael and Tesfaye 2008; Nybe and Raj 2004; Xizhen et al. 2004). Compared with the rhizome seed method, which only has buds, transplants accelerate plant development, and reports show that early foliage growth and tiller development correlated positively with rhizome production (Nwachukwu 2017; Ravindran et al. 2005). No information is available on how the seedling method compares with the rhizome piece method in developing and producing new rhizomes under organic and short growing season conditions. Furthermore, information is lacking on growing organic ginger on small farms in the mid-Atlantic region. This deficiency includes limited knowledge on rhizome storage for planting, acceptable fertilizers for organic production on land with excess P, and the types of propagation materials for planting in the field or high tunnel.

For tropical regions, information is available on the effects of different storage methods (Chittaragi et al. 2022; Paull et al. 1988; Shadap et al. 2015), types of growth media (Mohd et al. 2015; Sudha et al. 2020), plant spacing and planting date (Yadav et al. 2013), and fertilizer application (Mathew and Sreekala 2019) on ginger weight loss and field performance. With respect to storage, it is estimated that 17% to 20% of ginger rhizomes from harvest are kept and stored for propagation of plants in the following growing season (Shadap et al. 2015). Typically, ginger seed rhizomes must be kept in a healthy, viable condition for ∼3 to 3.5 months (Yadav et al. 2013). During storage, several factors can affect the performance of the crop negatively during the subsequent season, including disease, desiccation, insect damage, and premature sprouting (Yadav et al. 2013). Rhizomes stored in paper bags after 3 months at 22 °C and 70% relative humidity (RH) had 19% weight loss (Paull et al. 1988). According to Chittaragi et al. (2022), seed rhizomes stored in zero-energy cool chambers (ZECCs) at a high humidity of 95% and a cool temperature of 10 to 15 °C had a weight loss of 28% at 3 months after storage. Another report showed that planting of 25-g rhizome seeds after storage in polyethylene bags, ZECCs, or sand produced a fresh yield varying from 11,840 to 22,350 kg⋅ha–1, with sand storage having a greater weight loss than ZECC storage (Shadap et al. 2015).

Nutritional requirements for cultivating ginger successfully in tropical areas are substantial because the plant is considered a voracious user of soil nutrients (Hongjun et al. 2016; Kakar et al. 2020; Kandiannan et al. 1996). As a result of its high nutrient demand, particularly of N and K, different inorganic, organic, and biological sources, including various manure types, are recommended to be applied in a balanced proportion to the soil in an appropriate manner and time (Hongjun et al. 2016; Kakar et al. 2020; Sanwal et al. 2007) to attain a high yield. In addition, the incorporation of poultry manure and biofertilizers has also been used to increase ginger growth and yield (Agbede 2019; Jyotsna et al. 2013; Verma et al. 2019). However on the Delmarva Peninsula, the location of our study, there are restrictions on using poultry manure on these soils that have high levels of P (Maryland Department of Agriculture 2015). This is a result of the buildup of high P levels in soil and sediment from poultry manure and litter application over many years at rates that exceed crop P demand, thus contributing to high P losses in runoff to the Chesapeake Bay watershed (Kleinman et al. 2019). Although this excess P is one of the major threats to the health of the Chesapeake Bay in this region (Kleinman et al. 2019), this challenge and its restrictions may also be applicable to other locations in the United States and abroad that are facing excess nutrient issues in their environments. Limited information is available on the economics of growing organic ginger. Related information from Jamir (2022) found that organic ginger production of small-hold farmers in India was highly profitable on a cash cost basis [benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR), 1.75]. Another study by Acharya et al. (2019) found ginger production in a district of Nepal to be a profitable enterprise (BCR, 1.55), considering cost of production as the costs of variable inputs such as rhizome seed, labor, farmyard manure, fertilizer, insect/pest management, and so on.

The objective of our study was to assess plant development, economic feasibility, and soil nutrient status for growing organic ginger derived from different storage conditions and planting materials when grown in different nutrient sources. We hypothesized that plant development, rhizome yield, and economic feasibility would be greater in multishoot (MS)-derived plants compared with single-shoot (SS) transplants and rhizome seed planting material, plants derived from rhizome pan storage compared with those derived from rhizome flat storage, and Nature Safe–fertilized plants compared with Phytamin-fertilized ones.

Materials and Methods

Our study consisted of three experiments done over 3 years on a certified organic site at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Agriculture Experiment Station in Princess Anne, MD, USA (lat. 38°12'N, long. 75°42'W). Year 1 (2018) entailed investigating the effects of planting materials and organic fertilizer types on ginger development, economics, and soil nutrients. Because of the high weight loss of the rhizomes before the 2018 planting, the study was modified in 2019 (year 2) with the addition of rhizome storage as another factor. The 2019 experiment was repeated in 2020 (year 3).

Rhizome storage.

For the 2018 study, organic yellow ginger rhizomes harvested from the UMES research site in Dec 2017 were washed and disinfected with 10% bleach for 5 min, then rinsed, blotted with paper to remove moisture, and weighed for yield data. They were air-dried in flats at room temperature to prevent fungus buildup, then were prepared for storage as follows. Based on the amount of available rhizome, they were divided into 12 replications comprised of 873 g in each of 12 flats on 12 Dec 2017. Rhizomes were placed on top of two overlapping sheets (53.3 × 20.3 cm) of Wausau Ecosoft paper towel (Mosinee, WI, USA) in the base of each black flat (53.3 × 27.9 × 6.3 cm) (Hummert International, Earth City, MO, USA). The rhizomes were then covered with two overlapping sheets of the same paper. Each flat was then covered with another similar-dimension black plastic flat and placed in a laboratory at room temperature of 20 to 23.2 °C until 2 Apr 2018. After 4 months, the rhizomes had an average of five buds per 454 g and 29% rhizome weight loss.

In 2019 and 2020, the effect of two types of container were tested. Rhizomes were those that had been harvested, disinfected, and air-dried before storage to decrease fungal contamination. This latter step contributed to the different storage times for years 2 and 3. Rhizomes were stored in plastic flats (53.3 cm long × 27.9 cm wide × 6.3 cm high) or 17L Sterilite plastic pans (Townsend, MA, USA; dimensions, 43.6 cm long × 36.2 cm wide × 17.8 cm high) from 12 Dec 2018 to 28 Mar 2019, and from 8 Jan 2020 to 19 Feb 2020. There were four replications; the weight of the rhizomes per replication was 4000 g per pan and a third (∼1300 g) of that weight was stored in each of three flats for each replication. Rhizomes stored in trays/flats had to be distributed across three flats because of their limited capacity and the tendency for fungus to grow on the rhizome when they were packed too closely—an issue that was not present with the use of pans. A layer of Ecosoft paper towel was placed over the ginger in each flat that also had a layer of paper at the bottom. Inverted flats of the same dimensions were used as covers for rhizome storage in flats (Fig. 1). A layer of aluminum foil with six holes in it was used to cover the pan (Fig. 1), which had another six holes in the bottom. These holes enabled air circulation and decreased the incidence of fungal growth on the rhizomes. The recorded pan storage temperatures in 2019 ranged from 18.25 to 21.7 °C (maximum) and from 12.6 to 20.5 °C (minimum). For flat storage, these ranges were 18.25 to 21.8 °C (maximum) and 11.75 to 20.3 °C (minimum). Relative humidity ranged from 14.4% to 50.7%. In 2020, recorded pan storage temperatures were 18.35 to 24.25 °C (maximum) and 15.5 to 22.5 °C (minimum). For flat storage, these ranges were 19.05 to 25.5 °C (maximum) and 14.8 to 23.8 °C (minimum). The range for RH was 9.5% to 48.15%.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

(A) Pan storage of ginger. (B) Flat storage of ginger.

Citation: HortScience 58, 4; 10.21273/HORTSCI17005-22

Greenhouse preparation of planting material for the high tunnel.

Following storage in 2018, the rhizomes were separated into three groups: rhizome pieces of 60 to 120 g for MS transplants with more than one shoot, rhizome pieces of 36.5 to 40 g for SS transplants with one shoot, and rhizome pieces of 60 to 120 g for rhizome seeds. In the greenhouse, the MS and SS groups were planted in flats and covered with clear plastic domes (Hummert International) on 5 Apr 2018, and lightly watered when necessary. The third group, the rhizome seeds, was covered with organic Sungro Sunshine Mix #1 Organic Planting Mix (Sungro Horticulture, Agawan, MA, USA) in flats and kept in the greenhouse until it was time for transplanting to the high tunnel. Sprouted seedlings in the watered flats began to emerge 4 weeks later on 2 May 2018. Plastic domes were removed on 22 May, when their interior temperature had become excessively high (36.7 °C). Occasionally, the daytime temperatures inside the domes were more than 35 °C for an average of 8 h during the period from seedling emergence until the dome was removed.

Following storage in 2019 and 2020, the rhizomes were separated in the following six groups: rhizome pieces from pan storage for MS transplants, rhizome pieces from flat storage for MS transplants, rhizome pieces from pan storage for SS transplants, rhizome pieces from flat storage for SS transplants, and rhizome seed pieces from pan and from flat. On 29 Mar 2019 and 19 Feb 2020, the six groups of planting materials were handled using a procedure similar to the greenhouse preparation of planting material for the high tunnel in the 2018 study.

High tunnel and ginger development.

According to certified organic guidelines, the high tunnel was cover-cropped each fall by planting rye and hairy vetch seeds at rates of 0.0034 and 0.0045 kg⋅m–2, respectively. The soil type was a loamy sand comprised of 85.2% sand, 11.0% silt, and 3.6% clay. The chemical composition in Apr 2018 was 218 mg⋅kg–1 P, 67 mg⋅kg–1 K, 1184 mg⋅kg–1 Ca, 148 mg⋅kg–1 Mg, 42 mg⋅kg–1 Na, 105 mg⋅kg–1 S, 290 mg⋅kg–1 Fe, 14 mg⋅kg–1 Mn, 6.2 mg⋅kg–1 Cu, 9.2 mg⋅kg–1 Zn, and 0.7 mg⋅kg–1 B. In 2018, the three types of ginger transplants (Fig. 2) were planted in 20.3-cm-deep furrows of raised beds in the high tunnel on 18 Jun in a split-plot design with nutrient as the main plot and type of planting material as the subplot and with four replications. Each plot was 2.7 × 0.6 m, with five plants spaced 0.4 m apart, which was similar for 2019 and 2020. The three nutrient regimes were cotton seed meal (Marion Agricultural Service, Inc., St. Paul, OR, USA), 6N–0.9P–0.8K (0.18 kg⋅m–2), plus AZOMITE (AZOMITE Mineral Products, Inc., Nephi, UT, USA) (1 kg⋅m–2); Nature Safe (Griffin Industries LLC, Cold Spring, KY, USA), 13N–0P–0K (0.07 kg⋅m–2); and Phytamin All Purpose Liquid fertilizer (California Organic Fertilizers, Inc., Hanford, CA USA), 4N–1.3P–3.3K (0.26 L⋅m–2). Nutrient rates were calculated based on N requirements of 0.009 kg⋅m–2 and were used in four split applications on 22 Jun, 19 Jul, 24 Aug, and 25 Sep. Plots were drip-irrigated two to three times per week and hand-weeded as needed. Plants were sprayed with Xentari Biological Insecticide (Valent Biosciences, San Ramon, CA, USA) at the rate of 1.12 kg⋅ha–1 on 17 Jul, 15 Aug, and 19 Sep 2019; and 12 Aug and 28 Aug 2020 to control army worms. After the appearance of upward-expanding rhizomes, the plants were mounded once. Data were collected on shoot height (from the base of the pseudostem to the top of the stem), tiller number (number of aerial shoots arising around each transplant or rhizome seed), leaf soil plant analysis development (SPAD) index/relative chlorophyll content, soil mineral content, fresh rhizome yield, and economic feasibility. The leaf SPAD index of fully expanded healthy green leaves, recently matured, was measured with a SPAD 502 chlorophyll meter (Spectrum Technologies, Inc., Aurora, IL, USA). For each year of the study, all growth and physiological measurements were collected from five plants per treatment combination per replication. The average of the measurements from the five plants was the experimental unit, and there were four replications. After the first frost in the tunnel, the mature ginger was harvested on 10 Dec 2018, nearly 6 months after planting. Soil nutrient contents were determined at rhizome harvest from soil collected at a depth of 15.2 to 20.3 cm in the ginger plots according to the Waypoint Analytical (2023) soil sample guide and submitted to Waypoint Analytical Laboratories (Richmond, VA, USA) for macro- and micronutrient analysis.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

(A) Multishoot ginger seedling. (B) Single-shoot ginger seedling. (C) Rhizome seed piece.

Citation: HortScience 58, 4; 10.21273/HORTSCI17005-22

In 2019 and 2020, the cotton seed fertilizer was omitted because it was no longer allowed for certified organic operation, and the N rate was increased to 0.013 kg⋅m–2 to align it with more current recommendations. All planting materials were transplanted to the high tunnel on 12 Jun 2019 and 19 May 2020. The design was a split-split-plot with fertilizer as the main plot, rhizome storage (pan and flat) as the subplot, and planting material as the sub-subplot, with four replications. Potassium from potassium sulfate (50% K, 17% S) was applied to meet ginger requirements of 0.018 kg⋅m–2 K. Fertilizers were applied in four split applications on 18 Jun, 23 Jul, 15 Aug, and 4 Sep 2019; and on 14 May, 22 Jun, 20 Jul, and 21 Aug 2020. After first frost, the mature rhizomes were harvested after 5 months 3 weeks on 4 Dec 2019, and after 6.5 months on 4 Dec 2020.

Ambient temperature monitoring.

The procedures for the collection of data were similar to those in the 2018 study. Temperatures in storage containers, seedling development containers, and a high tunnel were monitored with WatchDog Micro Station 1000 Series (Spectrum Technologies, Inc.). In 2018, the minimum and maximum high-tunnel air temperature ranges between 18 Jun and 30 Jul were 12.8 to 24.4 °C and 19.4 to 44.4 °C, respectively. In 2019, the minimum and maximum high-tunnel temperature ranges between 12 Jun and 30 Nov were –7.6 to 26.1 °C, and 8.9 to 45.1 °C, respectively.

Economic feasibility analysis.

An economic feasibility study for any project, commercial or not, requires looking at the benefits and underlying costs associated with the operation of the project. Benefits were estimated by the market value of ginger yields, R = P × Q, where R is revenue, P is price, and Q is quantity. For revenue, retail price of organic ginger had to be estimated based on the available wholesale price data for conventional ginger from the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (2022) with some manipulation and addition of a premium factor (2.2) because no retail price data could be found from any authenticated source for the years of our study. The wholesale price for conventional ginger was collected for the month of November because of proximity to the harvesting period for the study location and then converted to a retail price using a premium factor and observing the current retail price (Walmart 2022). A similar procedure was followed to arrive at the retail price for organic ginger by adding a premium (2.65) on conventional ginger. For the economic feasibility analysis, both the BCR and the profitability index (PI) were evaluated. The BCR was calculated using the formula Gross revenue ÷ Cost of production, and PI was calculated as Net revenue or profit ÷ Cost of production. During the decision-making process, a BCR greater than 1 (meaning, benefit exceeds cost) indicates that the practice is profitable, whereas a BCR less than 1 indicates it is not, and should not be continued in the production process (Mankiw 2015). Similarly, a positive PI means the practice is profitable whereas a negative PI indicates a losing concern and should be discontinued. The cost of production used in this analysis considered inputs including Phytamin All Purpose Liquid fertilizer, Nature Safe, potting mix, 11.4-cm pots, 5-cm lay-flat hoses, drip irrigation lines, drip connectors, flats, pans, aluminum foil, dome covers, transplants, paper towels, and labor, as well as cotton seed meal and AZOMITE. This is in line with production cost estimation (Archarya et al. 2019) and economic/managerial decision-making process that emphasizes incremental benefit and cost (Baye and Prince 2022).

Statistical analysis.

Analyses of variance were used to analyze the data using the SAS program (version 9.4; SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA). Differences among treatments were compared using Tukey’s honestly significant difference text at the 0.05 P level.

Results and Discussion

Storage, rhizome weight loss, and buds.

In 2019 and 2020, the type of storage container did not affect the number of buds on the rhizomes (Table 1). Although the weight loss (23.3%) from pan-stored materials was less than that of the flat stored ones (27.8%) after 5 weeks in 2020, the 2019 rhizomes had more extreme weight loss, up to 38%, which was likely attributed to the longer time in storage (13 weeks). Recent evidence suggests that increased storage time increases weight loss in ginger rhizomes (Chittaragi et al. 2022). Also, the overall results of the tests of those in flat storage for the 2 test years were not an improvement based on the 29% weight loss we observed after 4 months of storage in flat for the 2018 rhizome (data not shown). Others have reported a less than 29% rhizome weight loss after 3 months of storage in conditions with considerably greater RH than our maximum of 55% (Chittaragi et al. 2022; Paull et al. 1988).

Table 1.

Percentage weight loss of ginger rhizomes and number of buds after storage in containers in 2019 and 2020.

Table 1.

High tunnel and ginger development.

In 2018, there was no effect of fertilizer type on the height of ginger plants (Table 2). The Phytamin-treated plants had more tillers than the Nature Safe–fertilized ones from month 3 after planting to the end of the study. The rhizome seed–derived plants were the shortest by at least 20% compared with the MS plants throughout the growth period. However, they had the largest tiller numbers along with the MS seedling compared with the single-seedling ones. The taller plants from MSs compared with rhizome seeds were expected because MSs at planting time in the tunnel were already at the seedling stage, with leaves and tillers as defined by Xizhen et al. (2004), and were ahead of the sprouting rhizomes developmentally. The similarity in tiller number for the MS- and rhizome seed–derived plants may be attributed to the fact that they were grown from the same seed weight—an observation that has also been reported by others (Prasath et al. 2018).

Table 2.

Growth parameters and leaf soil plant analysis development (SPAD) index of three types of ginger propagules in three different nutrients by month in the 2018 study.

Table 2.

The SPAD index readings measure the leaf chlorophyll index, which is used as a relative measure of chlorophyll concentration (Loh et al. 2002) and is often correlated with leaf N status and photosynthetic activity (Evans 1983). The Leaf SPAD index from 1 to 4 months after transplanting in 2018 did not differ among the fertilizer types or planting materials used, and ranged from 43.3 to 46.7 (Table 2). The lack of response to fertilizer type may be attributed to the similar fertilizer rates used, thus resulting in similar leaf N and, ultimately, photosynthesis for each fertilizer treatment. However, with regard to the planting material, we expected the vigorously growing MS plants with the tallest shoots and the greatest tiller numbers to have a greater SPAD index than the SS seeds. Others (Flores et al. 2021) have reported no clear trend in SPAD index when growing ginger from seed rhizomes and transplants.

The mature rhizome yields harvested after the first frost were unaffected by the cold, although the shoots had wilted. Fresh yield in 2018 was greatest for Phytamin-treated plants and least for Nature Safe–fertilized ones (Table 3). This yield response was likely a result of the significantly greater number of tillers for Phytamin-treated plants compared with the Nature Safe ones as the plants developed (Table 2). Developmentally, a greater tiller number is associated with a greater yield (Kandiannan et al. 2012; Marsh et al. 2021; Ravindran et al. 2005). The MS seedlings produced the greatest yield and the SS seedlings produced the lowest yield (Table 3), another likely response to greater tiller numbers in MS over SS planting material. The BCRs > 1, as defined by Mankiw (2015), and positive PIs were economically favorable for MS and rhizome seed production, but were not for SSs.

Table 3.

Yield and economic analysis of ginger as affected by fertilizer treatment and planting material in 2018.

Table 3.

In the 2019 study, plant height was unaffected by fertilizer type, and tiller number was increased with Phytamin (Table 4), a finding that was similar for months 3 to 5 in the 2018 study (Table 2). The occurrence of differences in tiller numbers with fertilizer coincided with the flourishing growing stage, or three-forked stage, of the ginger when fertilizer use is much greater than at the seedling stage (Xizhen et al. 2004). Although the rate of application of the two fertilizer treatments was the same, their mode of action was different, with Nature Safe having a slow release over 8 to 10 weeks and Phytamin available immediately, and this may have contributed to more tillers in Phytamin-treated plants than the Nature Safe ones. There was no effect of type of container storage on height, and the response of the number of tillers was mixed (Table 4). Multishoot seedlings produced the tallest plants and generally had the most tillers, whereas the rhizome seed–grown plants were shortest and their tiller numbers were generally similar to the MS seedling–plants. Multishoot plants derived from pan storage were generally tallest and had the greatest number of tillers (Table 5). At month 2, Phytamin-fertilized plants from flat storage had more tillers than Nature Safe–fertilized plants from pan storage. The SPAD index was unaffected by fertilizer or storage type (Table 4). At month 3, the SPAD index values were greatest in MS plants and least in SS seedlings (Table 4).

Table 4.

High-tunnel ginger plant height, tiller number, and soil plant analysis development (SPAD) index by month in 2019 as influenced by fertilizer, rhizome storage, and transplant type.

Table 4.
Table 5.

Two-way selected interactions for high-tunnel ginger plant height and tiller number by month in 2019 as influenced by fertilizer, rhizome storage, and plant material.

Table 5.

In 2020, Nature Safe–grown plants were significantly taller than the Phytamin-treated ones up to 3 months after planting, then were similar for months 5 and 6 (Table 6). These results show that as the plants developed to maturity, the fertilizers had no effect on plant height for all 3 years of the study (Tables 2, 4, 6). Tiller numbers in 2020 were unaffected by fertilizer (Table 6). This response is in contrast to the greater number of tillers for actively growing Phytamin-treated plants in 2018 and 2019 when compared with Nature Safe ones (Tables 2 and 4). Storage method did not affect the height or tiller number of the ginger grown in the high tunnel (Table 6). The type of planting material affected plant height and tiller number, with plants from rhizome seed being shorter and height and having fewer tillers than the transplanted ones in the first 3 months after planting. Thereafter, their growth did not differ among the three types of planting materials.

Table 6.

High-tunnel ginger plant height, tiller number, and soil plant analysis development (SPAD) index by month in 2020 as influenced by fertilizer, rhizome storage, and transplant type.

Table 6.

Other than the Nature Safe–fertilized plants in 2020 having a greater SPAD index (36.9) at month 2 after transplanting than the Phytamin plants (34.6), the effects of fertilizer were not significant for this parameter (Table 6). Furthermore, neither rhizome storage nor plant material had any effect on SPAD index. For 2019 and 2020, the SPAD index ranged from 32.8 to 66.1. The suggested minimum for good ginger growth is 40 (Li et al. 2018), and the lower values may be an indication for increasing the N levels in the study.

There were no significant year interactions for yield, but year was significant and plant materials were grown in the high tunnel over a longer period in 2020 than 2019 because of to earlier planting; therefore, data were analyzed by year (Table 7). The greater rhizome yield was anticipated because ginger is known to increase in yield with a longer growth time (Flores et al. 2021, Yadav et al. 2013). In terms of economic feasibility, the BCR and PI revealed MSs to be preferable to SSs and rhizome seed, Nature Safe fertilizer to be better than Phytamin, and pan storage was a better performer than flat storage (Table 7). For example, for each year the BCR and PI for these comparisons were at least 60% and 25% greater for the MS seedlings over the SS seedlings and rhizome seed, respectively, at least 60% for Nature Safe over Phytamin, and a maximum of 30% for pan storage over flat storage.

Table 7.

Yield and economic analysis of ginger as affected by presprout rhizome storage, fertilizer treatment, and planting material in 2019 and 2020.

Table 7.

In 2019 and 2020, neither fertilizer nor storage container had any significant main effects on yield (Table 7). However, planting material for MS plants showed a significantly greater yield than the SS plants and rhizome seed–derived plants. Also in 2019, the interaction for prepropagation rhizome storage × planting material was significant (P = 0.008) for rhizome yield (data not shown). This interaction shows that the MS transplants from pan storage produced a greater yield than the SS and rhizome seed plants from pan storage (Table 8). In addition, the yield for MS seedling–derived plants in pan storage was greater than that from those stored in flats. However, there were no yield differences among the three planting material types stored in flats (Table 8). Our yields of 21,897 kg⋅ha–1 for MS transplants in 2020 (Table 7) and 20,152.4 kg⋅ha–1 for MS from pans in 2019 (Table 8) are also comparable to the 17,900 and 24,590 kg⋅ha–1 of rhizome harvest obtained in tropical field locations using 60 g or greater rhizome pieces (Baral et al. 2021; Beale et al. 2006). Contrary to the results of Prasath et al. (2018), which showed no significant difference between the yield of two-sprout transplants, single-sprout transplants, and conventional seed rhizomes in 7 months of tropical weather, our study showed SS transplants produced significantly lower yields than the larger seeded rhizomes.

Table 8.

Ginger rhizome plant yield as affected by preplanting rhizome storage and plant material averaged for fertilizer for 2019.

Table 8.

Soil nutrient analyses.

These analyses focused on comparing the soil nutrients at rhizome harvest for the three factors studied: fertilizer, storage, and planting material. With respect to the nutrient content of the high tunnel soil in 2018, except for lower P levels in the cotton seed meal–fertilized soils, than in the Nature Safe– and Phytamin-treated ones, fertilizers and plant materials did not affect soil nutrients at the time of rhizome harvest (Table 9).

Table 9.

Nutrient content of soil at ginger rhizome harvest from high tunnel as affected by fertilizer treatment and planting material in 2018.

Table 9.

For the 2019 soil nutrient analyses (Table 10), there was no effect of storage on the nutrients measured. Soil P, Mg, Na, Fe, and Cu were greater in the Phytamin-treated soil than in the Nature Safe soil. Planting material did not affect soil nutrients, except for lower levels of Mg and Cu in the MS seedling-grown soil than in the SS and rhizome soils. There were some significant interactions for fertilizer × plant material combinations. These showed that Phytamin-treated soils, which produced the plants from rhizome seed and SS transplants, had greater levels of Mg (198.3 and 203.0 mg⋅kg–1, respectively), Fe (353.3 and 317.1 mg⋅kg–1, respectively), and Cu (5.16 and 5.67⋅kg–1, respectively) than the soils grown with MS transplants (129.8, 272.5, and 3.38 mg⋅kg–1, respectively, for Mg, Fe, and Cu; data not provided).

Table 10.

Nutrient content of soil at ginger harvest from high tunnel as affected by presprout rhizome storage, fertilizer treatment, and planting material in 2019.

Table 10.

In 2020, there was no effect of rhizome storage or fertilizer on soil nutrients, except P was greater (220 mg⋅kg–1) in the Phytamin-treated soil compared with the Nature Safe soil (180.3 mg⋅kg–1) (Table 11). Soils grown with MS seedlings had the greatest P and Fe, and the least Cu and Zn. There were no significant interactions for the factors tested.

Table 11.

Nutrient content of soil at ginger harvest from high tunnel as affected by presprout rhizome storage, fertilizer treatment, and planting material in 2020.

Table 11.

Overall, soil P was greater in the Phytamin-fertilized soils than the Nature Safe–fertilized soils in years 2 and 3 (Tables 10 and 11). This effect is possibly a result of the presence of P in the Phytamin compared with none in the Nature Safe. Rhizome storage had no effect on soil nutrients (Tables 9 and 10) in our study. Other than the lowest Cu levels in the soils grown with MS ginger in 2019 and 2020, there were no consistent trends for the effects of the three types of planting material on soil nutrients.

Conclusion

In our study, rhizome storage in pans decreased rhizome weight loss in 1 of 2 years of the trial. This overall loss was still high—23% to 35%—compared with the 29% we recorded from flat storage in 2018 and the 28% (Chittaragi et al. 2002) and 19% (Paull et al. 1988) reported by others. In general, rhizome storage did not affect the growth parameters measured for plant height, leaf SPAD index, rhizome yield, and soil nutrient content, and the effect on tillers was mixed in 2019, with none in 2020. However, our economic analysis showed that it was more profitable to produce ginger from pan-stored rhizomes than flat-stored ones. Fertilizer did not affect plant height in 2018 and 2019, but Nature Safe increased shoot height significantly up to 3 months after planting in 2020. Tiller numbers were greater with Phytamin compared with Nature Safe for 2018 and 2019, but were unaffected in 2020. The leaf SPAD index was generally unaffected by fertilizer. Rhizome yield in years 2 and 3 was unaffected by fertilizer type, and soil P levels were less in Nature Safe–fertilized soil than in Phytamin-fertilized soil for those 2 years. With high P levels in the land in this region as an ongoing concern, and no effect of fertilizer on yield in 2 of the 3 years of our study, these results suggest that using Nature Safe as a fertilizer for organic ginger may be a more environmentally friendly approach than using Phytamin. In addition, this approach is supported by the greater BCR and PI of Nature Safe compared with Phytamn in years 2019 and 2020. The type of plant material used for growing ginger in the high tunnel had significant effects on all parameters measured, with the MS seedlings producing the greatest rhizome yield, tallest plants, and the greatest number of tillers. Rhizome-derived seed plants were generally shortest, but they had comparable yield to the SS seedling–derived plants. The MS seedling plants had greatest BCRs and PIs and will be more profitable to use as planting materials in high tunnels compared with SS seedlings and rhizome seeds. These findings support our hypothesis that plant development, rhizome yield, and economic feasibility/benefit would be greater in MS-derived plants compared with SS transplants and rhizome seed planting material. Furthermore, our suggestion of a Nature Safe fertilizer over Phytamin in growing organic ginger from MS seedling is only applicable to soils in regions that have high levels of P.

References Cited

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    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Acharya, N, Acharya, B, Dhungana, SM & Bist, V 2019 Production economics of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rose.) in Salyan district of Nepal Arch Agric Environ Sci. 4 4 424 427

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baral, R, Kafle, BP, Panday, D, Shrestha, J & Min, D 2021 Adoption of good agricultural practice to increase yield and profit of ginger farming in Nepal J Hortic Res. 29 1 55 66 https://doi.org/10.2478/johr-2021-0009

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baye, MR & Prince, JT 2022 Managerial economics and business strategy 20 21 10th ed McGraw Hill Education New York, NY, USA

  • Beale, AJ, Ramirez, L, Diaz, M, Munoz, A & Flores, C 2006 Effect of seed set weight of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on yield 407 411 Santiago, HL & Lugo, WI Food safety and value added production and marketing in tropical crops. Caribbean Food Crops Society Carolina, Puerto Rico

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bhagyalakshmi, B & Singh, NS 1988 Meristem culture and micropropagation of a variety of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) with a high yield of oleoresin J Hortic Sci. 63 2 321 327

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chittaragi, D, Menon, JS & Anoop, EV 2022 Histochemical analysis and storage behaviour of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) under zero-energy cool chamber (ZECC) PLoS One 17 5 e0265320 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0265320

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Flores, S, Retana-Cordero, M, Fisher, PR, Freyre, R & Gómez, C 2021 Effect of photoperiod, propagative material, and production period on greenhouse-grown ginger and turmeric plants HortScience. 56 12 1476 1485 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI16025-21

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hailemichael, G & Tesfaye, K 2008 The effects of seed rhizome size on the growth, yield and economic return of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) Asian J Plant Sci. 7 2 213 217

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hongjun, M, Lie, R & Huihe, L 2016 Study on soil nutrient contents and nutrient characteristics of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) Agric Sci Technol. 17 1 92 95

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jamir, C 2022 Economic analysis of organic ginger farming in Longleng district: A case study Pongo, Yongnyah, Yongam, and Bhumnyu village Agripreneur J Pertanian Agribisnis. 11 1 1 11

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jyotsna, N, Ghosh, M, Ghosh, DC, Metei, WI & Timsina, J 2013 Effect of biofertilizer on growth, productivity, quality and economics of rainfed organic ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) Bhaisey cv. in north-eastern region of India J Agric Sci Technol. 3 83 98

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kakar, R, Sharma, JC, Mogta, A, Guleria, A & Thakur, J 2020 Assessment of various nutrient management technologies for quality, fertilizer use efficiency, and economics of ginger production under subtropical to subtemperate conditions Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal. 51 22 2805 2820

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kandiannan, K, Sivaraman, K, Thankamani, CK & Peter, KV 1996 Agronomy of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.): A review J Spices Aromat Crops. 5 1 1 27

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kandiannan, K, Thankamani, CK, Shiva, KN & Mathew, PA 2012 Ginger seed multiplication: Rate and relationship 584 590 Singh, HP, Sidhu, AS, Singh, BP, Krishnamoorthy, A, Aghora, TS, Khandekar, N, Sahijram, L, Mohan, N & Rekha, A Quality seeds and planting material in horticultural crops. Society for Promotion of Horticulture IIHR, Bengaluru, India

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kleinman, PJA, Fanelli, RM, Hirsch, RM, Buda, AR, Easton, ZM, Wainger, LA, Brosch, C, Lowenfish, M, Collick, AS, Shirmohammadi, A, Boomer, K, Hubbart, JA, Bryant, RB & Shenk, GW 2019 Phosphorus and the Chesapeake Bay: Lingering issues and emerging concerns for agriculture J Environ Qual. 48 5 1191 1203 https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2019.03.0112

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Li, H, Huang, M, Tan, D, Liao, Q, Zou, Y & Jiang, Y 2018 Effects of soil moisture content on the growth and physiological status of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) Acta Physiol Plant. 40 125 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-018-2698-4

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Loh, FCW, Grabosky, JC & Bassuk, NL 2002 Using the SPAD 502 meter to assess chlorophyll and nitrogen content of benjamin fig and cottonwood leaves HortTechnology. 12 682 686 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH.12.4.682

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mankiw, NG 2015 Principles of microeconomics 7th ed 221 223 Cengage Learning Samford, CT, USA

  • Marsh, L, Hashem, F & Smith, B 2021 Organic ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) development in a short temperate growing season: Effect of seedling transplant type and mycorrhiza application Am J Plant Sci. 12 315 328 https://doi.org/10.4236/ajps.2021.123020

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maryland Department of Agriculture 2015 Content and criteria for a nutrient management plan developed for an agricultural operation https://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/Documents/15.20.08.pdf. [accessed 6 Jun 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mathew, SM & Sreekala, GS 2019 Effect of mulch and nutrients on growth and yield in transplanted ginger Indian J Agric Res. 53 6 693 697

  • Mohd, YS, Manas, MA, Sidik, NJ, Ahmad, R & Yaacob, A 2015 Effects of organic substrates on growth and yield of ginger cultivated using soilless culture Malays Appl Biol. 44 3 63 68

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nair, KP 2019 Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) and ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.): World’s invaluable medicinal spices Springer Cham, Switzerland https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-29189-1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nwachukwu, EC 2017 Study of some physiological and yield traits of two ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) cultivars Glob J Agric Sci. 16 73 76 https://doi.org/10.4314/gjass.v16i1.10

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nybe, EV & Raj, NM 2004 Ginger production in India and other South Asian Countries 211 240 Ravindra, PN & Nirmal Babu, K Ginger: The genus Zingiber. CRC Press Boca Raton, FL, USA

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Organic Trade Association 2022 Organic market overview https://ota.com/resources/market-analysis. [accessed 9 Aug 2022]

  • Paull, RE, Chen, NJ & Goo, TTC 1988 Control of weight loss and sprouting of ginger rhizome in storage HortScience. 23 734 736 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.23.4.734

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prasath, D, Kandiannan, K, Srinivasan, V, Leela, NK & Anandaraj, M 2018 Comparison of conventional and transplant production systems on yield and quality of ginger (Zingiber officinale) Indian J Agric Sci. 88 4 615 620

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rafie, R, Nartea, T & Mullins, C 2012 Growing high tunnel ginger in high tunnels: A niche crop with market potential Proc Florida State Hortic Soc. 125 142 143

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ravindran, PN, Babu, N & Shiva, KN 2005 Botany and crop improvement of ginger 15 86 Ravindran, PN & Nirmal Babu, K Ginger: The genus Zingiber, medicinal and aromatic plants: Industrial profiles. CRC Press Boca Raton, FL, USA

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sanwal, SK, Yadav, RD & Singh, PK 2007 Effect of types of organic manure on growth, yield and quality parameters of ginger (Zingiber officinale) Indian J Agric Sci. 77 2 67 72

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shadap, A, Hegde, NK & Lyngdoh, YA 2015 Effect of storage methods and seed rhizome treatment on the field performance of ginger J Spices Aromat Crops. 24 1 51 55

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sideman, B 2018 Effects of early season heating, low tunnels, and harvest time on ginger yields in New Hampshire, 2017 UNH Cooperative Extension. https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource007161_Rep10344.pdf. [accessed 10 Oct 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, MK & Hamill, SD 1996 Field evaluation of micro-propagated and conventionally propagated ginger in subtropical Queensland Aust J Exp Agric. 36 347 354

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stephens, JM 2018 Ginger: Zingiber officinale Roscoe University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/MV/MV06700.pdf. [accessed 10 Oct 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sudha, B, John, J, Meera, AV & Sajeena, A 2020 Growth, nutrient uptake and yield of ginger as impacted by potting media, foliar nutrition and microbial inoculants J Spices Aromat Crops. 29 2 113 121

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • US Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service 2022 Run a custom report https://www.ams.usda.gov/market-news/custom-reports. [accessed 12 Jul 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Verma, VK, Patel, RK, Deshmukh, NA, Jha, AK, Ngachan, SV, Singha, AK & Deka, BC 2019 Response of ginger and turmeric to organic versus traditional production practices at different elevations under humid subtropics of north-eastern India Ind Crops Prod. 136 21 27

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Walmart 2022 Fresh ginger root per lb https://www.walmart.com/ip/Fresh-Ginger-Root-per-lb/44391005. [accessed 9 Aug 2022]

  • Waypoint Analytical 2023 Soil sampling http://www.waypointanalytical.com/Docs/WaypointSoilSamplingGuide.pdf. [accessed 4 Jan 2023]

  • Xizhen, A, Jinfeng, S & Xia, X 2004 Ginger production in Southeast Asia 241 278 Ravindran, PN & Nirmal Babu, K Ginger: The genus Zingiber, medicinal and aromatic plants: Industrial profiles. CRC Press Boca Raton, FL, USA

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yadav, AR, Nawale, RN, Korake, GN & Khandekar, RG 2013 Effect of dates of planting and spacing on growth and yield characteristics of ginger (Zingiber officinale Ros.) var. IISR Mahima J Spices Aromat Crops. 22 2 209 214

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fig. 1.

    (A) Pan storage of ginger. (B) Flat storage of ginger.

  • Fig. 2.

    (A) Multishoot ginger seedling. (B) Single-shoot ginger seedling. (C) Rhizome seed piece.

  • Agbede, TM 2019 Influence of five years of tillage and poultry manure application on soil properties and ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) productivity J Crop Sci Biotechnol. 22 2 91 99

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Acharya, N, Acharya, B, Dhungana, SM & Bist, V 2019 Production economics of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rose.) in Salyan district of Nepal Arch Agric Environ Sci. 4 4 424 427

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baral, R, Kafle, BP, Panday, D, Shrestha, J & Min, D 2021 Adoption of good agricultural practice to increase yield and profit of ginger farming in Nepal J Hortic Res. 29 1 55 66 https://doi.org/10.2478/johr-2021-0009

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baye, MR & Prince, JT 2022 Managerial economics and business strategy 20 21 10th ed McGraw Hill Education New York, NY, USA

  • Beale, AJ, Ramirez, L, Diaz, M, Munoz, A & Flores, C 2006 Effect of seed set weight of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on yield 407 411 Santiago, HL & Lugo, WI Food safety and value added production and marketing in tropical crops. Caribbean Food Crops Society Carolina, Puerto Rico

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bhagyalakshmi, B & Singh, NS 1988 Meristem culture and micropropagation of a variety of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) with a high yield of oleoresin J Hortic Sci. 63 2 321 327

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chittaragi, D, Menon, JS & Anoop, EV 2022 Histochemical analysis and storage behaviour of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) under zero-energy cool chamber (ZECC) PLoS One 17 5 e0265320 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0265320

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ernst, M & Durbin, K 2019 Ginger and turmeric Center for Crop Diversification Crop Profile, CCD-CP-138. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Cooperative Extension Service. http://www.uky.edu/ccd/sites/www.uky.edu.ccd/files/ginger_turmeric.pdf. [accessed 7 Feb 2023]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Evans, JR 1983 Nitrogen and photosynthesis in the flag leaf of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Plant Physiol. 72 297 302 https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.72.2.297

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Flores, S, Retana-Cordero, M, Fisher, PR, Freyre, R & Gómez, C 2021 Effect of photoperiod, propagative material, and production period on greenhouse-grown ginger and turmeric plants HortScience. 56 12 1476 1485 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI16025-21

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hailemichael, G & Tesfaye, K 2008 The effects of seed rhizome size on the growth, yield and economic return of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) Asian J Plant Sci. 7 2 213 217

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hongjun, M, Lie, R & Huihe, L 2016 Study on soil nutrient contents and nutrient characteristics of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) Agric Sci Technol. 17 1 92 95

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jamir, C 2022 Economic analysis of organic ginger farming in Longleng district: A case study Pongo, Yongnyah, Yongam, and Bhumnyu village Agripreneur J Pertanian Agribisnis. 11 1 1 11

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jyotsna, N, Ghosh, M, Ghosh, DC, Metei, WI & Timsina, J 2013 Effect of biofertilizer on growth, productivity, quality and economics of rainfed organic ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) Bhaisey cv. in north-eastern region of India J Agric Sci Technol. 3 83 98

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kakar, R, Sharma, JC, Mogta, A, Guleria, A & Thakur, J 2020 Assessment of various nutrient management technologies for quality, fertilizer use efficiency, and economics of ginger production under subtropical to subtemperate conditions Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal. 51 22 2805 2820

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kandiannan, K, Sivaraman, K, Thankamani, CK & Peter, KV 1996 Agronomy of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.): A review J Spices Aromat Crops. 5 1 1 27

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kandiannan, K, Thankamani, CK, Shiva, KN & Mathew, PA 2012 Ginger seed multiplication: Rate and relationship 584 590 Singh, HP, Sidhu, AS, Singh, BP, Krishnamoorthy, A, Aghora, TS, Khandekar, N, Sahijram, L, Mohan, N & Rekha, A Quality seeds and planting material in horticultural crops. Society for Promotion of Horticulture IIHR, Bengaluru, India

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kleinman, PJA, Fanelli, RM, Hirsch, RM, Buda, AR, Easton, ZM, Wainger, LA, Brosch, C, Lowenfish, M, Collick, AS, Shirmohammadi, A, Boomer, K, Hubbart, JA, Bryant, RB & Shenk, GW 2019 Phosphorus and the Chesapeake Bay: Lingering issues and emerging concerns for agriculture J Environ Qual. 48 5 1191 1203 https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2019.03.0112

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Li, H, Huang, M, Tan, D, Liao, Q, Zou, Y & Jiang, Y 2018 Effects of soil moisture content on the growth and physiological status of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) Acta Physiol Plant. 40 125 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-018-2698-4

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Loh, FCW, Grabosky, JC & Bassuk, NL 2002 Using the SPAD 502 meter to assess chlorophyll and nitrogen content of benjamin fig and cottonwood leaves HortTechnology. 12 682 686 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH.12.4.682

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mankiw, NG 2015 Principles of microeconomics 7th ed 221 223 Cengage Learning Samford, CT, USA

  • Marsh, L, Hashem, F & Smith, B 2021 Organic ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) development in a short temperate growing season: Effect of seedling transplant type and mycorrhiza application Am J Plant Sci. 12 315 328 https://doi.org/10.4236/ajps.2021.123020

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maryland Department of Agriculture 2015 Content and criteria for a nutrient management plan developed for an agricultural operation https://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/Documents/15.20.08.pdf. [accessed 6 Jun 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mathew, SM & Sreekala, GS 2019 Effect of mulch and nutrients on growth and yield in transplanted ginger Indian J Agric Res. 53 6 693 697

  • Mohd, YS, Manas, MA, Sidik, NJ, Ahmad, R & Yaacob, A 2015 Effects of organic substrates on growth and yield of ginger cultivated using soilless culture Malays Appl Biol. 44 3 63 68

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nair, KP 2019 Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) and ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.): World’s invaluable medicinal spices Springer Cham, Switzerland https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-29189-1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nwachukwu, EC 2017 Study of some physiological and yield traits of two ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) cultivars Glob J Agric Sci. 16 73 76 https://doi.org/10.4314/gjass.v16i1.10

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nybe, EV & Raj, NM 2004 Ginger production in India and other South Asian Countries 211 240 Ravindra, PN & Nirmal Babu, K Ginger: The genus Zingiber. CRC Press Boca Raton, FL, USA

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Organic Trade Association 2022 Organic market overview https://ota.com/resources/market-analysis. [accessed 9 Aug 2022]

  • Paull, RE, Chen, NJ & Goo, TTC 1988 Control of weight loss and sprouting of ginger rhizome in storage HortScience. 23 734 736 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.23.4.734

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prasath, D, Kandiannan, K, Srinivasan, V, Leela, NK & Anandaraj, M 2018 Comparison of conventional and transplant production systems on yield and quality of ginger (Zingiber officinale) Indian J Agric Sci. 88 4 615 620

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rafie, R, Nartea, T & Mullins, C 2012 Growing high tunnel ginger in high tunnels: A niche crop with market potential Proc Florida State Hortic Soc. 125 142 143

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ravindran, PN, Babu, N & Shiva, KN 2005 Botany and crop improvement of ginger 15 86 Ravindran, PN & Nirmal Babu, K Ginger: The genus Zingiber, medicinal and aromatic plants: Industrial profiles. CRC Press Boca Raton, FL, USA

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sanwal, SK, Yadav, RD & Singh, PK 2007 Effect of types of organic manure on growth, yield and quality parameters of ginger (Zingiber officinale) Indian J Agric Sci. 77 2 67 72

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shadap, A, Hegde, NK & Lyngdoh, YA 2015 Effect of storage methods and seed rhizome treatment on the field performance of ginger J Spices Aromat Crops. 24 1 51 55

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sideman, B 2018 Effects of early season heating, low tunnels, and harvest time on ginger yields in New Hampshire, 2017 UNH Cooperative Extension. https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource007161_Rep10344.pdf. [accessed 10 Oct 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, MK & Hamill, SD 1996 Field evaluation of micro-propagated and conventionally propagated ginger in subtropical Queensland Aust J Exp Agric. 36 347 354

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stephens, JM 2018 Ginger: Zingiber officinale Roscoe University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/MV/MV06700.pdf. [accessed 10 Oct 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sudha, B, John, J, Meera, AV & Sajeena, A 2020 Growth, nutrient uptake and yield of ginger as impacted by potting media, foliar nutrition and microbial inoculants J Spices Aromat Crops. 29 2 113 121

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • US Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service 2022 Run a custom report https://www.ams.usda.gov/market-news/custom-reports. [accessed 12 Jul 2022]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Verma, VK, Patel, RK, Deshmukh, NA, Jha, AK, Ngachan, SV, Singha, AK & Deka, BC 2019 Response of ginger and turmeric to organic versus traditional production practices at different elevations under humid subtropics of north-eastern India Ind Crops Prod. 136 21 27

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Walmart 2022 Fresh ginger root per lb https://www.walmart.com/ip/Fresh-Ginger-Root-per-lb/44391005. [accessed 9 Aug 2022]

  • Waypoint Analytical 2023 Soil sampling http://www.waypointanalytical.com/Docs/WaypointSoilSamplingGuide.pdf. [accessed 4 Jan 2023]

  • Xizhen, A, Jinfeng, S & Xia, X 2004 Ginger production in Southeast Asia 241 278 Ravindran, PN & Nirmal Babu, K Ginger: The genus Zingiber, medicinal and aromatic plants: Industrial profiles. CRC Press Boca Raton, FL, USA

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yadav, AR, Nawale, RN, Korake, GN & Khandekar, RG 2013 Effect of dates of planting and spacing on growth and yield characteristics of ginger (Zingiber officinale Ros.) var. IISR Mahima J Spices Aromat Crops. 22 2 209 214

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Lurline E. Marsh Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 30921 Martin Court, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA

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Mohammad Ali Department of Business, Management & Accounting, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 2095 EASC Building, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA

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Brett D. Smith Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 30921 Martin Court, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA

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Petrina McKenzie-Reynolds Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 30921 Martin Court, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA

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Contributor Notes

This study was supported by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Evans Allen funds of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Agricultural Experiment Station.

Mention of a trademark, proprietary product, or vendor does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by the USDA and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products or vendors that also may be suitable.

L.E.M. is the corresponding author. E-mail: lemarsh@umes.edu.

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