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Kathleen Delate, Andrea McKern, and Michelle Kirkland

Iowa was the sixth largest producer of grapes in the United States in the early 1900s, with 24,000 ha under production. The rapid expansion of petrochemicals post-World War II and grape's sensitivity to 2,4-D herbicides reduced vineyard size in Iowa to 28 ha in 2001. Recent state governmental support for organic fruit research and viticulture in general has led to the expansion of the grape and wine industry in Iowa. As of 2001, 5883 ha of organic grapes were produced in the United States. Challenges to organic grape production in the Midwest include diseases and weeds. The cultivation of American grape cultivars is essential in organic viticulture in the Midwest, including cultivars that are relatively cold hardy and disease tolerant. From 2003 to 2004, we experimented on-farm at Kirkland Vineyards, Norwalk, Iowa, with methods of organically approved weed management. Three replications of plots consisting of five vines each of `Marechal Foch' were laid out in 2003 in a completely randomized design in a 1-year-old vineyard. Treatments consisted of wood chips, wood chips plus vinegar herbicide (All-Down™, Summer Set Co., Chaska, Minn.), and mowing when weeds and groundcover reached 15 cm. Wood chips decreased weed load significantly over mowing alone, but wood chips plus vinegar herbicide provided the most control over 2 years of the experiment. There was a trend toward greater plant height in the wood chip treatment, but no significant differences in plant height were observed among treatments.

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Hyun-Sug Choi, Curt R. Rom, Mengmeng Gu, and Jason McAfee

Seasonal variations of nutrient concentrations in soil and apple leaves, soil properties, weed density, and tree performance were observed for response to four groundcover managements systems: 1) mowed control; 2) plastic woven landscape fabric; 3) wood chip mulch; and 4) shredded commercial paper mulch. Soil sampled below the wood chip and shredded paper mulch treatments had higher NO3-N concentrations during the season. Soil below the shredded paper mulch had greater soil Ca, Na, and Zn than other treatments. Soil sampled below wood chip mulch had higher Mg and B. Leaf K was greater for trees grown with bark chip mulch than the other treatments. Overall, the seasonal patterns of N, P, and K decreased and had similar patterns as previously reported conventionally grown orchards. The leaf Ca and Mg increased during the season for all treatments. The concentration of other microelements had patterns similar among all treatments. Seasonal soil pH decreased during the season and was affected by treatments. During the season, water infiltration was faster into the soil covered with shredded paper mulch. The organic matter was greater in soil under the wood chip mulch at the 15-cm soil depth. Very little weed invasion occurred in the landscape fabric through August. Trees grown with shredded paper and wood chip mulch treatments had greater trunk cross-sectional area compared to trees grown under landscape fabric after 5 years; however, the latter treatment resulted in greater tree height, tree canopy spread, and fruit yield.

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Tina M. Waliczek, Nicole C. Wagner, and Selin Guney

fodder, and wood chips, into a soil-like product called “compost” ( Rynk, 1992 ). The humus-like end product becomes a valuable soil amendment because it increases levels of organic matter ( Laudicina et al., 2011 ), contains essential plant macro and

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E.A. Guertal and J.H. Edwards

Fall and spring collards (Brassica oleracea L. Acephala Group) were grown under one of three mulches (black plastic, ground newspaper, wood chips) and in a bare soil control. Mulch treatments were arranged in a factorial design with five rates of N fertilizer: 0, 67, 134, 201, or 268 kg N/ha. All fertilizer was preplant-incorporated into the bed before applying mulches and transplanting collards. Season did not affect collard yield, and there was no significant season × N rate interaction. Collard yields increased with increasing rates of N, with a maximum yield at 163 kg N/ha. Mulch type significantly affected collard yield, with fall collard yields highest under bare ground or wood chip mulches and spring yields highest under black plastic mulch. Collards produced under newspaper mulch produced the lowest yields in the fall and yields equal to bare soil and wood chips in the spring. Collards produced under newspaper mulch had less tissue N at harvest than those of any of the other treatments in both seasons. Collards produced on black plastic produced the lowest plant populations in both seasons. Wood chips and newspaper offer some appeal as low-input, small-scale mulches, but additional research to explore fertility management is necessary.

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Chuck Ingels and John Roncoroni

(Sept.), and 28 °C (Oct.). The only rainfall events occurred 26 May and 4 June (0.4 inch each). In Expt. 1, pre-and postemergent herbicides and wood chip mulch were compared for efficacy and damage to the dune sedge plants ( Table 1 ). The preemergent

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Matthew D. Taylor, Rachel Kreis, and Lidia Rejtö

bedding:wood chips:and a variable mixture of green plant material and restaurant food waste. 1800 kg of each feed stock was loaded into a running power take-off (PTO) driven dual auger mixer (5156 Vertical Maxx Mixer; Kuhn North America, Brodhead, WI

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Helen Tyler Kraus

The objective of this research was to consider the effects of gravel, wood chip, and tire mulches and turf on soil moisture and root and shoot growth of Chilopsis linearis (Cav.) `Burgundy' (desert willow). Gravel, wood chip, and tire mulches retained greater soil moisture than bare soil (control) with little difference in soil moisture between the mulches. Mulched trees and bare soil had greater height and shoot and root dry weights than trees in turf. Turf conserved soil moisture better than bare soil but appeared to compete with desert willow for water and nutrients resulting in less growth. Trees with gravel and tire mulches had greater shoot dry weight in the second year of growth and greater root dry weight, root length, and root area in both the first and second years of growth after transplanting.

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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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Diana R. Cochran, Charles H. Gilliam, Glenn Fain, and Robert D. Wright

This study evaluated the effects of nine alternative substrates on herbicide efficacy in container-grown nursery crops: 1) VT (pine wood chips hammer-milled to pass a 0.4-cm screen); 2) USDA (pine wood chips hammer-milled to pass a 0.64-cm screen; 3) AUC (Pinus taeda chipped including needles); 4) AUHM (AUC hammer-milled to pass a 0.48-cm screen; 5) 1 VT: 1 commercial grade pinebark (v/v); 6) 1 USDA: 1 pinebark (v/v); 7) 1 AUC: 1 pinebark (v/v); 8) 1 AUHM: 1 pinebark (v/v); and 9) 6 pinebark: 1 sand (v/v). Each substrate was amended with 6.35 kg of 17–6–12 (17N–2.6P–10K) control-release fertilizer, 2.27 kg of lime, and 0.89 kg micromax per cubic meter. Containers (8.3 cm) were filled on 15 June and three herbicides applied the next day: Rout (oxyfluorfen + oryzalin at 2.24 + 1.12 kg·ha-1), Ronstar (oxadiazon at 4.48 kg·ha-1) and a nontreated control. The next day, containers were overseeded with 25 prostrate spurge seed. Data collected included weed counts 30 and 60 days after treatment (DAT) and weed fresh weights at 60 DAT. Spurge occurred less in the two treatments of 100% pine wood chips followed by the AUC treatment. With spurge, the least weed fresh weight occurred with the USDA and AUC treatments. For example, at 30 DAT, spurge count was reduced by 33%, 40%, and 70%, respectively, when comparing VT, USDA, and AUC to pinebark: sand. Spurge fresh weight at 60 DAT followed a similar trend. With all of the substrates except AUHM, the addition of commercially used pine bark resulted in less weed control. Rout provided superior control followed by Ronstar and the nontreated control. These data show that control of prostrate spurge with commonly used preemergent applied herbicides may actually be improved with some of the alternative substrates currently being tested.

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I.A. Merwin, D.A. Rosenberger, C.A. Engle, D.L. Rist, and M. Fargione

Natural (hay, wood chips, recycled paper pulp) and synthetic (polypropylene film and polyester fabric) mulches were compared with mechanical tillage and residual herbicides as orchard groundcover management systems (GMSS). In two New York orchards-the Clarke farm and Hudson Valley Lab (HVL—GMSS were applied from 1990 to 1993 in 1.8-m-wide strips under newly planted apple (Malus domestica; `Liberty', `Empire', `Freedom', and advanced numbered selections from the disease-resistant apple breeding program at Geneva, N.Y.) trees. GMS impacts on soil fertility, tree nutrition and growth, yields, crop value, and vole (Microtus spp.) populations were evaluated. After 3 years at the Clarke orchard, extractable NO3, Mn, Fe, B, and Zn concentrations were greater in soil with herbicides than synthetic mulches; soil K and P concentrations were greater with herbicides and wood chips than synthetic mulches. At the HVL orchard, topsoil NO3, K, and Mg concentrations were greater with hay mulch than herbicides or other mulches; Mg, Fe, and B concentrations were lower in soil with wood chips than other GMSs. Soil organic matter content was not affected by GMS. Apple leaf N, K, Cu, and Zn concentrations were greater with herbicides, hay mulch, and polypropylene mulch than cultivation or recycled paper mulch at the HVL orchard during hot, dry Summer 1991. Despite transient differences among GMSS during the initial years, after 4 years of treatments there were no consistent GMS trends in cumulative tree growth or gross yields. The higher establishment and maintenance costs of several mulches were offset by their prolonged efficacy over successive years; crop market values from 1992 to 1994 were considerably greater for trees with polypropylene film, polyester fabric, and hay mulches than herbicides, cultivation, or other mulches. Voles caused more serious damage to trees in synthetic and hay mulches, despite the use of mesh trunk guards and rodenticide bait.