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Bernadine C. Strik, Amanda Vance, David R. Bryla, and Dan M. Sullivan

-performing treatment combination in ‘Duke’, are similar to those observed in commercial conventional fields or organic farms using similar management practices (B. Strik, personal observation). They are also similar to what was reported for mature ‘Duke’ and ‘Liberty

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Wayne L. Schrader, Ronald E. Voss, and Kent J. Bradford

Agricultural producers in the United States require timely and accurate information on critical issues, environmental crises, and best management practices to make effective production decisions and to remain competitive in a global economy. Sources of information (university departments, extension, industry, consultants, scientific and trade publications) often take a single discipline approach that makes it difficult for growers to process and utilize information effectively. The high cost of printed publications make frequent updates impractical, while rapidly changing technologies and issues demand continual publication changes and updates. The rapid development and peer review of multi-discipline, research based information is possible through computer information transfer technology. The Univ. of California's Vegetable Crops Research and Information Center (VRIC) has developed a new World Wide Web site to disseminate peer-reviewed fact sheets, research results, updated publications, and multi-media educational resources relating to critical issues, best management practices, postharvest handling, and marketing of vegetable crops. The website disseminates multi-discipline information originating from the Univ. of California, the USDA, and cooperating agencies and universities. The VRIC website proactively sends peer-reviewed critical issue fact sheets to selected news media, government, industry, and academic contacts. These fact sheets help personnel frequently contacted by the media during crises to answer questions effectively. The website directs visitors to additional agricultural information resources and contains information on careers and educational opportunities available in the field of vegetable crops.

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Laura Pickett Pottorff and Karen L. Panter

( Moore, 2007 ). To protect transplants from fungus gnat and shore fly infestations, the predatory mite Hypoaspsis miles is one of the best biological control agents on the market and is a recommended management tool for these persistent pests

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Daike Tian, Ken M. Tilt, Jeff L. Sibley, Floyd M. Woods, and Fenny Dane

rhizome diameter (MRD) between the plants planted in the greenhouse and outside, although TPN and the number of secondary propagules were similar. Outdoor lotus plants planted on 25 Mar. and 25 Apr. performed best, and no significant differences in

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Greg D. Hoyt

Poster Session 5—Vegetable Crops Management–Cropping Systems 1 18 July 2005, 12:00–12:45 p.m. Poster Hall–Ballroom E/F

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James W. Rideout and Laura F. Overstreet

Conventional tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seedling production can be labor intensive. The float system of production may be a less labor-intensive alternative. Float system technology is used extensively to produce tobacco seedlings, but is currently used very little for horticultural crop seedlings. Potential advantages of the float system include lowered production cost, more efficient use of water and nutrients, elimination of wetting of plant foliage thus reducing disease, and elimination of nutrient leaching to groundwater below the greenhouse. When grown in float culture using a tobacco nutritional regimen, tomato seedlings produced undesirably long stems. Greenhouse experiments were conducted to identify production practices that may limit this excessive growth. Practices evaluated included two fertilizers with either 2.2% or 0.87% P combined with brushing, clipping once, ethephon application, delay of fertilization for 10 days after seeding, brushing combined with delayed fertilization, and two levels of air movement. Greatest height control was obtained with a combination of practices. Most height control practices, except delayed fertilization (with nor without brushing), were more effective if combined with low P fertilizer. The combination of brushing with delayed fertilization using either fertilizer provided the best height control and the highest quality seedlings. Ethephon and brushing in combination with low P fertilizer were also effective. These experiments show that with use of height-limiting management techniques good quality tomato seedlings can be produced in the float system. The experiment did not address the field performance of the seedlings.

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Sloane M. Scheiber, Richard C. Beeson Jr., and Sudeep Vyapari

Root ball slicing is often recommended for root-bound woody ornamentals to promote new root development during establishment in the landscape. It is a common practice among gardeners, but not necessarily landscapers, to disrupt root-bound annuals during transplant. However, little if any evidence exists for such practices. Therefore, this study evaluated the effect of root ball condition of annual bedding plants on landscape establishment and growth. Begoniasemperflorens were transplanted from 0.72-L (#1) containers into field plots in an open-sided clear polyethylene covered shelter and managed with Best Management Practices. Three root ball conditions were evaluated: non root-bound (6-week-old plants), root-bound (10-week-old plants), and root-bound with the bottom 1 cm of the root ball removed. Shoot and root dry masses and growth indices were collected weekly for 12 weeks and evaluated relative to root ball condition by linear regression analysis. Nonroot-bound plants had significantly greater biomass, growth indices, height, and root dry weights than the other treatments tested. No significant differences were found between root-bound and manipulated root-bound plants for any parameter examined. The data indicate that the practice of disrupting root-bound plants has no benefit on establishment or growth of annual bedding plants in the landscape.

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Donald H. Steinegger

The Festival of Color is the annual plant and landscape open house sponsored by the Univ. of Nebraska's Horticulture Dept. The festival is the culmination of many water-centered activities that have preceded the festival throughout the year. Last year's September event drew over 10,000 people to the UNL Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, Neb. The festival was created to increase the urban public's awareness and motivation regarding the best landscape management practices for developing environmentally compatible landscapes and reducing urban runoff of water and pesticides. The Festival of Color is an event for all ages. By including the activities for the entire family, the festival draws a large spectrum of the urban population. The festival has grown steadily from 850 visitors in 1993 to 10,000 in 1998. The festival will continue to include demonstrations and talks on selection, installation, and management of turf; irrigation equipment and management methods; pesticide selection and pest management alternatives; fertility management alternatives; low input landscaping with native and adapted species; composting; and more. At the Sixth Annual Festival of Color: 1) 42% of new attendees learned how to implement water conserving landscape techniques (66% of the previous attendees implemented water conserving landscape practices), 2) 30% of new attendees learned how to irrigate more efficiently (63% of previous attendees used water more efficiently), and 3) 29% of new attendees learned how to fertilize more efficiently (actual positive behavior change was higher than the proposed change reported by first time attendees), 4) 98% of new attendees learned how to choose plants based on site/location “Right Plant, Right Place” (86% of previous attendees have improved their plant selection skills by putting the right plant in the right place).

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David R. Sandrock, Ray D. William, and Anita N. Azarenko

Nitrogen (N) management in container nurseries is part of a complex system. Working within this system, nursery owners, managers and employees routinely make N management decisions that have consequences for the immediate nursery environment (e.g., plant growth, yield, disease susceptibility, water quality) as well as areas beyond nursery boundaries (e.g., surface and groundwater quality, public perception). Research approaches often address parts of the system associated with the immediate nursery environment and purpose. As a result, best management practices that contribute to greater N use efficiency have been developed. Research approaches that consider the whole system reveal novel relationships and patterns that identify areas for future research and may direct future management decisions. To investigate N management from a whole system perspective, a group of nursery managers from Oregon and scientists from Oregon State University met three times between 2001 and 2003. Growers drew their N management systems and identified components, relationships and feedback loops using an ActionGram technique. From this information, researchers developed Group-based On-site Active Learning (GOAL). GOAL combines Action-Grams and the Adaptive Cycle at container nursery sites. In this case, N flow and management in container production systems served as the topic of active learning. Managers and employees from four wholesale container nurseries evaluated the GOAL exercise. After completing GOAL, 94% of participants indicated that they learned a new idea or concept about N cycling in their container nursery. Of those, 100% gained new ideas and concepts from peers and colleagues present at the meeting. In addition, 60% gained new ideas and concepts from researchers and 60% developed their own ideas and concepts. GOAL is a learning tool that provides a simple, convenient, interactive format for investigating complex systems.

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Monica Ozores-Hampton, Eric Simonne, Eugene McAvoy, Phil Stansly, Sanjay Shukla, Fritz Roka, Tom Obreza, Kent Cushman, Phyllis Gilreath, and Darrin Parmenter

Florida tomato growers generate about $600 million of annual farm gate sales. The Florida Vegetable and Agronomic Crop Water Quality/Quantity Best Management Practices Manual was adopted by rule in the Florida Administrative Code in 2006 and describes cultural practices available to tomato growers that have the potential to improve water quality. By definition, BMPs are specific cultural practices that are proven to optimize yield while minimizing pollution. BMPs must be technically feasible, economically viable, socially acceptable, and based on sound science. The BMP manual for vegetables endorses UF-IFAS recommendations, including those for fertilization and irrigation. Current statewide N fertilizer recommendations for tomato provide for a base rate of 224 kg/ha plus provisions for supplemental fertilizer applications 1) after a leaching rain, 2) under extended harvest season, and 3) when plant nutrient levels (leaf or petiole) fall below the sufficiency range. An on-farm project in seven commercial fields was conducted in 2004 under cool and dry growing conditions, to compare grower practices (ranging from 264 to 468 kg/ha of N) to the recommended rate. Early and total extra-large yields tended to be higher with growers' rate than with the recommended rate, but these differences were significant only in one trial. The first-year results illustrated the need for recommendations to be tested for several years and to provide flexibility to account for the reality of local growing conditions. Working one-on-one with commercial growers provided an opportunity to focus on each farm`s educational needs and to identify specific improvements in nutrient and irrigation management.