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Jean Masson, Nicolas Tremblay, and André Gosselin

This experiment was initiated to determine the effects of supplementary lighting of 100 μmol·s-1·m-2 (PAR) in combination with four N rates (100, 200, 300, and 400 mg N/liter) on growth of celery (Apium graveolens L.), lettuce (Luctuca sativa L.), broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica L.), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants in multicellular trays. Supplementary lighting, as compared with natural light alone, increased shoot dry weight of celery, lettuce, broccoli, and tomato transplants by 22%, 40%, 19%, and 24%, and root dry weight by 97%, 42%, 38%, and 21%, respectively. It also increased the percentage of shoot dry matter of broccoli and tomato, leaf area of lettuce and broccoli, and root: shoot dry weight ratio (RSDWR) of celery and broccoli. Compared with 100 mg N/liter, a N rate of 400 mg·liter-1 increased the shoot dry weight of celery, lettuce, broccoli, and tomato transplants by 37%, 38%, 61%, and 38%, respectively. High N fertilization accelerated shoot growth at the expense of root growth, except for tomato where a 16% increase of root dry weight was observed. High N also reduced percentage of shoot dry matter. Supplementary lighting appears to be a promising technique when used in combination with high N rates to improve the production of high quality transplants, particularly those sown early.

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Jean Masson, Nicolas Tremblay, and André Gosselin

Transplants of celery (Apium graveolens L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica L.), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) grown in multicellular trays under natural light or with supplementary lighting of 100 μmol·s-1·m-2 (PAR) in factorial combination with four rates of N fertilization (100, 200, 300, and 400 mg•liter-1) were tested for productivity under field conditions. Celery was seeded once, lettuce twice, and broccoli and tomato three times. Broccoli and tomato were transplanted at two sites, celery and lettuce at one. Supplementary lighting had no effect on yields of celery, lettuce, and broccoli, but significantly increased yields of early seeded tomato. High rates of N fertilization (300 and 400 mg·liter-1) applied at the transplant stage improved yields for all the species.

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Marie-Hélène Michaud, Joseph Makhlouf, Nicolas Tremblay, and André Gosselin

A research project was undertaken in 1990 with the objective of improving both quality and productivity of peas, beans and sweet corn grown and processed in Quebec (Canada). It was conducted with the technical and financial help of five proccessing companies. Cultivar trials were undertaken as part of this project together with an evaluation of commercial practices in the areas of pest control, fertilization and crop management. Samples of fresh and processed products were analysed for nutritional quality and pesticide residues. During this presentation we will show preliminary results of the pesticide residue analyses and will compare fresh and processed products. So far, determination of dimethoate, trifluralin and bentazone (peas), azinphosmethyl and permetrin (beans) and cypermetrin (sweet corn) showed no concentration exceeding the Canadian norm (<0, 1mg/kg), with the exception of a bean field with azinphosmethyl residues. Canning and freezing operations greatly reduced pesticide residues so that all processed samples tested below detectable levels.

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Nicolas Tremblay, Tarif Charbaji, Francois Fournier, and Odile Carisse

Scientific literature contains several examples of disease development influenced by fertilization practices. A set of data collected by the «Scouting and Research Network, South of Montreal Area» and consisting of disease and tissue analysis data on carrot and onion crops was made available for principal component analysis. It was hypothesized from the analysis that high N tissue levels would reduce Cercospora carotae and Botrytis squamosa importance on carrot and onion leaves, respectively. In a controlled environment study, Cercospora spots were inversely related to urea levels sprayed on carrot leaves although urea had no influence on plant growth. In a field study with onion, however, urea sprayed at 10 kg/ha, alone or in combination with a fungicide, had no effect either on Botrytis or on maturation or yield. With these mixed results, more research seems needed to assess the potential of nutrient sprays in reducing pesticide use.

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Sylvie Jenni, Pierre Dutilleul, Stephen Yamasaki, and Nicolas Tremblay

To investigate whether brown bead can be reduced by various cultural practices, a 3-year field study was conducted on a 600-acre broccoli (Brassica oleracea L., Italica group) farm in southwestern Quebec. Factors studied included N fertilization, soil series, previous crop, season of bed forming, or planting method. Four N treatments were randomly applied to two blocks in 41 fields of `Everest' broccoli: 85-0-0, 85-54-0, 85-54-54, and 85-54-108; the first number indicating N (kg·ha-1) applied before planting; the second, N applied 5 weeks after planting; and the last, N applied 7 weeks after planting. Over the 3-year study, brown bead affected 11% of the broccoli heads and accounted for one-third of the rejects. Brown bead severity on individual heads was described on a 0-8 scale. Plots with greater N applications (i.e., 85-54-54, 85-54-108) had significantly (P < 0.001) lower proportions of plants with brown bead compared with plots with lower N applications. Brown bead incidence reacted similarly from year to year to N fertilization and soil type. However, fertilization interacted with soil type. The less N was applied, the more soil effect was important. Soil effect was maximum at a low N level (85-0-0) with 2.5 times more plants showing brown bead in the Saint Blaise series than in the Sainte Rosalie series. Bed type, previous crop, or planting type did not affect the incidence of brown bead.

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Sylvie Jenni, Pierre Dutilleul, Stephen Yamasaki, and Nicolas Tremblay

In order to investigate their relationships with brown bead, a data set composed of 48 variables characterizing the developmental rate, climate, and nutrients in the soil and in the tissues of heads of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L., Italica group) was collected from 328 plots (41 experimental fields over 3 year× 4 N fertilization level× 2 blocks). The four N treatments were 85-0-0, 85-54-0, 85-54-54, and 85-54-108, the first number indicating the N level (kg·ha-1) applied before planting; the second, N level applied 5 weeks after planting; and the last, N level applied 7 weeks after planting. Broccoli plants were either direct-seeded (26 experimental fields) or transplanted (15 experimental fields). Whether direct-seeded or transplanted, fast-developing broccoli plants showed a lower incidence of brown bead. More particularly, heads of transplanted broccoli plants experiencing warmer temperatures had a lower brown bead incidence and severity. A regular supply of water decreased the incidence and severity of the physiological disorder in both direct-seeded and transplanted broccoli plants. Low levels of Ca and high levels of Mg and K in mature broccoli head tissues were associated with a higher incidence of brown bead. Multiple-regression models were developed to predict the percentage of broccoli heads with brown bead for direct-seeded plants (R 2 = 0.76; n = 104), and for transplanted plants (R 2 = 0.69; n = 44). For direct-seeded broccoli, solar radiation between the button stage (head diameter of 2.5 cm) and maturity (head diameter of 10 cm), as well as soil and tissue Mg content, were among the first variables to enter the regression models. In general, more solar radiation and less precipitation translated into more heads showing brown bead symptoms. For transplanted broccoli plants, the minimum temperature from the button stage to maturity was a key variable in the prediction of the percentage of heads with brown bead and the corresponding index of severity.

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Sylvie Jenni, Gaétan Bourgeois, Hélène Laurence, Geneviève Roy, and Nicolas Tremblay

Four snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivars, Goldrush, Teseo, Labrador, and Flevoro, were grown in irrigated fields of southern Quebec between 1985 and 1998. Data on phenology collected from these fields were used to determine which base temperature would best predict time from sowing to maturity. The optimal base temperature was 0 °C for `Goldrush', `Teseo', and `Labrador' and 6.7 °C for `Flevoro'. Adjusting different base temperatures for intermediate developmental stages (emergence, flowering) did not improve the prediction model. All years for a given cultivar were then used to determine the base temperature with the lowest coefficient of variation (CV) for predicting the time from sowing to maturity. A common base temperature of 0 °C was selected for all cultivars, since `Flevoro' was not very sensitive to changes in base temperature. This method improved the prediction of maturity compared with the conventional computation growing-degree days (GDD) with a base of 10 °C. For the years and cultivars used in this study, calculating GDD with a base of 0 °C gave an overall prediction of maturity of 1.7, 1.5, 2.0, and 1.4 days based on average absolute differences, for `Flevoro', `Goldrush', `Teseo', and `Labrador', respectively.

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Gaétan Bourgeois, Sylvie Jenni, Hélène Laurence, and Nicolas Tremblay

The heat-unit system, involving the sum of daily mean temperatures above a given base temperature, is used with processing pea (Pisum sativum L.) to predict relative maturity during the growing season and to schedule planting dates based on average temperature data. The Quebec pea processing industry uses a base temperature of 5 °C to compute growing-degree days (GDD) between sowing and maturity. This study was initiated to verify if the current model, which uses a base temperature of 5 °C, can be improved to predict maturity in Quebec. Four pea cultivars, `Bolero', `Rally', `Flair', and `Kriter', were grown between 1985 and 1997 on an experimental farm in Quebec. For all cultivars, when using a limited number of years, a base temperature between 0.0 and 0.8 °C reduced the coefficient of variation (cv) as compared with 5.0 °C, indicating that the base temperature used commercially is probably not the most appropriate for Quebec climatic conditions. The division of the developmental period into different stages (sowing until emergence, emergence until flowering, and flowering until maturity) was also investigated for some years. Use of base temperatures specific for each crop phase did not improve the prediction of maturity when compared with the use of an overall base temperature. All years for a given cultivar were then used to determine the base temperature with the lowest cv for predicting the time from sowing to maturity. A base temperature from 0 to 5 °C was generally adequate for all cultivars, and a common base temperature of 3.0 °C was selected for all cultivars. For the years and cultivars used in this study, the computation of GDD with a base temperature of 3 °C gave an overall prediction of maturity of 2.0, 2.4, 2.2, and 2.5 days based on the average of the absolute values of the differences for the cultivars Bolero, Rally, Flair, and Kriter, respectively.

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Nicolas Tremblay, Marie-Hélène Michaud, René Crête, and André Gosselin

With the increase in popularity of natural medicine there is an ever growing market for the production of medicinal plants. In the last decade, screening trials of a number of species were conducted. The species currently under study are: angelica (Angelica archangelica; biennial, roots harvested), thyme (Thymus vulgaris; perennial, shoot harvested), German chamomilla (Matricaria recutita; annual, flowers harvested), horehound (Marrubium vulgare; perennial, shoot harvested) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale; considered as a biennial, roots harvested). In 1990 the species were grown on three soil types (clay-loam, sandy loam and histosol) with different fertilization and irrigation practices. In 1991 two distinct trials were undertaken. The first considered herbicide efficiency and planting density. The second dealt with «organic» management strategies. Depending on the species, treatments of compost amendment, plastic mulch and implantation techniques were compared.