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Howard F. Harrison, Judy A. Thies, Richard L. Fery, and J. Powell Smith

A preliminary screening experiment was conducted to evaluate 47 cowpea [Vigna unguiculata, (L.) Walp.] genotypes for use as a weed-suppressing cover crop. Lines evaluated in this study included forage varieties, PI accessions, experimental breeding lines, and land races of unknown origin. Of these, 11 were selected for further testing on the basis of vigorous growth and weed-suppressing ability. In a field experiment repeated over 4 years, the selected genotypes were not different from the leading cover crop cultivar, `Iron Clay', in biomass production. Vigor ratings, vine growth ratings, and canopy widths of some genotypes exceeded those of `Iron Clay'. Vigor ratings and canopy measurements were efficient selection criteria that could be useful for breeding cover crop cowpea cultivars. All selections except an African cultivar, `Lalita', were highly resistant to southern root knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood], and the genotypes varied in seed size, photoperiod, and response to diseases.

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Howard F. Harrison, Judy A. Thies, Richard L. Fery, and J. Powell Smith

A preliminary screening experiment was conducted to evaluate 47 cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] genotypes for use as a weed-suppressing cover crop. Of these, 11 were selected for further testing on the basis of vigorous growth and weed-suppressing ability. In a field experiment repeated over 4 years, the selected genotypes were not different from the leading cover crop cultivar `Iron Clay' in biomass production. Vigor ratings, vine growth ratings, and canopy widths of some genotypes exceeded those of `Iron Clay' Vigor ratings and canopy measurements were efficient selection criteria that could be useful for breeding cover crop cowpea cultivars. All except one selection were highly resistant to southern root knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood], and the selections varied in seed size, photoperiod, and response to foliar diseases.

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Howard F. Harrison Jr., D. Michael Jackson, Judy A. Thies, Richard L. Fery, and J. Powell Smith

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Arlie A. Powell, James Witt, William Dozier Jr., Scott Goodrick, Ed Tunnell, and Richard Murphy

Lack of winter chilling periodically becomes a serious problem for commercial peach producers in the Southeast, especially along and near the Gulf Coast areas. Studies were conducted over 3 years (1989-1991) to evaluate the effects of hydrogen cyanamide (Dormex - SKW) on replacing lack of winter chilling in 7 varieties of peaches.

Initial findings using whole tree sprays to point of runoff indicated a problem with efficacy and phytotoxicity. A combination of hydrogen cyanamide rates (0, .5, 1, 2 and 4% V/V) and timings (0, 25, 50 and 75% of chilling level) were evaluated in 1991. Rates above 2% were phytotoxic. Rates of 0.5 to 1.0% were safe and effective when applied at 75% chilling.

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Arlie A. Powell, Scott Goodrick, James Witt, William Dozier Jr., and Richard Murphy

Lack of winter chilling can be a serious problem for commercial peach producers in the Southeast. Studies were conducted over 3 years (1989-91) to evaluate the effects of hydrogen cyanamide (Dormex-SKW) on replacing lack of winter chilling on 7 varieties of peaches. This study specifically reports on the effects of hydrogen cyanamide on 'Ruston Red' peach, a 850-hour variety.

Results from 1990 studies using whole tree sprays to the point of runoff indicated a problem with the efficacy and phytotoxicity. In 1991, a combination of hydrogen cyanamide (49%) rates (0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4% V/V) and timings (0, 25, 50 and 75% of chilling level) were evaluated using 7-year-old 'Ruston Red' peach trees. Only 590 hours of chilling at 7.3°C and lower were accumulated at this site. Rates of 0.5 75% (actually only 70%) chilling level induced full cropping while control trees produced practically no crop.

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J.M. Goatley Jr., A.J. Powell Jr., M. Barrett, and W.W. Witt

Laboratory studies were conducted to determine the basis for chlorsulfuron selectivity between Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L. cv. Kenblue) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb. cv. Rebel). Tall fescue absorbed and translocated more foliar-applied [14C]-labeled chlorsulfuron from the treated leaf than Kentucky bluegrass. The two species absorbed similar amounts of chlorsulfuron from nutrient solution into the roots, but tall fescue translocated more of the absorbed radioactivity to the shoots. Tall fescue metabolized chlorsulfuron in the shoots slightly more slowly than Kentucky bluegrass. Allof these factors apparently contributed to the higher tolerance of Kentucky bluegrass than of tall fescue to chlorsulfuron. Chemical name used: (2-chloro-N-[[4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5 -triazin-2-yl)amino]-carbonyl] benzenesulfonamide) (chlorsulfuron).

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S. Hanif-Khan, R.C. Bullock, P.J. Stoffella, J.K. Brecht, C.A. Powell, and H.J. McAuslane

Silverleaf whitefly (SLW) (Bemisia argentifolii Bellows and Perring) feeding has been associated with development of tomato irregular ripening (TIR) symptoms. Four dwarf cultivars of cherry tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) were infested with adult SLW to observe oviposition preference, tolerance and TIR symptom development. Oviposition preference was observed at low SLW population. Florida Petite was the most preferred and Micro-Tom the least preferred cultivar, with Florida Lanai and Florida Basket intermediate. Each cultivar exhibited TIR symptoms associated with feeding by the SLW. TIR fruit symptoms were expressed as longitudinal red streaks with yellow, green, pink or red blotches externally, and white, yellow or green tissue internally. External TIR symptoms ranged from 32% (Micro-Tom) to 82% (Florida Basket). However, external symptoms disappeared from 34% (Florida Lanai) to 56% (Micro-Tom) of the fruits during ripening. SLW infested plants had 82% (Florida Lanai) to 99% (Florida Basket) of fruits with internal white tissue regardless of external symptoms. Tomatoes with TIR symptoms rarely ripened to a mature red, and sometimes had empty locules, were smaller in size and were seedless.

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S. Hanif-Khan, P.J. Stoffella, J.K. Brecht, H.J. McAuslane, R.C. Bullock, C.A. Powell, and R. Yokomi

External and internal tomato irregular ripening (TIR) symptoms have been associated with the feeding of silverleaf whitefly (SLW), Bemisia argentifolii Bellows and Perring. Soil drench application of gibberellic acid (GA3) (100 ppm, Trial 1 and 2) and cycocel (CCC) (2000 ppm, Trial 1; 1000 ppm, Trial 2) were applied to dwarf cherry tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) in the presence and absence of SLW to mimic the TIR disorder induced by the SLW. Application of GA3 induced external and internal TIR symptoms similar to the SLW-induced disorder in `Florida Petite'. There were essentially no TIR symptoms in fruit treated with CCC, an inhibitor of GA biosynthesis. In Trial 1, internal white tissue in GA3, SLW, and CCC treatments was expressed in 97%, 95%, and 4% of the total fruit, respectively. Incidence of external TIR symptom was highest (56%) in the GA3 plus SLW treatment. In Trial 2, GA3 application in the presence (83%) or absence (85%) of SLW resulted in the highest incidence of fruit with internal white tissue. External TIR symptoms induced by GA3 in the presence and absence of SLW were reduced with CCC application. These results suggest that the TIR disorder in tomato is induced by the SLW may be a GA3-regulated disorder.

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W.R. Okie, T.G. Beckman, G.L. Reighard, W.C. Newall Jr., C.J. Graham, D.J. Werner, A.A Powell, and G. Krewer

This paper describes the climatic and cropping conditions in the major peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] producing areas in the southeastern United States in 1996. The peach and nectarine crop was the smallest since 1955 due to a series of unusually cold temperatures in February, March, and April. Crop set was not strictly a function of late blooming. No variety produced a full crop across the region. Many reputedly hardy peaches cropped poorly. The only peach or nectarine varieties that produced substantial crops in multiple locations were `La Premiere', `Ruston Red', and `Contender'. Cropping ability of some breeding selections shows that peach frost tolerance may be improved further.

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Shahab Hanif-Khan, Robert C. Bullock, Peter J. Stoffella, Charles A. Powell, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Heather J. McAuslane, and Raymond K. Yokomi

Silverleaf whitefly (SLW) (Bemisia argentifolii Bellows and Perring) feeding was associated with development of tomato irregular ripening (TIR) symptoms. `Micro-Tom', `Florida Basket', `Florida Lanai', and `Florida Petite' dwarf cherry tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were infested with adult SLW to observe oviposition preference, plant tolerance, and TIR symptom development in two experiments. There was no oviposition preference among the cultivars in either of the trials. TIR fruit symptoms were expressed as longitudinal red streaks with yellow, green, pink, or red blotches externally and white tissue internally. External TIR symptoms at the pink stage of ripening ranged from 32% (`Micro-Tom') to 82% (`Florida Basket') in Expt. 1 and 44% (`Micro-Tom') to 93% (`Florida Petite') in Expt. 2. In Expt. 1, external TIR symptoms disappeared from 18% (`Florida Lanai') to 37% (`Micro-Tom') and, in Expt. 2, 16% (`Micro-Tom') to 39% (`Florida Basket') of the fruit during ripening. SLW-infested plants exhibited 82% (`Florida Lanai') to 99% (`Florida Basket') and 76% (`Micro-Tom') to 90% (`Florida Petite') of fruit with internal white tissue regardless of external symptoms in Expts. 1 and 2, respectively. Tomatoes with severe TIR symptoms rarely ripened to full red. Postharvest characteristics of ripening SLW-infested and control fruit were evaluated (Expts. 3 and 4). Generally, the SLW-infested fruit were lighter in color than the control fruit. The control fruit developed normal red color while the SLW-infested fruit developed a blotchy, streaky color that was overall more of an orange-red. SLW-infested fruit were firmer than the control fruit in both experiments. Ethylene production was higher in SLW-infested fruit. While the total soluble solids contents were not significantly different between the treatments, the SLW-infested fruit were more acidic than the control fruit. Each cultivar was susceptible to oviposition by SLW and induction of TIR symptoms. However, TIR symptom expression differed among the cultivars. Despite higher ethylene levels, the ripening process in the SLW-infested fruit appeared slower or may have been inhibited by factors induced by the SLW compared with the control fruit, which ripened normally.