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Joseph M. Kemble and Elizabeth A. Guertal

In 1994, a study was conducted in Crossville, Ala., to determine if differences in leaf P concentration and crop yield occurred when P was applied as either a broadcast or banded treatment. Phosphorus (0, 34, 67, 101, and 134 kg·ha–1) was banded (2 × 2) or broadcast applied and incorporated before planting. Other nutrients were applied based on current recommendations and soil testing. As level of P increased from 0 to 134 kg·ha–1, fresh weight of harvested ears increased quadratically. There was no difference in fresh weight of harvested ears between banding and broadcasting. Yields were not maximized within the range of applied P, although it seems that yield reaches a plateau near the highest rate of applied P. Percent of P in corn ear leaves did not differ among treatments. There was no difference in P leaf concentrations between the banded and broadcast treatments, indicating that response in yield occurred due to rate of P application, not method.

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Jared A. Hoyle, J. Scott McElroy, and Elizabeth A. Guertal

Greenhouse studies were conducted to explore soil texture and planting depth effects on emergence of large crabgrass, Virginia buttonweed, and cock’s-comb kyllinga. Soil textures examined were sand, loamy sand, and clay loam with planting depths of 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 cm. Percent emergence was standardized relative to surface emergence to allow comparisons among tested weed species. The three-way interaction of weed species, planting depth, and soil texture was never significant for emergence. Significant interactions occurred between weed species and soil texture, weed species and planting depth, and soil texture and planting depth. For all weed species and soil textures, emergence decreased as planting depth increased with the greatest percent emergence at the soil surface. The planting depth at which weed emergence was decreased 50% [relative to surface emergence (D50)] was predicted by regression analysis. Large crabgrass emerged from deepest depths (8 cm) followed by Virginia buttonweed (6 cm) and cock’s-comb kyllinga (2 cm). Large crabgrass, Virginia buttonweed, and cock’s-comb kyllinga D50 occurred at 3.9, 1.1, and 0.8 cm, respectively. Sand, loamy sand, and clay loam D50 occurred at 0.9, 2.3, and 1.9 cm, respectively, with D50 higher in the soils with greater water-holding capacity.

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James D. McCurdy, J. Scott McElroy, and Elizabeth A. Guertal

White clover (Trifolium repens L.) inclusion is a proposed means of increasing the sustainability of certain low-maintenance turfgrass scenarios through increased pollinator habitat and as a result of the legume’s ability to biologically fix atmospheric nitrogen (N). Proper white clover establishment is key to maximizing stand uniformity and N contribution to associated grasses. However, there are few guidelines for white clover establishment within warm-season turfgrasses. Four studies were conducted to evaluate seeded white clover establishment within a dormant hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy × C. dactylon (L.) Pers.] lawn as affected by 1) pre-seeding mechanical surface disruption; 2) establishment timing; 3) seeding rate; and 4) companion grass species. White clover establishment was improved by scalping before October seeding, but these effects were not further enhanced by the addition of verticutting or hollow tine aerification. Unscalped turfgrass yielded nearly 50% lower white clover densities than those scalped before seeding, possibly as a result of decreased seed-to-soil contact and increased bermudagrass competition. January and February establishment dates generally yielded the lowest spring clover densities, whereas October timing yielded superior establishment. Clover densities resulting from six seeding rates (0, 0.4, 0.8, 1.5, 3.0, and 6.0 g live seed/m2) were fit to the linear model (y = y 0 + ax b, where y equals trifoliate leaves/m2 and x is equal to initial seeding rate). An important feature of this model was that it accurately represented the diminishing response of increasing seeding rate. Clover establishment was negatively correlated with companion grass densities with the largest densities occurring when planted with tall fescue and the smallest when planted with annual ryegrass. Ultimately, scalping alone or in combination with other mechanical surface disruption should be paired with a clover variety acceptable to the height of cut and the environmental conditions of individual scenarios. Likewise, seeding rates and the decision to include a cool-season companion grass species will be dependent on the use of a turf and the desired green cover.

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Charles Zachry Ogles, Joseph M. Kemble, Amy N. Wright, and Elizabeth A. Guertal

In-season nitrogen (N) management is a common challenge in organic vegetable production. This is especially true when using polyethylene mulch combined with fertigation. Soluble organic N sources suitable for fertigation in organic vegetable production are needed. The objective of this research was to evaluate an organic fish fertilizer in a squash/collard rotation and to compare its effectiveness to inorganic sources. A 2-year crop sequence of yellow squash (Cucurbita pepo) and collards (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) was used. To eliminate the rotation order effect, the crops were switched each year: yellow squash-collard in Year 1 and collard-yellow squash in Year 2. Three N sources were used along with a zero N control: hydrolyzed fish fertilizer (HFF), inorganic N source with secondary and micronutrients (INORGWM), and inorganic N without secondary or micronutrients (INORGWO). Three N rates and a control were also included: 1) N at the recommended rate (152 kg·ha−1 for yellow squash and 110 kg·ha−1 for collards); 2) N at 80% of the recommended rate; 3) N at 60% of the recommended rate; and 4) a zero N control. Year 2012 yellow squash had a 30% higher yield when grown with inorganic N as compared with squash grown in HFF. Year 2012 collards had a 21% higher yield when grown with INORGWM as compared with collards grown in the HFF. In the second year, highest yields of collards were again produced in the INORGWM treatments followed by those grown in the HFF treatments. Second-year squash grown in the inorganic N treatments produced highest yields, and squash grown in the HFF had a 16% lower yield as compared with those grown in the two inorganic N sources. INORGWO produced lower marketable collard yields than INORGWM or HFF as a result of sulfur deficiency. Although yields were reduced in the crops grown in HFF treatments, the premium price and resultant profit associated with organic products were enough to offset the reduced yield. If growers can obtain the price premiums associated with organic produce, the use of HFF could be an economically feasible option in organic vegetable production.