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Timothy Spann, Robert H. Beede, Steven A. Weinbaum, and Theodore M. DeJong

Rootstock significantly alters the pattern of shoot growth of pistachio (Pistacia vera) cv. Kerman. Trees grown on P. atlantica typically produce a single flush of spring growth, whereas trees on P. integerrima selection PGI and P. atlantica × P. integerrima selection UCB-1 can produce multiple flushes during the season. We have shown that the spring flush is entirely preformed in the dormant bud for all three rootstocks, but later flushes are neoformed, that is, nodes are initiated and extended during the same season. Shoots producing both preformed and neoformed growth have lower yield efficiency than those producing only preformed growth. Additionally, yield components of the crop from shoots with both preformed and neoformed growth was different than for shoots producing only preformed growth. However, these differences do not appear to be significant at the whole tree level. These data suggest that neoformed growth can both compete with fruit growth for available resources (lower yield efficiency) and act as an additional source (altered yield components), depending on the factor being measured. Controlling neoformed growth may potentially increase pistachio yield through a shift to the more efficient preformed shoots while at the same time lowering orchard maintenance costs by reducing required pruning. We have data to indicate that regulated deficit irrigation and new pruning techniques may be viable methods for controlling neoformed growth in pistachio without affecting yield.

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Ted E. Bilderback, Stuart L. Warren, James S. Owen Jr., and Joseph P. Albano

Many research studies have evaluated potential organic and mineral container substrate components for use in commercial potting substrates. Most studies report results of plant growth over a single production season and only a few include physical properties of the substrates tested. Furthermore, substrates containing predominantly organic components decompose during crop production cycles producing changes in air and water ratios. In the commercial nursery industry, crops frequently remain in containers for longer periods than one growing season (18 to 24 months). Changes in air and water retention characteristics over extended periods can have significant effect on the health and vigor of crops held in containers for 1 year or more. Decomposition of organic components can create an overabundance of small particles that hold excessive amounts of water, thus creating limited air porosity. Mineral aggregates such as perlite, pumice, coarse sand, and calcined clays do not decompose, or breakdown slowly, when used in potting substrates. Blending aggregates with organic components can decrease changes in physical properties over time by dilution of organic components and preserving large pore spaces, thus helping to maintain structural integrity. Research is needed to evaluate changes in container substrates from initial physical properties to changes in air and water characteristics after a production cycle.

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Chris Starbuck, Daniel K. Struve, and Hannah Mathers

Two experiments were conducted to determine if 5.1-cm-caliper (2 inches) `Summit' green ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica), and 7.6-cm-caliper (3 inches) northern red oak (Quercus rubra) could be successfully summer transplanted after being heeled in pea gravel or wood chips prior to planting in the landscape. Spring harvested trees of each species were either balled and burlapped (B&B) or barerooted before heeling in pea gravel or wood chips. Compared to B&B `Summit' green ash, bareroot stock had similar survival and shoot extension for three growing seasons after summer transplanting. Bareroot and B&B northern red oak trees had similar survival and central leader elongation for 3 years after summer transplanting. In the third year after transplanting, northern red oak bareroot trees heeled in pea had smaller trunk caliper than B&B trees heeled in wood chips. These two taxa can be summer transplanted B&B or bareroot if dormant stock is spring-dug and maintained in a heeling-in bed before transplanting. This method of reducing transplant shock by providing benign conditions for root regeneration can also be used to extended the planting season for field-grown nursery stock; the method is called the Missouri gravel bed system.

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J.R. Ballington

Day-neutral strawberries have the potential to fruit throughout the growing season as long as maximum air temperatures do not exceed 32.2 °C for extended periods. Appropriate temperatures for season-long production of day-neutrals occur in the southern Appalachians at 900 m elevations and above. Replicated studies were conducted at Laurel Springs (900 m elevation) in northwestern N.C. in 2002–04 to determine the most promising combinations of mulch types, planting dates and cultivars. Plasticulture establishment recommendations were followed and white/black plastic mulch compared to black. Dormant plants were established 15 Apr., 1 May, or 15 May at 12 × 12 inch spacing in 2002; plug plants on 30 Oct. 2002 at 12 × 12 inches and overwintered under rowcovers for 2003; and plug plants on 25 Sept. 2003 or 23 Oct. 2003 at 18 × 12 inches and overwintered under rowcovers for 2004. Plants came from commercial sources. Aromas, Diamante, Everest, and Seascape were included in 2002; Diamante, Everest and Seascape in 2003; and Everest and Seascape in 2004. Harvest season lasted 11 weeks in 2002, 12 weeks in 2003, and 10 weeks in 2004. Only main effects were statistically significant. White and black plastic mulch yields were significantly higher than black two years out of three. Fall planting resulted in earlier onset of production and higher yields in most cases. Planting date was important; for fall planting, midto late September was superior to October planting, and for spring planting, middle to late April was superior to mid-May. A plant spacing of 18 inches between plants in rows and 12 inches between rows was important to avoid crowding when planting in fall. Everest and Seascape had the best overall performance.

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Rebecca L. Darnell, Horacio E. Alvarado, Jeffrey G. Williamson, Bryan Brunner, María Plaza, and Edna Negrón

There is increasing interest in red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) production worldwide due to increased demand for both fresh and processed fruit. Although the United States is the third largest raspberry producer in the world, domestic demand exceeds supply, and the shortage in fresh market raspberries is filled by imported fruit from Canada during July and August, and from Mexico and Chile during November through May. The raspberry harvest season is well defined and the perishability of the fruit limits postharvest storage. Winter production of raspberry in tropical and subtropical climates could extend the harvest season and allow off-season fruit production during periods of high market prices. The objective of the current study was to examine growth and yield of red raspberry cultivars grown in an annual winter production system in Florida and Puerto Rico. Long cane cultivars were purchased from a nursery in the Pacific northwestern U.S. in 2002 (`Heritage' and `Tulameen'), 2003 (`Tulameen' and `Willamette'), and 2004 (`Tulameen' and `Cascade Delight') and planted in raised beds in polyethylene tunnels in December (Florida) or under an open-sided polyethylene structure in January-March (Puerto Rico). In Florida, harvest occurred from ∼mid-March through the end of May, while in Puerto Rico, harvest occurred from the end of March through early June (except in 2002, when canes were planted in March). Yields per cane varied with cultivar, but ranged from ∼80 to 600 g/cane for `Tulameen', 170 to 290 g/cane for `Heritage', 135 to 350 g/cane for `Willamette', and ∼470 g/cane for `Cascade Delight'. Economic analysis suggests that, at this point, returns on this system would be marginal. However, increasing cane number per unit area and increasing pollination efficiency may increase yields, while planting earlier would increase the return per unit. The key to success may hinge on developing a system where multi-year production is feasible in a warm winter climate.

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S.J. Stringer, J.M. Spiers, and A.D. Draper

Two new southern highbush blueberry cultivars, `Dixieblue' and `Gupton', will provide growers with new blueberry cultivars having excellent fruit quality that ripen relatively early in the season, during the profitable early fresh-market window. Berries of `Dixieblue' are light blue, medium in size, and their flat shape makes them most attractive. `Gupton' is very productive and berry quality is also excellent. The performance of these cultivars represent an improvement over most currently available southern highbush blueberry cultivars due to 1) their durability and performance on both upland and sandy soils endemic to the Gulf Coast and 2) consistent production of high quality fruit that will meet the demand for early ripening fresh-market blueberries. The new rabbiteye blueberry cultivar, `DeSoto', represents an improvement over currently available rabbiteye blueberry cultivars for late-season production. `DeSoto' produces medium-to-large fruit having excellent color, flavor, and firmness Plants of `DeSoto' are productive, vigorous but semi-dwarf, upright and spreading. It's semi-dwarf growth habit, which is unique among currently grown rabbiteye blueberries, results in bushes that attain a maximum height of about 2 meters upon maturity, reducing the necessity of top-pruning that is required for all other cultivars. `DeSoto' blooms two to three weeks later than early-to-mid season cultivars such as `Climax' and `Tifblue', providing insurance against late-spring freezes. Similarly, its fruit mature 21 to 14 days or more, respectively after these same cultivars. `DeSoto' will provide niche market blueberry growers with a new cultivar having productivity, plant vigor, fruit quality, and very late ripening period that will extend their marketing season. The new evergreen ornamental blueberry, `Native Blue', is low growing, compact and finely branched with small glaucous leaves, traits that are quite typical of V. darowii. `Native Blue' has beautiful foliage that changes color in different seasons. Mature leaves are darker green while newer growth exhibits a light pinkish hue that changes to a bluish green. Other desirable characteristics of `Native Blue' are its dwarf growth habit, hardy and vigorous growth, and its capacity for a high level of fruit production that serves as an attractant to birds and other wildlife. `Native Blue' will provide southeastern U.S. nurserymen, landscapers, and homeowners with a novel and beautiful new ornamental shrub that will complement plantings of azaleas, camellias, crepe myrtles, etc.

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K.H.S. Peiris, G.G. Dull, R.G. Leffler, and S.J. Kays

A nondestructive method for measuring the soluble solids (SS) content of peaches [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] was developed using near-infrared (NIR) spectrometry. NIR transmittance in the 800 to 1050 nm region was measured for four cultivars of peaches (`Blake', `Encore', `Red Haven', and `Winblo'), over a period of three seasons (1993 through 1995). Each fruit was scanned on both halves keeping the suture away from the incident light beam. Soluble solids contents of flesh samples taken from corresponding scanned areas were determined using a refractometer. Multiple linear regression models using two wavelengths were developed with second derivative spectral data and laboratory measurements of SS content. Multiple correlation coefficients (R) for individual cultivar calibrations within a single season ranged from 0.76 to 0.98 with standard error of calibration (SEC) values from 0.35% to 1.22%. Selected spectra and corresponding SS data in individual cultivar calibration data sets were combined to create season and cultivar calibration data sets to cover the entire range of SS contents within the season or within the cultivar. These combined calibrations resulted in R values of 0.92 to 0.97 with SEC values ranging from 0.37% to 0.79%. Simple correlations of validations (r) ranged from 0.20 to 0.94 and the standard error of prediction (SEP) ranged from 0.49% to 1.63% while the bias varied from -0.01% to -2.62%. Lower r values and higher SEP and bias values resulted when individual cultivar calibrations were used to predict SS levels in other cultivar validation data sets. Cultivar calibrations, season calibrations and the overall calibration predicted SS content of all validation data sets with a smaller bias and SEP and with higher r values. These results indicate that NIR spectrometry is suitable for rapid nondestructive determination of SS in peaches. Feasible applications of the method include packinghouse sorting of peaches for sweetness and parent and progeny fruit quality assessment in peach breeding programs. Using this technique fruit may be sorted into two or three sweetness classes. The technique may also potentially be extended to other fruit.

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Joel L. Shuman* and Anthony D. Bratsch

Anthracnose fruit rot (AFR) and crown rot can cause severe economic losses on susceptible `Chandler' and `Camarosa' strawberry in Virginia: `Sweet Charlie' and `Bish' are moderately resistant to resistant. Actigard (acibenzolar-S-methyl), an inducer of systemic acquired resistance, has been effective at reducing black spot and speck on tomato, blue mold on tobacco, and fire blight on apple. The objective of this study was to determine if Actigard, when spray-applied to field-grown strawberry, can reduce AFR better than or equal to several registered fungicides. Four varieties (VAR) (Chandler, Camarosa, Sweet Charlie, and Bish) were treated with four fungicides (FUNG) (water control, azoxystrobin, chlorothalonil, and actigard). Experimental design was a split plot with FUNG as the main plot and VAR as the split plot with four replicates. Standard annual hill system practices were used throughout. Plots were inoculated three times throughout the harvest season with a conidia: water solution of 1 × 106 conidia per mL. Plots were treated with FUNG on a 14-day schedule from bloom to end of season. Plots were visually assessed for anthracnose and fruit were harvested 2× weekly and weighed into four categories: marketable, cull, fruit with anthracnose, and fruit with other diseases. Environmental conditions were conducive for anthracnose development: extended periods of rain and high relative humidity. Plots treated with water control had more AFR, other fruit rots, and higher overall disease ratings than those treated with a compound. Plots treated with actigard had the same level of AFR as did those treated with azoxystrobin. `Chandler' and `Camarosa' had considerably more AFR than `Sweet Charlie' and `Bish' had the least amount over all FUNG.

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Sorkel Kadir* and Edward Carey

High tunnel strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) production experiment was conducted in south central Kansas, which consisted of two cultivars and four tunnels. The same experimental design was conducted under field conditions. The objectives of this study were to compare strawberry production and quality under high tunnels to those grown in the field and to assess the potential for high tunnels for early-season strawberry production. Plug plants of `Sweet Charlie' and `Chandler' were planted October 18. Plants were spaced at 12” × 12 “in double rows on raised beds covered with black plastic mulch. Protected plants under high tunnels had 100% winter survival rate compared to 60% of the field plants. Yield and berry quality of the high tunnel plants were by far better than those of field grown plants. Plant growth under high tunnels was about three to four fold higher than the unprotected field plants. `Sweet Charlie' flowered in early February and produced berries one week earlier than `Chandler'. Both cultivars were harvest from early April through late May at weekly interval. `Sweet Charlie' in early April produced an average berry weight of 14 g, soluble solids of 8 °Brix, and the largest average berry weight was 15 g. `Chandler' harvested late April produced larger berries than `Sweet Charlie' with the largest average berry weight of 35 g compared to 31 g for `Sweet Charlie'. In mid May, `Chandler' produced 72% higher yield than `Sweet Charlie'. High tunnel not only produced higher yield and better quality berries than field strawberries but it has a potential to produce early crop and extend the season production of strawberry in Kansas.

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Jeffery C. Kallestad, John G. Mexal, Theodore W. Sammis, and Richard Heerema

have concluded that instruments requiring high in-season labor input for field measurements are not likely to be used by farmers ( Hill and Allen, 1996 ; Sanden et al., 2003 ; Thompson et al., 2002 ). Common criticisms include: excessive time required