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N.G. Creamer and J.P. Mueller

102 WORKSHOP 13 (Abstr. 686-687) Vegetable Cropping Systems Research: Techniques, Evaluation, and Application Tuesday, 25 July, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

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Aref A. Abdul-Baki, J.R. Teasdale, R. Korcak, D.J. Chitwood, and R.N. Huettel

A low-input sustainable agricultural system for the production of staked, fresh-market field tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is described. The system uses winter annual cover crops to fix N, recycle leftover nutrients, produce biomass, and prevent soil erosion throughout the winter and spring. Yields of tomato plants grown in hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), and rye (Secale cereale L.) plus hairy vetch mulches were higher than those grown in the conventional black polyethylene (BP) mulch system in 2 of 3 years. Fruit were heavier with the plant mulches than with BP mulch. Eight weeks after transplanting, N levels in tomato leaves were higher with plant than with BP mulch, although the plant mulch plots received only 50% of the N applied to the BP plots. The cover crops had no effect on populations of five phytoparasitic nematode species.

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Harrison Hughes

The food crop concentration in the horticulture major was revised in response to discussions with students, faculty, and county agents to emphasis more service learning. A requirement for an internship or practicum was added. The practicum entails the design, maintenance, and data collection of the vegetable and small fruit display gardens. Emphasis will be on sustainable production and on collection of information for use in extension fact sheets for the citizens of Colorado. Other changes include the modularization of the commodity courses to provide greater flexibility and the addition of a capstone course. The capstone course will involve greater interaction with industry in the state and has a requirement for the development of both an enterprise budget as well as a production plan for a commercial operation.

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K. Delate

We gratefully acknowledge the help of the following individuals who assisted with the development of the Iowa State University Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture (GPSA) and GPSA documents: Matt Liebman, Ricardo Salvador, Lorna Michael

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Manuel C. Palada, Thomas J. Kalb, and Thomas A. Lumpkin

1 Head, Crop and Ecosystem Management Unit. 2 Head, Communication and Training Office. 3 Director General.

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Gladis M. Zinati

Conventional agricultural systems increase per-area food production, but deplete natural resources and degrade both crop and environmental quality. Many of these concerns are addressed by sustainable agricultural systems, integrated pest management, biocontrol, and other alternative systems. Environmental and social concerns have escalated the need for alternative agricultural systems in the last decade. One alternative, the organic farming system, substitutes cultural and biological inputs for synthetically made fertilizers and chemicals for crop nutrition and pest management. Practices used for crop and pest management are similar during transition from conventional to organic farming systems, but produce is not certified to be organic during the transition period. During the transition from conventional to organic farming, growers may face pest control difficulties and lower yields when conventional practices are abandoned. The objectives of this paper are to 1) give an overview of the reasons for converting to organic farming and the challenges that growers face during the transition period, 2) outline some potential strategies for crop, soil, and pest management, and 3) list guidelines and recommendations for pest management during the transition to organic farming. Implementation of crop and pest management practices depends on geographical location, climate, available onsite resources, and history of the land. During transition, growers rely on cultural mechanisms and on organic and mineral sources to improve soil fertility, to build a population of natural enemies to suppress pest populations. Pest management practices during the transition period that reduce pest populations to economically manageable levels include crop rotation, cultivation, cover crops, mulches, crop diversification, resistant varieties, and insect traps. These practices also enrich the soil biota and increase crop yields before produce is certified organically grown.

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R.K. Striegler, M.A. Mayse, U. O'Keefe, and D.R. Wineman

165 ORAL SESSION 49 (Abstr. 363–370) Sustainable Agriculture/Cross-commodity

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Thomas J. Zabadal

The effect of cane girdling, in combination with the common commercial practices of gibberellic acid applications and/or other crop control, on vine size and fruit characteristics was measured over 3 years for `Himrod' grapevines (Vitis ×labruscana × V. vinifera) grown in central New York state. Cane girdles 4 mm wide between the second and third node from the base of each fruiting cane resulted in vines that were capable of sustaining vine size while enhancing several aspects of fruit quality. When added to several vine-manipulation regimes, cane girdling increased cluster weight as much as 106%, berries per cluster as much as 138%, and berry weight as much as 17%. Although cane girdling increased yield as much as 66%, it consistently reduced fruit soluble solids concentration (SSC). Therefore, for cane girdling to contribute to sustained production of quality `Himrod' table grapes in a cool-growing-season climate, it will be necessary to practice it in combination with a level of crop control that will ensure acceptable fruit SSC.

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Susan M. Boyetchko

Weeds continue to have a tremendous impact on crop yield losses in Canada and the United States, despite efforts to control them with chemicals. Biological control offers an additional means for reducing weed populations while reducing the reliance of the agri-food industry on chemical pesticides. Effective biological strategies that are compatible with good soil conservation practices would benefit farmers while maintaining environmental quality and a sustained production for the future. Inundative biological control of weeds with microbial agents involves the mass production and application of high concentrations of a plant pathogen to a target weed. Historically, biocontrol agents used on weeds have been foliar fungal pathogens. More recently, the soil has become a source for microorganisms, such as rhizobacteria, for development as biological control agents. Several naturally occurring rhizobacteria have weed suppressive properties, where growth and development of weeds such as downy brome, wild oats, leafy spurge, and green foxtail are significantly inhibited. Although the focus in weed biocontrol has been on the eradication of weeds, rhizobacteria may be used to improve seedling establishment of the crop by reducing the weed competition. This can be achieved through a reduction in weed growth, vigor, and reproductive capacity and improvement in the ability of the crop to compete with the weed. Current research in weed biocontrol with microorganisms and its application to weed management systems will be discussed.

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Anthony F. Silvernail and Gary R. Cline

153 ORAL SESSION 37 (Abstr. 262–269) Sustainable Production–Vegetables