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D.G. Mortley, P.A. Loretan, W.A. Hill, C.K. Bonsi, C.E. Morris, R. Hall, and D. Sullen

`Georgia Red' peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and TU-82-155 sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] were grown in monocultured or intercropped recirculating hydroponic systems in a greenhouse using the nutrient film technique (NFT). The objective was to determine whether growth and subsequent yield would be affected by intercropping. Treatments were sweetpotato monoculture (SP), peanut monoculture (PN), and sweetpotato and peanut grown in separate NFT channels but sharing a common nutrient solution (SP-PN). Greenhouse conditions ranged from 24 to 33 °C, 60% to 90% relative humidity (RH), and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) of 200 to 1700 μmol·m-2·s-1. Sweetpotato cuttings (15 cm long) and 14-day-old seedlings of peanuts were planted into growth channels (0.15 × 0.15 × 1.2 m). Plants were spaced 25 cm apart within and 25 cm apart between growing channels. A modified half-Hoagland solution with a 1 N : 2.4 K ratio was used. Solution pH was maintained between 5.5 and 6.0 for treatments involving SP and 6.4 and 6.7 for PN. Electrical conductivity (EC) ranged between 1100 and 1200 μS·cm-1. The number of storage roots per sweetpotato plant was similar for both SP and SP-PN. Storage root fresh and dry mass were 29% and 36% greater, respectively, for plants in the SP-PN treatment than for plants in the SP treatment. The percent dry mass of the storage roots, dry mass of fibrous and pencil roots, and the length-to-diameter ratio of storage roots were similar for SP and SP-PN sweetpotato plants. Likewise, foliage fresh and dry mass and harvest index were not significantly influenced by treatment. Total dry mass was 37% greater for PN than for SP-PN peanut plants, and pod dry mass was 82% higher. Mature and total seed dry mass and fibrous root dry mass were significantly greater for PN than for SP-PN plants. Harvest index (HI) was similar for both treatments. Root length tended to be lower for seedlings grown in the nutrient solution from the SP-PN treatment.

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Neo Edwin Nyakane, Moosa Mahmood Sedibe, and Elisha Markus

characteristics. However, there is still no clear indication of how MFs achieve such changes. There is also a growing interest from hydroponic rose growers in biologically based approaches to plant production to reduce the utilization of high amounts of

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Bruce Bugbee

Although the principle of mass balance is well-understood, few people understand how Hoagland and Arnon used it to develop their famous nutrient solution recipes. Here I review: 1) the application of mass balance in deriving unique hydroponic solution recipes, 2) the dangers of dumping and replacing hydroponic solutions, 3) the need to alter the silicon and chloride concentrations in Hoagland's solution based on recent advances in our understanding of plant nutrient requirements.

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M.L. Matheny

One of the main difficulties in controlling root diseases biologically has been the inability of biocontrol agents to establish and persist in the rhizosphere. The inability of biocontrol agents to establish and persist is often attributed to competition from indigenous microorganisms for space and nutrients and to fluctuations in environmental conditions. The use of biocontrol agents over the entire geographic range of a crop also has been limited by differences in environmental and edaphic conditions from field to field and region to region. An advantage of hydroponic crop production in greenhouses is that environmental conditions such as temperature, moisture, pH, and growth medium can be consistently controlled in a house and from site to site. An additional advantage of many hydroponic systems is that they are virtually sterile upon planting. This initial period of virtual sterility greatly reduces competition for an introduced biocontrol agent. In addition, these systems are usually pathogen-free upon planting allowing the establishment of a biocontrol agent prior to pathogen introduction. Last, the temperatures, high moisture levels, and pH ranges of hydroponic systems can be ideal for the proliferation of many biocontrol agents. With all of these advantages for the use of biocontrol agents in hydroponic systems, our company, and many labs around the world, have focused their attention on developing biological control agents for these systems. I will provide a review of research focused on controlling root diseases of vegetables grown in rockwool and other hydroponic systems.

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A. Matar, W.L. Berry, C.L. Mackowiak, G.W. Stutte, R.M. Wheeler, and J.C. Sager

Tissue nutrient (element) content profiles were determined for wheat and potato plants grown hydroponically (NFT) in NASA's Biomass Production Chamber (20 m2) using a complete nutrient solution with electrical conductivity maintained at 0.12 S·m–1. Profiles were compared to patterns of nutrient accumulation during vegetative stages reported for highly productive wheat and potatoes grown in the field under a wide range of conditions. Among the essential elements, differences between the hydroponically and field-grown crops were observed only for Ca, Mg, and Mn in the recently mature leaves, and these differences were related to changes in growth phase and/or consistency of nutrient supply during plant growth. Nutrient profiles for both hydroponically and field-grown crops were also compared to deficiency and toxicity critical levels compiled by various workers. As expected for high-yielding crops, the profiles for both crops were well within the sufficiency ranges for all evaluated nutrients.

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Andrew C. Schuerger and Philip D. Laible

`Yecora Rojo' Wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) And `Florida Petite' Tomato (Lycoper-Sicon Esculentum Mill.) Plants Were Grown In Monocultured Or Intercropped Recirculating Hydroponic Systems To Determine Whether Plant Growth Or Yield Would Be Affected By Intercropping. Mean Fruit Weight Was Slightly Lower (12%) For Intercropped Than For Monocultured Tomato Plants. The Number Of Tillers Per Plant Was Slightly Lower (7%) For Wheat, And Grain Dry Weight Per Plant And Mean Seed Dry Weight Were Slightly Higher (14% And 15%, Respectively) For Intercropped Than For Monocultured Plants. A Lettuce Seedling Bioassay Showed No Evidence Of Allelopathic Compound Accumulation In Monocultured Or Intercropped Hydroponic Systems.

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Eric B. Bish

Some countries have achieved success in growing strawberries hydroponically. These countries, however, attain a higher price for produce. Algae growth in strawberries and other hydroponic operations has been reported as a potential limitin factor. Three treatments were set up using a modified NFT system; a control in which algae was allowed to grow, a treatment physically covering all the nutrient solution to prevent contact with light, and a treatment of 1 ml metam-sodium in 100 liters nutrient solution. Measurements of yield, nutrient composition, plant survival, and runnering were taken. There was no significant difference in nutrient consumption among the treatments. There were significant differences in time to first fruit, yield, and runnering. Metam-sodium inhibited runner production. The treatment that excluded light from the nutrien solution resulted in prolific runnering and had larger fruit size.

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C. Morris, D. Mortley, P. Loretan, C. Bonsi, and W. Hill

The potential of the sweet potato as a food source for future long-term manned space missions is being evaluated for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) Program. Several experiments have shown that the sweet potato can be grown hydroponically. However, an evaluation of the NASA fan-shaped Biomass Production Chamber (BPC) channel was initiated to determine if channel depths influenced the yield of hydroponically grownsweet potatoes. Three channel depths were studied, 5 cm (2 in) standard NASA BPC channel, 10 cm (4 in) channel and 15 cm (6 in) channel. The experiment consisted of one replication. The results show that channel depth does effect the yield of storage roots. The 15 cm depth channel provided the most consistent yield with all channels having significantly different fresh storage root yields in the replicate.

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Zhi Yi Tan and Kenneth A. Corey

A method was developed to improve the yield and quality of chicons of witloof chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) forced hydroponically from roots taken following long-term storage. The method combines the use of a resilient material (polyurethane foam) with the application of pressure to the developing chicons. At the start of forcing, weights of 0, 150, 300, 450, and 900 g/root were applied to the crown and maintained until harvest. Marketable yields and density of chicons of the late-forcing cultivar Faro increased with increasing weight applied. Increasing weight also significantly decreased the length: diameter ratio of chicons, an indicator of quality. Increased marketable yield and improved quality of `Bea' (intermediate to late-forcing cultivar) chicons were achieved with application of 450 g/root. The technique provides a tool for improving economic yields of late-season, hydroponically forced witloof chicory.

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Virginia R. Walter*

A 100 parts per million solution of potassium silicate was added to the nutrient solution of well established, hydroponically grown `Kardinal' rose plants. No significant effects of silicon were determined on post harvest life of the rose flowers harvested over a 3-month period as compared to flowers harvested from control plants grown without the silicon additive. Silicon additive did have a significant positive effect on the length of harvested stems.