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R.C. Shearman, L.A. Wit, S. Severmutlu, H. Budak, and R.E. Gaussoin

Dormant buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides) turfs, grown under field conditions, were treated with a colorant and evaluated for turfgrass color, quality, and cover. In addition, turfgrass canopy and soil temperatures were measured. Colorant treatments improved turfgrass color and quality when compared to the untreated control, and resulted in a color response that appeared similar to cool season turfgrasses growing in areas adjacent to the studies. Colorant treatments increased canopy and soil temperatures, and enhanced spring green-up. These results support the use of colorants as a means of extending the green appearance, and enhancing dormant buffalograss turf performance.

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Karen L.B. Gast and Melinda McMillan

Peony flowers are among the few fresh-cut flowers that can be stored dry at cold temperatures for weeks and still produce a viable product for the marketplace. Devising new ways to extend that storage period could open new markets for peony growers. In the northern hemisphere, more peonies could be available for summer weddings, and in the southern hemisphere, red peonies could be used for Valentine's Day. Being able to control and extend the vaselife of peony flowers could also be useful for companies that freeze-dry peonies. Their production is limited by the length of their processing cycle and the size of their freeze dryer. Being able to extend their production season could make them more profitable. Three treatments were applied to peony flowers harvested in the colored bud stage before flowers where placed in cold storage, 2°C. An untreated control was included. Flowers were removed from storage every 2 weeks for 14 weeks. Vaselife and fresh weights were evaluated. Total nonstructural carbohydrate levels of the petals, leaves, and stems of the flowers are to be analyzed. Preliminary analysis of the data shows some treatment differences.

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Bruce W. Wood and Charles C. Reilly

Bearing pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] trees overly stressed by crop load and premature autumn defoliation either died or were severely damaged by -3°C in mid-November. Orchard damage was associated with death of tree roots during the dormant season. Exposure of stressed trees to -5°C in mid-March produced an atypical, but distinct, bottom-to-top-of-canopy gradient in bud death and reduced growth of shoots and foliage that was consistent with the pattern of reduced carbohydrate reserves of associated support shoots. Additionally, the foliage of damaged trees contained higher concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, and B. Trees did not exhibit traditional symptoms of cold damage, thus these findings extend cold injury diagnostic criteria to include both root and tree death during the dormant season and also a distinct gradient in shoot death during early spring. Damage by cold appears to be preventable by avoiding excessive tree stress due to overcropping and premature defoliation.

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Dana F. Faubion, Mary Lu Arpaia, F. Gordon Mitchell, and Gene Mayer

Optimum controlled atmosphere (CA) storage conditions were evaluated over a two year period for California-grown `Hass' avocado (Persea americana). Fruit harvests corresponded to early, middle and late season commercial harvests. Various temperatures and CA conditions were tested. The results indicate that the storage life of `Hass' can be extended from 3 to 4 weeks in 5C air, to 9 weeks in 5C CA if they are held in 2% oxygen and 2 to 5% carbon dioxide. Loss of quality as determined by chilling injury expression and flesh softening was greatly reduced in these conditions. Fruit maturity influenced the response to CA storage. Late season fruit had greater loss of quality in storage than earlier fruit. In 2% oxygen and 2.5% carbon dioxide, continuous exposure to ethylene levels as low as 0.1 ppm significantly increased quality loss. Delays in cooling and CA atmosphere establishment of up to three days after harvest did not effect quality.

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Dan E. Parfitt, Craig E. Kallsen, and Joe Maranto

`Randy' is an early flowering male pistachio that will be used as a pollenizer for `West Hills' and `Lost Hills'. It has excellent flowering synchrony with `West Hills' and `Lost Hills' and can be used to cover the earlier part of the `Kerman' flowering period during seasons in which `Kerman' flowering is extended. This generally occurs during seasons of low chill, which are expected to become more frequent in the future due to continued global warming. `Peters', the standard male used to pollenize `Kerman', often flowers too late to cover the earlier part of the `Kerman' bloom period under these conditions or to serve as an effective pollenizer for the new female cultivars. `Randy' was selected for high pollen viability, pollen durability, and a high level of pollen production (based on visual evaluation). `Randy' flowers 1–3 weeks earlier than `Peters', the standard pollenizer for `Kerman'.

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William Terry Kelley

Carrots (Daucus carota L.) have become an economically important vegetable crop for Georgia. Currently the harvest season extends from December through May. One possibility for extending the harvest season would be to produce carrots in the cooler mountain area of Georgia during the summer months. This study was undertaken to examine the potential for fresh-market carrot production on Georgia mountain soils and to evaluate which varieties of carrots might be most suitable for this area. Ten commercially available carrot varieties were direct seeded into a Transylvania clay loam soil on 28 May 1999 in Blairsville, Ga. Plots consisted of three twin rows of carrots each 20 feet in length. The twin rows were each three inches apart and there were 20 inches between each set of twin rows. Each plot was replicated four times. Base fertilizer of 20 pounds of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous were incorporated into the plots prior to seeding. Sidedress applications of 15 pounds each of N, P, and K were applied at 3-week intervals throughout the season. Recommended pest control practices were applied. A three-foot section of the center twin row was harvested on 23 Sept. 1999. The varieties `Pacific Gold' and `Topnotch' produced the highest marketable yield; however, all yields were below acceptable levels. Percent marketability was <60% for all varieties. Percent stand was extremely variable due to variability in seed size. All carrots had severe nematode damage although a nematicide was used preplant. The length of season for spring-planted carrots was too long for the life of the nematicide at the rate and method applied. Late summer–planted carrots would likely be a more viable option for this area.

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Paul Lyrene

Cultivated blueberries (Vaccinium section Cyanococcus species, including lowbush, highbush, and rabbiteye) normally produce flower buds at the end of the growing season; these remain dormant during the winter and give rise to flowers the following spring. However, rabbiteye and low-chill highbush cultivars that are maintained in a state of vigorous growth throughout the winter in an unheated greenhouse in Gainesville in north Florida flower and produce fruit continuously on new growth throughout December, January, and February. The regimen of cool (but not freezing) nights and short, warm days permits the plants to continue growth throughout the winter and results in rapid conversion of newly-formed axillary buds into flower buds. These do not become dormant, but sprout to produce flowers and fruit almost as quickly as they are formed. Extending the photoperiod or raising night temperatures inhibits primocane flowering by allowing the axillary buds to remain vegetative. Primocane flowering, which occurs naturally in highbush blueberry production fields south of lat. 28°N in Florida and at lat. 30°S in eastern Australia, can contribute to an extended harvest season (4 to 8 months per year) from a single cultivar.

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A.M. Armitage and J.M. Laushman

We would like to thank Rosemary Scully-Key, Anita Harris, and Henaege Tseng for assistance with this work. Special thanks are also extended to Van Waveren and Sons, Mt. Airy, N. C., for donation of the bulbs and Yoder Bros. Barberton, Ohio

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S.J. Locascio, A.G. Smajstsrla, D.H. Hensel, and D.P. Weigartner

Growth and production uniformity of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) as influenced by conventional seepage irrigation and by subsurface drip irrigation was evaluated in field studies during two seasons in plots 16 rows (18.3 m) wide and 183 m long. Seepage irrigation water was supplied through ditches located on each side of each plot. Drip irrigation water was distributed through buried tubes placed under the beds 6.1 m apart extending the length of the rows. Water application throughout the plots was accomplished more rapidly with the subsurface drip system and water use during the two seasons was 33% less than with the conventional seepage system. Tuber yield during the first season was similar with the two irrigation systems. During the second season, plant growth, tuber development, and tuber yield were sampled on alternate rows beginning on each outside bed, at each end of each plot, and in the middle of the plots. Irrigation method and bed location among the 16 beds had little influence of potato growth and development. With water flow from north to south, plant growth, and tuber yield were significantly higher from potatoes growing at the north end, lowest in the plot center, and intermediate from potatoes growing at the south end. These data indicate that potato production with the two irrigation systems was similar.

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Rebecca Grube Sideman

tunnels compared with open field conditions ( Fitzgerald and Hutton, 2012 ). This may be because tunnels lengthen the potential harvest season for green bell peppers and also facilitate production of ripe colored fruit, which is difficult in field