High-density Planting in a Precision Cultural System for Vegetable Production

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 Hammond Research Station, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, 5925 Old Covington Hwy, Hammond, LA 70403.
  • | 2 Department of Agricultural Engineering, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.
  • | 3 Sweet Potato Research Station, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Chase, LA 71324.

A cultural system consisting of precision seeding on shaped beds, followed by cultivation using mechanically guided equipment, was developed and evaluated with several vegetable crops. The precision cultural system allowed for growing the crops at high plant populations by using precision planting and exact cultivation of multiple narrow rows of plants on wide beds. Eight field experiments were conducted from 1987 to 1989 on broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L.), cabbage (Bra&a oleracea var. capitata L.), mustard (Brassica juncea var. crispfolia L.), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) to evaluate production of these crops on single- and multiple-row configurations on narrow (1 -m) and wide (2-m) beds. The precision cultural system was assessed to be an excellent method for production of the small-seeded crops that were tested. Yield was highest for cabbage, mustard, and spinach planted in six rows on 2-m beds compared with four-, two-, or one-row beds. Multiple-row configurations did offer yield advantages over the single-row configuration for broccoli production.

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