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Paige L. Herring, Abbey C. Noah, and Helen T. Kraus

Sphagnum peat is a finite resource that is often used in the horticultural industry as a component in many substrates, especially for greenhouse production of transplants. Because peatlands are being depleted by vast amounts of mining, the horticultural industry is exploring alternative resources to use in substrates. Swine lagoon sludge (SLS) is an attractive option as it may provide nutrients needed to support plant growth, as well as using an agricultural waste product to address the peat shortage. A compost was developed using an in-vessel compost reactor to compost SLS with peanut hulls [15:85 (by volume) SLS:peanut hull] to produce a swine lagoon compost (SLC). A greenhouse transplant study was conducted with three species: basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Dark Opal’), chives (Allium schoenoprasum), and dill (Anethum graveolens ‘Hera’) grown in three substrates: SLC, a commercially available organic potting substrate with a nutrient charge (OM), and a commercial peat-based potting substrate with a 2-week nutrient charge (PEAT). The average height for basil, chives, and dill was significantly greater at transplant harvest when produced in the SLC substrate compared with the OM and PEAT. Airspace was greatest for SLC and lowest for OM and PEAT. Although root growth was not measured in this study, more prolific root growth throughout the plug was observed with SLC compared with OM and PEAT possibly because of the greater airspace in SLC. Substrate solution pH did not change substantially over time, whereas electrical conductivity (EC) decreased from 0.24 to 0.14 mS·cm−1. Both substrate pH and EC were within acceptable ranges for transplant production. SLC provided the physical and chemical requirements for herb transplant production without any additional fertilizers or amendments.

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Kellie J. Walters, Bridget K. Behe, Christopher J. Currey, and Roberto G. Lopez

). Over those 16 years, large increases in cucumber ($60.0 million AFI increase, 339%), fresh cut herbs ($26.1 million AFI increase, 158%), lettuce ($42.0 million AFI increase, 311%), strawberry ( Fragaria ×ananassa ; $847,000 AFI increase, 1193%), and

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Kellie J. Walters and Christopher J. Currey

, the location of plants is not at a level comfortable for greenhouse employees. A NFT system may be more useful for crops requiring more access, such as fresh cut herbs with successive harvests, whereas a DFT system may be more useful for crops with a

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Mary A. Rogers

fresh market tomatoes [ Solanum lycopersicum ($18.1)], followed by fresh cut herbs ($5.9), lettuce [ Lactuca sativa ($5.4)], bell peppers [ Capsicum annuum ($1)], and spinach [ Spinacia oleracea ($0.5)]. In millions of dollars in sales, the top three

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Hunter A. Hammock, Dean A. Kopsell, and Carl E. Sams

production of high-value specialty crops. The demand for fresh culinary herbs has grown tremendously over the past few decades. Culinary herbs are defined as herbaceous aromatic plants that are grown and sold either fresh (cut herbs, potted plants, pastes