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K.L. Hensler, B.S. Baldwin, and J.M. Goatley Jr.

A bioorganic fiber seeding mat was compared to traditional seeding into a prepared soil to ascertain any advantages or disadvantages in turfgrass establishment between the planting methods. Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis), centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides), st. augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica) were seeded at recommended levels in May 1995 and July 1996. The seeding methods were evaluated under both irrigated and nonirrigated conditions. Plots were periodically rated for percent turf coverage; weed counts were taken about 4 weeks after study initiation. Percent coverage ratings for all grasses tended to be higher for direct-seeded plots under irrigated conditions in both years. Bermudagrass and bahiagrass established rapidly for both planting methods under either irrigated or nonirrigated conditions. Only carpetgrass and zoysiagrass tended to have greater coverage ratings in nonirrigated, mat-seeded plots in both years, although the percent plot coverage ratings never reached the minimum desired level of 80%. In both years, weed counts in mat-seeded plots were lower than in direct-seeded plots. A bioorganic fiber seeding mat is a viable method of establishing warm-season turfgrasses, with its biggest advantage being a reduction in weed population as compared to direct seeding into a prepared soil.

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Regina P. Bracy and Richard L. Parish

Improved stand establishment of direct-seeded crops has usually involved seed treatment and/or seed covers. Planters have been evaluated for seed/plant spacing uniformity, singulation, furrow openers, and presswheel design; however, effects of presswheels and seed coverers on plant establishment have not been widely investigated. Five experiments were conducted in a fine sandy loam soil to determine effect of presswheels and seed coverers on emergence of direct-seeded cabbage and mustard. Seed were planted with Stanhay 870 seeder equipped with one of four presswheels and seed coverers. Presswheels included smooth, mesh, concave split, and flat split types. Seed coverers included standard drag, light drag, paired knives, and no coverer. Soil moisture at planting ranged from 8% to 19% in the top 5 cm of bed. Differences in plant counts taken 2 weeks after planting were minimal with any presswheel or seed coverer. Visual observation indicated the seed furrow was more completely closed with the knife coverer in high soil moisture conditions. All tests received at least 14 mm of precipitation within 6 days from planting, which may account for lack of differences in plant emergence.

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J.L. Walworth, D.E. Carling, and G.J. Michaelson

Head lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) cv. Salinas was produced in field trials in southcentral Alaska with varying planting dates, planting methods, N sources, and N application rates. Variables measured included head weight and diameter and harvest date. Nitrogen source had little effect on head weight. Direct-seeded lettuce produced heaviest beads from early plantings; transplants produced heaviest heads when planted in mid- to late season. Transplanting generally produced heavier heads than direct-seeding. Head weight of transplanted and direct-seeded lettuce was maximized with ≈112 kg N/ha. The data suggest that 112 kg N/ha may be suitable for lettuce direct-seeded or transplanted throughout the growing season.

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Daniel I. Leskovar and Daniel J. Cantliffe

Abbreviations: DAP, days after planting; DAS, days after seeding; LDW, leaf dry weight; OI, overhead-irrigated; RDW, root dry weight; RGR, relative growth rate; SI, subsurface-irrigated; STDW, stem dry weight. 1 Current address: Texas Agricultural

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Mike Murray

The California processing tomato industry continues to utilize transplants as a primary method of obtaining final plant stands. About 75% of the anticipated 2006 acreage will be transpanted, up from 0% a scant 20 years ago. This trend is being driven by increasing hybrid seed costs, the desire to utilize the land for multiple crops per year, potential water savings, and enhanced weed management options. The history of this transition will be traced, identifying positive and negative impacts of reliance on transplants. An economic evaluation suggests that stand establishment using transplants costs at least $250 per acre more than direct-seeding. A cost-benefit analysis is considered. The movement to transplants has reduced seed sales and many hybrid seed variety prices are tripling in 2006, as seed companies attempt to recoup R&D costs with declining markets. This “differential seed pricing,” and its implications, are discussed in detail.

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Ruben Macias-Duarte, Raul Leonel Grijalva-Contreras*, Manuel de Jesus Valenzuela-Ruiz, and Fabian Robles-Contreras

The onion bulb production In Mexico is about 39,000 ha annually. Yield is variable according to the technological capacity and economic condition of the grower. However, The technology adoption (new varieties, efficient irrigation system and establishment methods) is increased during the last years. Traditionally in Mexico the grower use the manual transplant of seedling, that which increases the cost and time of this labor. The objective of the present Experiment was to evaluate Two establishment methods (direct seed and transplant seedling) and the effect on 24 bulb varieties. The evaluation was carried out in INIFAP-CIRNO Experimental Station in furrows with 1.00 m of separation among them, with double row of plants, the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus used were 180 and 80 kg·ha-1 respectively, we used the drip irrigation system. In this experiment we observed that the system of direct seed obtained better yield (18%), bulb weight (21%) and precocity (11 days) in comparing to the transplant methods, however in the first treatment the floral stem emission was greater (6.7% vs 1.1%) of the transplant methods. The white varieties with high yield were: White onion 214 and Cal 128 with 71.4 and 65.7 ton/ha. The purple varieties was F1 Cal 192 with 68.3 t·ha-1 and the yellow varieties was Ringer Cal 160 with 63.2 t·ha-1.

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J. Cavero, R. Gil Ortega, and M. Gutierrez

Paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum var. annuum L., `Agridulce SIA') was direct-seeded on raised beds in double rows 0.35 cm apart. Plants were thinned within the row to establish densities ranging from 13,333 to >500,000 plants/ha. Yield of paprika pepper increased as plant density increased, but plant densities >200,000 plants/ha resulted in only small increases in yield. Fruit number and dry fruit weight/plant decreased with increasing plant populations, and weight/fruit decreased slightly. The increase in yield/ha as plant density increased was a result of increased numbers of fruits/ha. Pigment content (ASTA units) declined linearly as plant density increased, whereas moisture content of red fruits at harvest remained unaffected. Plant densities in the range of 150,000 to 200,000 plants/ha were optimal in terms of fruit yield and pigment content.

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Gene M. Miyao, Dennis C. Bryant, Mark S. Kochi, and Israel G. Herrera

Oral Session 34—Seed and Stand Establishment Moderator: Gene M. Miyao 21 July 2005, 2:00–3:00 p.m. Room 105

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Daniel I. Leskovar, J. Clark Ward, Russell W. Sprague, and Avraham Meiri

E-mail address: We thank the Texas Dept. of Agriculture and Texas-Israeli Exchange Board for funding this project No. 459110. Appreciation is also extended to Asgrow Seed Co. for providing seeds

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Joseph Aguyoh, Henry G. Taber, and Vince Lawson

Sweet corn (Zea mays L.) growers in the upper midwestern U.S. have used clear plastic mulch to improve early yield and advance crop maturity. Results of this practice have been inconsistent because of early season temperature variability and inadequate information on cultivar adaptation. Our objective was to improve the performance consistency by investigating earliness techniques with the early, sugary-enhancer (se) cultivar Temptation planted at two sites. Treatments were bare soil or clear plastic mulch, rowcovers or none, and direct-seeded or transplanted plants. Transplants were produced in the greenhouse in either 50-cell plastic trays or peat pot strips, 2.3 inches × 4.0 inches deep (6 × 10 cm) and were evaluated according to transplant age and cell size. In the cold springs of 1996 and 1997, the use of clear plastic mulch shortened maturity of sweet corn by 1 and 10 days, respectively, for the silt loam site; but no maturity advantage was observed for the loamy sand site. Clear plastic raised the minimum soil temperature by 3.8 to 4.0 °F (2.1 to 2.2 °C) at both sites. The 2-week-old 50-cell tray transplants matured 6 days earlier than the peat pot strip transplants or direct seeded at both locations in 1997. Marketable yield from the transplants was inconsistent by location and year. Four-week-old transplants did not withstand field stress and performed poorly regardless of type of container. Ear quality as indicated by row number, ear diameter, ear length, and tipfill was lowest with transplants.