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Eric Simonne, Chad Hutchinson, Jim DeValerio, Robert Hochmuth, Danielle Treadwell, Allan Wright, Bielinski Santos, Alicia Whidden, Gene McAvoy, Xin Zhao, Teresa Olczyk, Aparna Gazula, and Monica Ozores-Hampton

The success of the best management practices (BMPs) program for vegetables in Florida is measured by the level of BMP implementation and the improvement of water quality. Both require keeping water and fertilizer in the root zone of vegetables. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Vegetable Group has identified the fundamental principles of 1) basing UF/IFAS production recommendations on the rigors of science and the reality of field production; 2) replacing the out-of-date paradigm “pollute less by reducing nutrient application rates” with “improve water management and adjust fertilizer programs accordingly”; 3) engaging growers, consultants, educators, and regulators in open-channel discussions; and 4) regularly updating current fertilization and irrigation recommendations for vegetables grown in Florida to reflect current varieties used by the industry. The group identified 1) developing ultralow-flow drip irrigation; 2) assisting conversion from seepage to drip irrigation; 3) using recycled water; 4) developing controlled-release fertilizers for vegetables; 5) developing real-time management tools for continuous monitoring of soil water and chemical parameters; 6) developing yield mapping tools for vegetable crops; 7) developing and testing drainage lysimeter designs suitable for in-field load assessment; and 8) using grafting and breeding to develop commercially acceptable varieties with improved nutrient use efficiency by improving morphological, biochemical, and chemical traits as new strategies to keep nutrients in the root zone. These strategies should become funding priorities for state agencies to help the vegetable industry successfully transition into the BMP era.

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Danielle D. Treadwell, George J. Hochmuth, Robert C. Hochmuth, Eric H. Simonne, Lei L. Davis, Wanda L. Laughlin, Yuncong Li, Teresa Olczyk, Richard K. Sprenkel, and Lance S. Osborne

Consumer demand for fresh market organic produce combined with the increasing market share of ready-to-eat products indicates the potential for expansion of an organic culinary herb market. Barriers to organic herb greenhouse production are high as a result of lack of available technical information and the low number of producers experienced in this area. There is a critical need for information and technologies to improve the management of organic soil and fertilizer amendments to optimize crop yields and quality, manage production costs, and minimize the risk from groundwater nitrogen (N) contamination. Because of limited information specific to organic culinary herb production, literature on organic vegetable transplants and conventional basil (Ocimum basilicum) production was also considered in this review. Managing N for organic crops is problematic as a result of the challenge of synchronizing mineralization from organic fertilizer sources with crop N demand. A combination of materials, including locally formulated composts, supplemented with standardized commercially formulated fertilizer products is one method to ensure crops have access to mineral N throughout their development. In experimental greenhouse systems, local raw materials are frequently used as media amendments to satisfy partial or complete crop fertility requirements. This makes comparisons among experiments difficult as a result of the wide variety of raw materials used and the frequent interactions of fertilizer source and planting media on nutrient availability. Nitrogen mineralization rates are also influenced by additional factors such as the environmental conditions in the greenhouse and physical and chemical properties of the media and fertilizer. Despite the variability within and among experimental trials, yields and quality of organically grown crops are frequently similar to, and occasionally better than, conventionally grown crops.

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Juan M. Osorno, Carlos G. Muñoz, James S. Beaver, Feiko H. Ferwerda, Mark J. Bassett, Phil N. Miklas, Teresa Olczyk, and Bill Bussey

Bean golden yellow mosaic virus (BGYMV), incited by a whitefly (Bemisia tabaci Gennadius) transmitted geminivirus, is an important disease that can limit common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) production in Central America, the Caribbean, and southern Florida. Only a few genes are currently deployed in BGYMV-resistant common bean cultivars. The identification of novel sources of resistance would help bean breeders broaden the genetic base of resistance to this important virus. Phaseolus coccineus L. germplasm accession G35172 was found by International Center for Tropical Agriculture scientists to be resistant to BGYMV. Populations derived from an interspecific cross between P. vulgaris and P. coccineus were evaluated to study the inheritance of resistance to BGYMV. Segregation ratios of F2 plants and other populations suggest that BGYMV resistance from P. coccineus is controlled by two genes. A recessive gene, with the proposed symbol bgm-3, confers resistance to leaf chlorosis and a dominant gene, with the proposed name Bgp-2, prevents pod deformation in the presence of BGYMV. Results from allelism tests with previously reported BGYMV resistance genes (bgm, bgm-2, and Bgp) and the absence of the SR-2 sequence-characterized amplified region marker for bgm support the hypothesis that bgm-3 and Bgp-2 are different genes for BGYMV resistance.