Field studies were conducted at two locations in 1995 to determine the effect of spacing, nitrogen application, and variety on pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) marketable yield. Pumpkin yield was unaffected by three rates of applied N (67, 112, or 157 kg N·ha-1). Marketable fruit number per hectare increased with both 'Howden' and 'Wizard' pumpkins as in-row plant spacing decreased from 1.2 to 0.3 m. Average fruit size significantly decreased at the closer spacing, but the decline in mass was much greater in nonirrigated as compared to irrigated plots. This resulted in a significantly greater yield in the irrigated plots at the closer spacing, while there was no significant increase in yield without irrigation. The results demonstrate that growers may increase the number of fruit per unit area with closer spacing but optimal soil moisture may be a prerequisite for the increase.
Stephen Reiners and Dale I.M. Riggs
Stephen Reiners and Dale I.M. Riggs
Field studies were conducted in 1996 on two pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultivars, `Howden' (vining-type growth habit) and `Wizard' (semi-bush growth habit), at two locations to determine the effect of plant population and row width on marketable yield. Increasing plant populations from 2990 to 8960 plants per hectare resulted in significantly greater fruit number and yield at both locations and for both varieties. Average fruit size declined at the highest populations. Increasing row width from 1.8 to 3.6 m resulted in a slight but significant decrease in number of fruit per hectare with no effect on other yield parameters. At one location, the effect of row width on yield and number of fruit per hectare depended on the population. At low populations, row width did not influence yield or fruit number; at high populations, wide rows produced lower yield and fewer fruit than narrow rows. The results demonstrate that growers may increase pumpkin yield by increasing plant populations but should use narrower row widths and wider in-row spacing. Growers who choose higher populations should ensure that all inputs are optimized to reduce potential plant-to-plant competition and use regionally adapted cultivars.
Stephen Reiners, James Nichnadowicz, Peter J. Nitzsche, and Stephen Bachelder
Stephen Reiners, Robin G. Brumfield, and Donald J. Prostak
Tomatoes, cultivar `Mountain Pride', were evaluated for productivity, post-harvest qualities, and pest populations in three different production systems. These included a conventional, high chemical input system with prophylactic applications of pesticides and fertilizers; a reduced chemical input system that used pesticides only as needed; and a transitional organic system that followed the guidelines of the Organic Farmers Association of New Jersey. No significant differences were observed in either the high input or low input system despite a reduction in synthetic pesticide and fertilizer use. Organically produced tomatoes yielded significantly less than the other production systems in terms of total yields. Average fruit size was increased, however, along with the percentage of tomatoes with diameters larger than 7.7 cm. Differences in pest populations were noted between the plots.
Anusuya Rangarajan, Marvin P. Pritts, Stephen Reiners, and Laura H. Pedersen
Recent outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with produce have prompted national attention on grower practices and produce handling. In 1998, we conducted a survey of New York fruit and vegetable growers to compare current management practices related to manure, compost and on-farm water quality with federal guidelines to reduce food safety risk. We were able to identify areas requiring additional educational effort, particularly for small farms. The respondents (213 total) represented 36% of the produce acreage in the state and many (54%) farmed less than 100 acres (40 ha). While most growers (60% to 95%) were able to identify meat and fruit as associated outbreaks, fewer (23% to 36%) identified outbreaks associated with vegetables. Of the 76 respondents (36% of total) who applied manure or compost, most (88%) used practices that would reduce food safety risks based on federal guidelines. However, only 52% of growers identified these practices as reducing food safety risk. Most growers used surface water for irrigation (76%), but few reported testing water quality. However, we do not have standards for surface water quality or cost-effective remediation strategies. Testing ground water for bacteria was more frequently reported by organic growers (P < 0.01). Growers commonly washed produce on farm (92%) but rarely added sanitizers to this water (16%). General food safety training should increase emphasis on past outbreaks associated with produce, manure management practices that reduce risks so that growers can more accurately report on-farm efforts and record keeping of manure and water management for traceback purposes. Small farms specifically required additional training in three key areas: record keeping of manure applications, composting processes to achieve pathogen kill, and sanitation of wash water. Organically certified farms were more frequently in compliance with federal food safety guidelines for manure and water quality management than conventional growers (P < 0.05), but required additional training in proper composting to kill pathogens. These results have been incorporated into our current food safety extension efforts, which focus on design of self-assessment tools for small farms, development of bilingual food safety training materials, and dissemination of food safety presentations and resources for extension and other agricultural agencies to use in training programs.
Julie R. Kikkert, Stephen Reiners, and Beth K. Gugino
To maximize the yield of desirable grades of beet roots for processing, ‘Ruby Queen’ beet (Beta vulgaris) plants were grown at four row widths (18, 20, 22, and 24 inches) and two population densities (25 and 35 plants/ft) within the row in 2006. A third density (15 plants/ft) was added to the 18- and 20-inch row-width treatments in 2007. Beet plants were hand harvested 80, 100, and 120 days after planting, and the roots were graded by size and were weighed. A large number of seedlings died between the time of the initial stand counts 14 to 20 days after planting and the first harvest. Greater seedling loss at higher plant densities within rows was attributed in part to an increased incidence of wirestem disease (Rhizoctonia solani). The percentage of seedlings that produced marketable roots was less at higher seeding rates even though there were more total roots. Harvest date and plant population significantly affected root size and yield, whereas row width had no effect. High seeding rates and fewer days to harvest significantly increased the yield of undersize (<3/4 inches in diameter) roots, while at the same time decreased the yield of oversize roots (>2 1/2 inches in diameter). The highest yield of premium size 1 roots (3/4 inch to <1 5/8 inches in diameter) was obtained with the 35 plants/ft population. While the number of size 1 roots did not increase over the harvest period, the fresh weight per foot of row was significantly higher at 100 or 120 days compared with 80 days. In contrast, the number and fresh weight of larger size 2 roots (1 5/8 to <2 1/2 inches in diameter)/ft of row was highest at 25 plants/ft and did increase with number of days to harvest. The highest marketable yield (sizes 1 and 2 roots) increased significantly with number of days to harvest and was 1.6 to 1.8 tons/acre higher with 25 plants/ft compared with 35 plants/ft. High seeding rates and narrower row spacing increased the cost of seeds per acre and the risk for wirestem and other beet diseases, but did not improve yields in this study.
Curtis H. Petzoldt, Stephen Reiners, and Michael P. Hoffmann
The document Cornell Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Commercial Vegetable Production was revised in 1999 to become inclusive and integrative of all aspects of crop and pest management. As an adjunct to the printed publication, additional information was presented in tables at an Internet web site. Links on the web site were made to other sites with more detailed information on specific topics, such as photographs of pests and diagnostic information, soil fertility testing, cover crops, environmental impact of pesticides, pesticide labels, and images, sources, and life cycles of beneficial insects. The revision and web site have proven to be popular with cooperative extension staff and the vegetable industry in New York.
Stephen Reiners, Peter J. Nitzsche, and William H. Tietjen
Spring-planted `Pilgrim' tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) were grown under slitted clear polyethylene rowcovers on beds prepared in the fall with black plastic mulch and trickle irrigation. Fall beds allowed for earlier planting and a corresponding earlier harvest. Plastic mulch and trickle irrigation remained intact during the winter. There was no significant advantage to leaving covers on past the time of the traditional planting date for the area. It was estimated that the additional cost for this system would be about $1000 per acre. The profitability of this system will be determined by the price growers receive for their earliest fruit. An early season price of $0.60/1b is the approximate break-even figure. Higher early season prices will lead to much greater profits. For heatsensitive crops like tomatoes, using rowcovers on fall beds may effectively maximize early yield and profitability.
Amara R. Dunn, Lindsay E. Wyatt, Michael Mazourek, Stephen Reiners, and Christine D. Smart
In 2011, total marketable yield, fruit size, and number of lobes; fruit discoloration due to silvering; and plant structure were compared among eight commercial green bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) varieties and four breeding lines at three field sites in central New York. Tolerance to phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capsici) was also assessed at one of these sites. No wilting or plant death due to phytophthora blight was observed on the four breeding lines. ‘Paladin’, ‘Intruder’, and ‘Aristotle’ had the highest levels of tolerance to phytophthora blight, among the commercial varieties and maintained their yields in the presence of disease. In the absence of phytophthora blight, yields from these three varieties were comparable to susceptible varieties, but fruit tended to be smaller, and incidence of silvering was high in ‘Paladin’ and ‘Intruder’. Less silvering was observed on ‘Aristotle’ fruit. Total marketable yields from the breeding lines and percent of fruit with four lobes was comparable to the commercial varieties, and some breeding lines also had a low incidence of silvering, but fruit were smaller and set later in the season. Overall, this study suggests that ‘Paladin’, ‘Intruder’, and ‘Aristotle’ will yield well in fields with a history of severe phytophthora blight, but new large-fruited varieties with low incidence of silvering and good tolerance to phytophthora blight are needed.
Rachel A. Kreis, Holly W. Lange, Stephen Reiners, and Christine D. Smart
Twelve commercial cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) varieties were evaluated for horticultural traits and susceptibility to alternaria leaf spot (Alternaria brassicicola) at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, in 2014 and 2015. Data including total yield, curd weight, curd width, plant height, days to maturity, and length of harvest were collected for each variety. A duplicate trial was planted in each year and inoculated with A. brassicicola, the causal agent of alternaria leaf spot, and the percentage of disease was assessed for each commercial cauliflower variety. Most of the commercial varieties were similar in susceptibility to disease and yield. ‘Artica’ and ‘Apex’ were ranked among the highest yielding varieties each year of the trial. The varieties ‘Graffiti’ and ‘Violet Queen’, both of which produce purple curds, had significantly less alternaria leaf spot compared with other varieties. Differences were seen between the 2 years of the trial in performance of individual varieties as influenced by temperatures during the growing season. This study demonstrates that some cauliflower varieties perform better than others under New York State growing conditions.