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James R. Schupp, James R. McFerson, and Terence L. Robinson

A tank mix of fish oil plus liquid lime sulfur has proven to be an effective chemical thinner for apples in the bloom and postbloom periods. This combination was labeled for use as a chemical thinner in Washington State in 2003. There are several concerns with fish oil when used in this thinning mixture. Phytotoxicity is one concern. Apple growers have a reluctance to utilize this oil because of its expense and repulsive odor. Research to date has been conducted using oil from a single small source in Washington State. Shipping fish oil across the country is expensive and the consistency and purity of fish oil from other sources is unknown. Fish oil may function as a surfactant and penetrant, and it may also have a direct thinning effect. The objective of these studies was to evaluate the efficacy of several surfactants and oils in combination with lime sulfur for thinning apples. Lime sulfur has been less effective as a thinner when used alone than when used with oil in our studies. Regulaid, LI-700, and Silwet L-77 were shown to be less effective than oils for achieving thinning. Vegetable oil has been very effective in the thinning combination, while petroleum oils have been effective in some eastern U.S. trials, but less effective in the west. Tank mixing fish oil with lime sulfur has remained among the best treatments in our trials, while vegetable oil also shows promise.

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Jeff Anderson*

Acute heat stress can denature and aggregate proteins. The objective of this study was to determine how changes in the chemical and physical environment affected high temperature-induced turbidity and precipitation in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) leaf extracts. High temperature stability of leaf extracts decreased as the tissue concentration increased. Control extracts exhibited a time-dependent change in resistance to turbidity and precipitate development, but the presence of polyvinylpolypyrrolidone stabilized the extracts. Ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid had a less marked effect on turbidity and precipitation. Solution thermal stability increased as buffer pH increased from pH 6.0 to 7.0 regardless of whether the pH was adjusted before or after tissue extraction. Mannitol strongly stabilized pepper leaf extracts, but a surfactant lowered the thermal stability.

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Heinz K. Wutscher

Seven-year-old `Hamlin' orange on Swingle citrumelo rootstock were sprayed with 30% methanol and 0.05% Silwet surfactant. There were four treatments: one spray application 48 days, two spray applications 48 and 32 days, and three spray applications 48, 32, and 20 days before harvest on December 2, 1993, with five untreated control trees. The treatments were arranged in five replications of randomized, complete blocks throughout the orchard. There were no significant differences in fruit weight, fruit diameter, rind color, rind thickness, juice content, soluble solids, total acids, solids/acids ratio, and juice color of 30 fruit samples collected from each tree. Leaf samples collected at harvest and analyzed for 12 elements showed higher Na and Cl levels in the leaves of the trees treated with methanol once than in those treated three times.

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L. Cisneros-Zevallos, M.E. Saltveit, and J.M. Krochta

Fruit processing treatments, such as osmotic dehydration, washing, aqueous dips and coatings applications, and even microbial adhesion, depend critically on the surface energy of surfaces. Knowledge of these values can be used as reference targets for treatment formulations when complete wetting is necessary. Unripened and ripened tomato cultivars, `Ace' and `Castlemart', and bell pepper cultivars `California Wonder' and `Garden Sunshine' were characterized by color, firmness, and soluble solids, and evaluated for their surface energy. Calculated surface energy was obtained using Fowkes' equation by measuring contact angles of a series of pure surfactants of different HLB values on the fruit surface and by comparing with a reference paraffin surface of 25.5 dynes/cm. Results indicated that surface energies were similar between both types of fruits, while there were differences between maturity stages for tomato fruits. Surface energy in all cases was lower than 30 dynes/cm, indicating the hydrophobic nature of the epicuticular surface of the fruits tested.

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Thomas A. Bewick, William M. Stall, Stephen R. Kostewicz, and Kenneth Smith

Cupric hydroxide, copper ammonium carbonate, basic copper sulfate, mancozeb, and a combination of cupric hydroxide and mancozeb were applied to American black nightshade (Solanum americanum Mill) before treatment with paraquat at 0.6 kg a.i./ha. Paraquat efficacy was reduced by all fungicides/bactericides, except a flowable formulation of basic copper sulfate, when compared to the herbicide only control. Compared to a surfactant only control, efficacy 1 week after paraquat application ranged from 86% with paraquat only to 42% with a combination of mancozeb and cupric hydroxide. Mancozeb and mancozeb in combination with cupric hydroxide resulted in greater shoot dry weight than the paraquat only control when measured 2 weeks after herbicide application. Chemical names used: 1,1'-dimethyl-4-4'-bipyridinium ion (paraquat); Mn, Zn ethylene bis diethyldithiocarbamate (mancozeb).

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Peter Nitzsche, Gerald A. Berkowitz', and Jack Rabin

The objective of this research was to develop an effective antitranspirant formulation for reducing transplant shock (transitory water stress) in bell pepper (Capsicm annuum L.) seedlings. A formulation with a paraffin wax emulsion (Folicote at 5%) and a spreader/sticker type surfactant (Biofilm at 0.5%) was effective as an antitranspirant. This formulation was less phytotoxic than other formulations tested. Application of the formulation led to increased leaf water potential (Ψ w) i in transplanted seedlings for several days as compared with untreated transplants. When this, (relatively) nonphytotoxic formulation was used in a field study for 1 year, increased seedling Ψ w during a period of imposed water stress led to less leaf abscission and increased plant growth throughout the growing season. Chemical names used: alkylarylpolyethoxyethanol (Biofilm).

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V. Esensee, D.I. Leskovar, and A.K. Boales

Nonomura and Benson (1992) reported that foliar applications of dilute solutions of methanol caused growth and yield increases and reduced water use in several crops. The request from commercial growers for explicit information regarding this report prompted our experiments using the same procedures. Growth of cantaloupe, pepper, cabbage, cauliflower and onion seedlings and mature plants were evaluated in the laboratory and greenhouse in 1993 and in the field in 1993 and 1994. Treatments of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, or 40% methanol (v/v water) with 0.1% surfactant generally did not cause significant growth differences. Stem diameters or lengths, shoot fresh and dry weights, or root fresh and dry weights of seedlings were unaffected as a result of methanol treatment. In the field, cabbage head weight was slightly higher after methanol application only in 1993, whereas cantaloupe fruit weight and number were significantly lower in 1993, but not in 1994.

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Matthew W. Fidelibus and Frederick S. Davies

In Florida, gibberellic acid (GA3) is applied to citrus in the late summer or early fall to reduce senescence-related peel disorders of fresh fruit and to increase juice yield of processing oranges. Heavy rainfall may occur daily during this time that could reduce the efficacy of GA3 sprays. Experiments were conducted in 1998-99 and 1999-2000 to test the effect of timed “wash off” treatments on the peel color and peel puncture resistance (PPR) of `Hamlin' orange (Citrus sinensis [L.] Osb.) fruit that were previously treated with GA3. In Oct. 1998 and 1999, the canopy of 14- or 15-year-old trees were sprayed to runoff (≈10 L) with GA3 (45 g a.i./ha) and a non-ionic surfactant (Silwet, 0.05%). For the next 4 (1998-99) or 5 (1999-2000) h, three different GA3-treated trees each hour were then sprayed with ≈20 L of tap water to simulate rainfall that might remove or dilute the GA3. An additional three trees did not receive a GA3 or a washoff treatment. Fruit were harvested in Nov. 1998 and Jan. 1999 and Dec. 1999 and Jan. 2000 and evaluated for PPR and color. Data were subjected to regression analysis to determine the relationship between peel variables and time until washoff. In 1998-99, PPR and peel hue (level of green color) increased linearly with time until washoff, indicating that some GA3 uptake was still occurring after 4 h. In 1999-2000, PPR and hue increased linearly until about 3 h before washoff. Therefore, heavy rainfall within 3 to 4 h of application may reduce GA3 effectiveness, even when a surfactant is used.

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David A. Bender, J. Wayne Keeling, and Roland E. Roberts

Large weeds, particularly amaranths, are a serious impediment to mechanical harvesting of jalapeno peppers. Several herbicides were applied in 1998 and 1999 postemergence topical (PT) to commercial fields when peppers had four to six leaves, or postdirected (PD) with a shielded sprayer ≈1 month later, and evaluated for crop injury, weed control, and effects on yield. Treatments were applied to four-row plots 9 m long with a CO<subscript>2 backpack sprayer. PT treatments included pyrithiobac sodium at 0.036, 0.053, or 0.071 kg·ha–1 a.i. with nonionic surfactant or crop oil concentrate, metolachlor at 1.68 kg·ha–1 a.i., and oxyfluorfen at 0.14 or 0.28 kg·ha–1 a.i.. PD treatments consisted of the same rates of pyrithiobac sodium with nonionic surfactant only, and the same rates of oxyfluorfen. Pyrithiobac sodium PT caused significant chlorosis (reduction in SPAD chlorophyll) in new foliage and reduction in plant height after 1 week, but plants recovered with no effect on final plant height, chlorophyll, or yield. No significant difference was observed between the two adjuvants. Metolachlor had no measurable effect on pepper growth or yield. Oxyfluorfen PT killed young apical tissue and caused chlorosis of immature leaves. Plants recovered, but plant height was reduced by 14% to 28% and yield by 11% to 43%. PD treatments had no effect on pepper growth or yield. All herbicides provided adequate weed control under light pressure. Pyrithiobac sodium appears to have potential as a postemergence herbicide for control of amaranth in jalapeno peppers.

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Larry Kuhns and Tracey Harpster

Though glyphosate is considered to be a nonselective herbicide, conifer growers have long known that under certain conditions, they could contact the lower branches of their trees with the herbicide Roundup without injuring them. Species, time of application, rate of application, surfactant, method of application, and pruning wounds are all factors affecting conifer tolerance to glyphosate. Because Roundup was widely used by conifer growers, they were very concerned when the formulation of Roundup was changed to contain a more active surfactant. The new product was marketed under the name Roundup Pro. This change increased its herbicidal activity and raised the possibility that it could damage trees if applied in the same way as Roundup. To determine the tolerance of conifers grown in the northeast to a variety of glyphosate formulations, and sulfosate, a set of studies was established. Roundup, Roundup Pro, Glyfos, Accord, and Sulfosate were all applied to field grown hemlock, white fir, Canaan fir, fraser fir, douglas fir, Colorado spruce, and eastern white pine. Rates of 1 to 3 lb active ingredient/A were applied in the fall after new growth was hardened off. In general, it was found that the risk of injuring trees with Roundup Pro is greater than with the old formulation of Roundup. However, in all cases in which Roundup Pro caused more injury than Roundup, the Roundup Pro was applied at 3 lb active ingredient/A. This rate is double the rate recommended for this use. In calibrated, directed spray applications at 1.5 lb active ingredient/A or less, Roundup Pro should be safe for use around the species tested after their growth has fully hardened in the fall.