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William Reid and Kenneth L. Hunt

More than 93% of pecans [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] produced in the United States are grown in the southeastern and southwestern states. However, the native range of the pecan tree extends northward into Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. In these northern states, commercial pecan production is expanding as additional acres of native trees are brought under cultivation and orchards of short-season, cold-hardy cultivars are established. Native nut production dominates the northern pecan industry accounting for over 95% of nuts produced in the region. Cultural practices for native pecans have been developed for northern groves that feature low inputs and good yields. Pecan cultivars adapted to the north ripen their fruit in a climate that provides 155 to 200 frost-free days. Few generalizations can be made about northern cultivars. The nuts produced by these cultivars vary in size from small [4 g (0.14 oz)] to medium [8 g (0.28 oz)] with shelling percentages ranging from 44% to 59%.

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James Hill Craddock, R.J. Sauve, S.E. Schlarbaum, J. Skinner, R.N. Trigiano, M.T. Windham, and W.T. Witte

Hand pollinations and honey bees were used to cross Cornus florida cultivars in a series of experiments investigating dogwood pollination biology from a breeding viewpoint and testing the use of insects (domestic honey bees and ladybug beetles as pollinators in dogwood breeding. Experiments were conducted to study possible incompatibility between dogwood cultivars and to determine if self-compatibility and self-fertility occur in Cornus florida. Since 1993, ≈200 seedlings have been produced by hand and insect-mediated pollinations. Honey bees can be used in dogwood breeding. Trees cross pollinated by ladybeetles had lower fruit set than trees cross pollinated by honey bees. Greenhouse forcing to accelerate anthesis and cold storage to delay the onset of bloom of container-grown trees can extend the dogwood breeding season effectively.

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Sylvie Jenni and Katrine A. Stewart

Quebec vegetable growers are increasingly using agricultural plastics (plasticulture) not only for gains in crop yield, earliness, and quality, but also for weed control and water and fertilizer conservation. Curcubitaceae include heat-loving crops that respond well to plasticulture. Melons are among the most responsive of all crops because they are sensitive to both low soil and air temperatures and to wind, but are very tolerant of high temperatures. The objective of this project was to develop a bioeconomic model that will predict the yield and timing of a melon crop under a number of mulch/tunnel combinations, evaluate the profitability of each production regime, and establish the optimal combinations that will maximize profit and continuity of supply over an extended growing season. A compartment model representing state, rate, and driving variables will be presented.

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John R. Clark

Eastern U.S. blackberries (Rubus subgenus Rubus) have advanced in recent years in production and quality of cultivar choices. Mainly a pick-your-own and local sales item of the early 1990s and before, the increased presence of blackberries in retail grocery stores in the last 10 years has broadened the market for this small fruit. Cultivars that can be shipped and have extended shelf life have been the cornerstone of this expansion. Also, off-season production in Mexico has provided fruit for retail marketing during most months of the year. Further advances in production, marketing, and consumption can be achieved with the continuation of improved cultivar development and expansion of production technology.

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Marvin P. Pritts, Robert W. Langhans, Thomas H. Whitlow, Mary Jo Kelly, and Aimee Roberts

Floricane-fruiting (summer-bearing) raspberries (Rubus idaeus L.) were grown outdoors in pots in upstate New York until mid-December when the chilling requirement was fulfilled. They were moved into a greenhouse and placed at a density that is three times higher than field planting. Bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) were introduced at flowering for pollination. Fruiting occurred from mid-February through mid-April, a time when the retail price for raspberries is between $3.00 and $6.00 for a half pint (180 g). Fruit quality was high, and individual 2-year-old plants averaged 11 half pints (2 kg) of marketable fruit. These yields and retail prices are equivalent to 19,000 lb and $142,000 per acre (21 t, $350,000 per ha). Raspberry production during winter allows growers to dramatically extend the harvest season and to produce a high-value crop at a time when greenhouses often are empty.

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Heather D. Bryant, Mark G. Hutton, David T. Handley, and Mary Ellen Camire

Some Maine tomato growers use unheated greenhouses or high tunnels to extend the short growing season. But, what varieties should growers choose? The objective of this trial was to test varieties of greenhouse and open field tomatoes to identify the best performers in high tunnels in terms of yield, quality, disease, and taste. Results showed that both open field and greenhouse varieties produced similar and acceptable yields of high quality marketable fruit. Open field varieties showed more disease than greenhouse varieties. There were some significant differences between individual varieties. Betterboy scored highest in sensory analysis, but lowest in yield/quality. Brilliante scored poorly on marketable yields, but well in terms of premium yields, quality, disease and taste. It may be well suited for direct marketing to repeat customers (e.g., farmers' markets). For commercial production Jet Star, Brilliante, Cobra, and First Lady II appear to be good choices based on overall scores.

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William James Lamont Jr.

For centuries horticulturists have attempted to modify the environment in which vegetable crops are grown. A wide variety of techniques, such as glass cloches, hotcaps, cold frames, hotbeds, and various types of glass greenhouses, have been used to extend the production season. The discovery and development of the polyethylene polymer in the late 1930s, and its subsequent introduction in the early 1950s in the form of plastic films, mulches, and drip-irrigation tubing and tape, revolutionized the commercial production of selected vegetable crops and gave rise to a system of production known as plasticulture. Simply defined, plasticulture is a system of growing vegetable crops where significant benefit is derived from using products derived from polyethylene (plastic) polymers. The later discovery of other polymers, such as polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, and polyesters, and their use in microirrigation systems, pipes, fertigation equipment, filters, fittings and connectors, containers for growing transplants, picking and packaging containers, and row covers further extended the use of plastic components in this production system. The complete plasticulture system consists of plastic and non-plastic components: plastic mulches, drip-irrigation, fertigation/chemigation, soil sanitation (fumigation and solarization), windbreaks, stand establishment technology, season-extension technology, integrated pest management, cropping strategies, and postharvest handling and marketing. In the plasticulture system, plastic-covered greenhouses, plastic mulches, row covers, high tunnels, and windbreaks both permanent and annual are the major contributors to modifying the cropping environment of vegetable crops, thus enhancing crop growth, yield, and quality. In addition to modifying the soil and air temperatures, there are also the benefits of protection from the wind and in some instances rain, insects, diseases, and vertebrate pests.

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Hannah M. Mathers, Elizabeth Grosskurth, Michele Bigger, Luke Case, and Jenny Pope

Currently, the majority of tree liners used in the Ohio nursery industry are imported, mainly from the West Coast. The Ohio growing season is 156 days, whereas the Oregon season is 225 days. We are developing an Ohio liner production system, utilizing a retractable roof greenhouse (RRG) that extends the growing season. Liners grown in a RRG have shown greater caliper, height, and root and shoot dry weight than those grown outside of a RRG (Stoven, 2004). The objective of this research was to compare the growth of RRG-grown liners, outdoor-grown liners, and West Coast-grown liners when planted in the field. Four tree species [Quercus rubra, Malus `Prairifire', Acer ×freemannii `Jeffersred' (Autumn Blaze®), and Cercis canadensis] were started from either seed or rooted cuttings in early 2003. They were grown in a glass greenhouse and then moved to their respective environments in March (RRG) and May (outside). In Oct. 2003, the Ohio-grown liners were planted in the field at the Waterman Farm of The Ohio State University, Columbus. In Spring 2004, liners from the West Coast were purchased and planted in the same field setting. Caliper and height were measured in June and Sept. 2004. After one season in the field, trees grown from the RRG and outdoor environments resulted in greater height and caliper than the West Coast liners in Malus, Acer, and Cercis. Acer liners from Oregon had a greater increase in height from June to September than those grown outdoors or in the RRG. Quercus liners from the RRG and outdoor environments displayed greater caliper growth and growth in height than those from the West Coast. Across all species, liners grown from the RRG had the greatest increase in caliper growth.

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Catherine Belisle, Uyen T.X. Phan, Koushik Adhikari, and Dario J. Chavez

have been set at a minimum of 10% SSC ( Kader, 1995 ). In Italy, 10% SSC is the suggested quality minimum for early season, 11% for midseason, and 12% for late-season peaches ( Testoni, 1995 ; Ventura et al., 2000 ). In France, a quality index was also

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Luke Case, Hannah Mathers, and Elizabeth Grosskurth

Many Ohio growers import liners from the West Coast due to the increased growing season on the West Coast. Lengthening the season in Ohio may provide a way for Ohio growers to produce liners of their own. Retractable roof greenhouses (RRG) are one possible way to extend the growing season in Ohio. Research done previously at The Ohio State University suggests that retractable roof greenhouses do in fact lengthen the growing season, and tree liners can be produced using RRG. The objectives of this study were: 1) to determine the optimal growing environment from three different environments; and 2) to determine the optimal species for tree liner production in Ohio. In Oct. 2004, 180 liners each of Cladrastis kentuckea, Quercus rubra, Stewartia pseudocamellia, Syringa reticulata, and Tilia cordata were upshifted to 3-gallon pots. In Mar. 2005, 90 of each species were transferred to either a flat roof retractable house (FRRG), peak roof retractable house (PRRG), or polyhouse. Growth was measured in Mar. (initial), June, Aug., and Oct. 2005 by taking leaf area, shoot and root dry weights, height, and caliper. There were no differences across species and dates between the environments for any of the parameters measured. Tilia showed the greatest increase in growth from June to October in all the parameters measured except leaf area. Cladrastis showed the greatest increase in leaf area from June to October. There were species by date interactions. Quercus had the greatest root weight in October. Syringa and Quercus were not significantly different from each other and had the highest shoot weights and leaf areas in October. Tilia, Quercus, and Syringa had the highest calipers in October.