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Reflective Film Affects Fruit Color, Quality, and Profitability of Apples

Iglesias and Alegre (p. 488) report that covering the orchard floor with either Extenday™ or Solarmate™ reflective film 5 weeks before commercial harvest increased photosynthetically active radiation compared to the control. Both reflective films significantly increased ‘Mondial Gala’ apple skin color on both sides of the fruit and the number of fruit picked at first harvest. Season affected fruit color development; however, harvest date, fruit quality parameters, and maturity were not consistently affected by reflective film. Both films increased orchard profitability compared to the control, but the benefit of

Reflective Film Affects Fruit Color, Quality, and Profitability of Apples

Iglesias and Alegre (p. 488) report that covering the orchard floor with either Extenday™ or Solarmate™ reflective film 5 weeks before commercial harvest increased photosynthetically active radiation compared to the control. Both reflective films significantly increased ‘Mondial Gala’ apple skin color on both sides of the fruit and the number of fruit picked at first harvest. Season affected fruit color development; however, harvest date, fruit quality parameters, and maturity were not consistently affected by reflective film. Both films increased orchard profitability compared to the control, but the benefit of this technique will depend largely on fruit prices.

Resistance of Flowering Bulbs to Rodent Damage

Curtis et al. (p. 499) evaluated the ability of 30 different flowering bulbs to deter rodents. Both fresh plant material and powdered bulb-applesauce mixes were offered twice to 12-15 pairs of voles. With fresh bulbs, only tulip exhibited no resistance to feeding. Bulb-applesauce mixes containing hyacinth, crocus, corn leaf iris, dutch iris, dwarf iris, ornamental onion, and squill were readily consumed. These bulbs could be damaged at sites with high rodent activity. Daffodil, painted arum, camass, glory-of-the-snow, autumn crocus, crown imperial, persian fritillaria, snowdrop, and grape hyacinth were resistant to vole feeding both as fresh bulbs, and dried-bulb/applesauce mixes.

Pear Responses to Split Fertigation and Band Placement of N and P

Single surface broadcasting of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) results in low N and P use efficiency in pear. Yin et al. (p. 586) report that split fertigation and band placement both slightly increased pear fruit yield, but increased marketable fruit by 20.9% and 11.1% after 3 months of cold storage compared with surface broadcasting and surface broadcasting with soil disturbance caused by band placement, respectively. No detrimental effects on plant N and P nutrition, fruit weight, or soil amino sugar N were observed from lowering both N and P application rates by 20% with split fertigation.

Ecological Limits to the Distribution of Codling Moth

Codling moth (CM) has been identified as a pest of quarantine concern for temperate tree fruit production in tropical and subtropical countries. However, the literature presents a hypothesis that the distribution of CM is limited to temperate regions by day length and chilling requirements. Willett et al. (p. 633) describe an approach used to identify those low latitude countries where existing worldwide CM distribution reports appear to be in error. The analysis supports the concept of host-independent ecological limits to the distribution of CM.

Laser Etching Is a Safe Technology for Labeling Grapefruit

Low-energy CO2 laser beams can be used to permanently label fruit by etching the surface, creating contrast with the underlying layer. The long-term effect of laser labeling on the physiology and storage of fruit has not been investigated previously. Sood et al. (p. 504) examined water loss, decay, and peel stability during storage of laser-labeled grapefruit with both coated and uncoated fruit labels. There was no increase in decay due to laser labeling, and water loss was halted with a post-label wax coating. Laser labeling was an effective method to label citrus fruit.

Methyl Bromide Alternatives in Fruit and Nut Plant Nurseries

Production of nematode-free nursery stock in California depends heavily on preplant soil fumigation. In response to the methyl bromide phaseout, Schneider and Hanson (p. 526) evaluated pest control with alternative fumigants in an open-field nursery. No fall-applied fumigation treatment caused phytotoxicity to the 24 spring-planted tree, grape, and berry crops tested. Untarped applications did not provide acceptable weed and nematode control. Tarped applications of iodomethane: chloropicrin controlled nematodes similar to 1,3-dichloropropene treatments; however, only methyl bromide consistently reduced nematode levels below detection limits throughout the production cycle.

Adoption of Appropriate Pesticide Mixtures by Greenhouse Growers

Greenhouse growers tank mix pesticides (insecticides and/or miticides) to manage pests in greenhouses. However, no quantitative assessment exists on the pesticide mixtures (two-, three-, and four-way combinations) adopted by the industry. Cloyd (p. 638) reports that greenhouse growers utilized a wide variety of pesticide mixtures although there were issues regarding certain pesticide mixtures. The two pesticides included in a majority of the two-way and three-way mixtures were spinosad and abamectin. Approximately 38% of the pesticide mixtures cited for control of the twospotted spider mite should have been avoided due to similar life stage activity.

Susceptibility of Watermelon ‘AU-Performance’ to Plant Viruses

‘AU-Performance’ watermelon was evaluated for its response to inoculation with three important viruses: papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), watermelon mosaic virus (WMV), and zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV). The evaluation included the resistant (PI595203) and susceptible (‘AU-Producer’) parents along with ‘AU-Allsweet’ and ‘Charleston Gray’. Murphy and Dane (p. 609) observed that each of the viruses systemically infected ‘AU-Performance’ with 100% infection and characteristic systemic symptoms. ‘AU-Producer’, ‘AU-Allsweet’, and ‘Charleston Gray’ responded similarly with 100% infection and systemic symptoms. In contrast, PI595203 was resistant to WMV and ZYMV; however, PRSV-inoculated plants developed a systemic infection.

1-MCP and Ethoxyquin Control Superficial Scald of ‘Anjou’ Pears

Bai et al. (p. 521) report that a combination of 25 ppb 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), which is easily applied and does not influence ripening ability, and a delayed application (up to 60 days) of 1000 ppm ethoxyquin, which is a low dosage that does not cause phytotoxicity on fruit, controlled scald sufficiently. Scald is linked with accumulation of the conjugated triene (CT) oxidation products of a-farnesene. 1-MCP and ethoxyquin inhibited accumulation of CT in fruit peel by different mechanisms. 1-MCP inhibited the production by reducing both a-farnesene synthesis and the oxidation to CT, whereas ethoxyquin worked by inhibiting the latter.

Fungicide Seed Treatments Aid Seedling Emergence from Ascochyta-infected Chickpea Seed

Ascochyta blight, caused by the fungus Ascochyta rabiei, is a destructive foliar disease of chickpea. Seed infection plays an important role in disease development and long-distance dispersal of the pathogen. Wise et al. (p. 533) demonstrated in growth chamber trials that seedling emergence from symptomatic A. rabiei-infected chickpea seed could be increased when treated with fungicide seed treatments. Laboratory studies found that asymptomatic A. rabiei-infected seed had 16% A. rabiei infection. This work reinforces the need for seed health testing and fungicide seed treatments as part of an ascochyta blight management program for chickpea production.

Hazelnut Varieties/selections from Oregon Perform Well in Slovenia

Solar and Štampar (p. 653) evaluated three hazelnut varieties and three selections from Oregon State University's breeding program in northeastern Slovenia. All varieties/selections exceeded 45% kernel percentage and had at least 76% good kernels. ‘Willamette,’ OSU 238.125, and ‘Clark’ expressed the best climatic adaptation. OSU 228.084 was promising due to good vegetative growth and the highest yield and yield efficiency.

Methods for Evaluating Native Grasses for Turf

Turfgrass research plots traditionally are evaluated using visual rating procedures and, more recently, digital image analysis. However, when assessing turfgrass quality of native and adapted grasses, a range of colors, textures, and amount of cover complicates evaluation. Bunderson et al. (p. 626) determined that while digital image analysis was effective to compare varieties of the same or similar species, it could not replace visual ratings when evaluating species and varieties with a diversity of green colors and quality characteristics. A combination of the two methods was best when evaluating these types of turfgrasses.

In-row Distance between Triploid Miniwatermelon Field Transplants Affects Final Yield and Quality of Watermelon Fruit Harvested

Hassell et al. (p. 538) found that reduction of in-row plant spacing from 21 inches to 9 inches did not alter miniwatermelon fruit size, but did affect yield. Yield peaked when in-row spacing was reduced from 21 to 15 inches. No additional yield benefits were obtained at the closer in-row spacing of 9 and 12 inches. Soluble solids and all other quality parameters were unaffected by in-row plant spacing. The most consistent high yielding variety was Petite Perfection, with all varieties reaching their yield potential at in-row spacing of 15 inches.

Aquatic Herbicide Irrigation Restrictions Sufficient to Prevent Damage to Some Bedding Plants

Aquatic herbicides sometimes are applied to bodies of water that are used by homeowners for irrigation of landscape ornamentals and bedding plants. Gettys and Haller (p. 546) found that current irrigation restrictions on imazamox and penoxsulam are adequate to minimize damage to begonia, vinca, and impatiens if herbicide-treated waters are used for four irrigation events. However, irrigation restrictions should be established for the experimental herbicides quinclorac and topramezone to prevent damage to sensitive bedding plants such as melampodium.

Plant Density Impacts Mini Triploid Watermelon Yield and Revenue

Although mini triploid watermelons are an important segment of the U.S. watermelon market, little is understood about plant densities needed to maximize marketable mini-sized (3- to 8-lb) fruit yield. Walters (p. 553) found that 12,446 plants/acre was the optimum density to obtain the highest percentage of marketable mini-sized fruit and greatest net revenues compared to the approximate 4000 plants/acre currently used by most growers. Thus, growers of mini triploid watermelons may see a drastic improvement in revenue generation with an increase of about 3x in plant density.

Evaluating Educational Programs at Public Gardens

Evaluation is an important component of developing educational programs at public gardens; however, many factors, such as staff knowledge and expertise, prevent evaluations from being conducted. Steil and Lyons (p. 601) interviewed public garden professionals in the U.S. to gain a greater understanding of the current state of evaluation at public gardens and improve an evaluation approach developed by the authors specifically for educators at public gardens. Information gained during the interview was used to improve the evaluation approach creating a useful tool for educators to use under the unique conditions present at a public garden.

Voles Like Cover Crops But Not Wood Chip Mulch in Orchards

Organic orchardists need to balance tree row management for weed control, tree nutrition, soil quality, and pests. Living mulch cover crops can benefit the first three goals, but are likely to increase potential tree damage from meadow voles. Wiman et al. (p. 558) found sweet woodruff to have significantly less vole presence than other cover crops planted in the tree row, and wood chip mulch had very low vole presence similar to bare ground.

Consumer Groups with Different Purchasing Choices for Flowers Exhibit Different Floral Consumption Values

Huang and Yeh (p. 563) report that consumers who had different purchase choices for flowers revealed different floral consumption values. The main difference across groups of consumers who had purchased flowers at different frequencies or who preferred to buy different types of flowers involved the value of curiosity fulfillment. Such differences may not only lead consumers to have different evaluations of flowers, but also are highly likely to influence consumers' behavior in searching for information and variety in the floral market, and thus impact the effectiveness of commercial communication in that market.

Profitability of Mechanical Fruit Thinning in Pecan

Alternate bearing is highly limiting to the profitability of growing pecans. Wells et al. (p. 518) investigated the profitability of mechanically thinning the crop load of ‘Sumner’ and ‘Cape Fear’ pecan trees. Mechanical fruit thinning in the heavy crop year increased the return crop and the crop value per tree the year following fruit thinning. The practice also reduced premature germination and water stage fruit split. Total 2-year crop value for thinned trees was more than two times greater than for unthinned trees.

Economic Analysis of Nitrogen Rate on Vine Production and Fruit Yield of Pruned Cranberry Beds

Four nitrogen (N) rates and pruning severities were applied in all combinations at two cranberry farms for 4 consecutive years. An economic analysis by Sandler and DeMoranville (p. 572) indicated that N, not pruning severity, largely determined net income. Rates of 100 and 150 lb/acre N led to declines in fruit yield and net income. Annual removal of 0.5 ton of vines while applying 50 lb/acre N did not reduce net income over the 4-year period. Fertilizer programs can impact the bottom line when the goal is production of vines for on-farm use or retail sale.

Postharvest Longevity of Guava Fruit with Distinctive Climacteric Behaviors

Most commercial guava varieties are climacteric and undergo rapid ripening and have short postharvest storage lives. Porat et al. (p. 580) characterized two new guava varieties selected from a guava breeding program in Israel, the red-flesh King and white-flesh Omri, that have better postharvest storage lives and appeared to exhibit either suppressed-climacteric or non-climacteric physiological behaviors, respectively. Accordingly, these two new varieties required lower concentrations of the ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene in order to delay ripening and extend longevity.

NAA and AVG Reduce Fruit Drop of Apple

Fruit drop can reduce production of some modern apple varieties, particularly if harvest is delayed. Unrath et al. (p. 620) followed natural fruit drop in the same ‘Scarletspur Delicious’ orchard over an 11-year period, and report that delaying harvest by only 1 week resulted in levels of fruit drop ranging between 2% and 33% depending on the year. Aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) and naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) treatments mitigated fruit drop most effectively in years of heavy natural fruit drop. AVG reduced the loss of fruit firmness at delayed harvests. NAA had either no or minimal effects on fruit firmness.

Postharvest Handling Protocols Developed for Seven Specialty Cut Flowers

Many promising new cut flowers are introduced to commercial markets each year and postharvest handling information is needed. Dole et al. (p. 593) found that cut stems of ‘Karma Thalia’ dahlia, ‘Sunrise’ lupine, ‘Indian Summer’ rudbeckia, ‘Jemmy Royal Purple’ trachelium, ‘Benary's Giant Scarlet’ zinnia, and ‘Sun Gold’ zinnia have excellent commercial potential due to a vase life of at least 7.9 to 20.7 days, which could be extended by various treatments. ‘Temptress’ poppy and ‘Lace Violet’ linaria had a vase life of less than 7 days in some experiments, but the use of commercial holding solutions increased vase life.

Fine-leaf Fescues with Enhanced Weed Suppression

A collection of 78 fine-leaf fescues was evaluated for turfgrass quality, seedling vigor, and weed suppressive ability in a multi-year evaluation at Ithaca, NY (Bertin et al., p. 660). Best performers were evaluated for their weed suppression in further studies. Several chewings fescue and strong creeping fescue varieties were highly suppressive, and provided between 85% to 95% weed suppression once established (e.g., ‘Intrigue’, ‘Sandpiper’, and ‘Reliant II’). ‘Treazure’ was least suppressive. Related laboratory studies indicate that certain fine-leaf fescue varieties produce large quantities of m-tyrosine in root exudates, which may contribute to their ability to suppress weed seedling growth.

Employer Attitudes/perceptions of Job Preparedness of Recent Iowa State University Horticulture Graduates

Employers of recent horticulture graduates were surveyed to assess the graduates' preparedness when entering the workforce and their abilities to complete job responsibilities. VanDerZanden and Reinert (p. 647) report that 95% of employers felt graduates were adequately to exceptionally well prepared. Further, employers ranked graduates' abilities in horticulture and professional skills as good to excellent. Other survey responses related to the importance of horticulture and business skills, work experience, attitude, and job preparedness. Results from this research will be used to improve existing curriculum.

African Violet Plants Are Affected by Brushing and Body Lotion

People have questioned whether african violets are damaged when touched, and if damage may be due to substances on hands. Brotton and Cole (p. 613) found that brushing decreases plant size and quality compared to not brushing, and brushing for 90 seconds results in smaller plant size and poorer quality than brushing for 30 seconds. Brushing with a hand treated with body lotion decreases plant size and quality more than brushing with a hand enclosed in a latex glove, suggesting that the body lotion or other substances on the nongloved hand adversely affect plant quality.

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