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Margarita Velandia, Karen L. DeLong, Annette Wszelaki, Susan Schexnayder, Christopher Clark, and Kimberly Jensen

Polyethylene mulch is traditionally used in the production of some fruits and vegetables to maintain soil moisture and increase soil temperature, control weeds, improve crop quality, and increase yield ( Emmert, 1957 ). In the United States, 1

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André Snyder, Matthew J. Morra, Jodi Johnson-Maynard, and Donald C. Thill

and Sullivan, 2001 ). Rapeseed seed meal applied as a fertilizer to wheat, barley, and sugar beets increased N uptake and improved yields and crop quality ( Kucke, 1993 ). Researchers have observed elevated N content in apple leaves and increased total

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David Llewellyn, Youbin Zheng, and Mike Dixon

crop quality (e.g., stretched internodes) when their main crop is produced under HBs, but the specific causes and the magnitudes of their effects are unknown. It is common for plants grown below another plant canopy to have slower growth, longer times

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Laura Sue Kippen and W. Timothy Rhodus

Quality is extremely important to the processors of horticultural and agricultural commodities. It is important from the standpoint of producing high-quality end-products as well as resulting in lower costs and higher profits. However, producers of commodities receive few benefits from the production of higher quality for several reasons. One important reason is that producers lack information about the qualities processors require. In addition, producers are uninformed of the end-user quality their crops manifest. Presently, little incentive exists for producers to improve quality, other than that provided by USDA Grades and Standards. Using experimental economics, empirical evidence is provided demonstrating that increased awareness of crop quality requirements of processors by producers influences market efficiency, pricing efficiency, and crop quality management strategies of producers.

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Chien Yi Wang, William S. Conway, Judith A. Abbott, George F. Kramer, and Carl E. Sams

1 Research Horticulturist, Horticultural Crops Quality Laboratory. 2 Research Plant Pathologist, Horticultural Crops Quality Laboratory. 3 Research Horticulturist, Instrumentation and Sensing Laboratory. 4 Research Associate, Climate Stress

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Glen Kaufman

Seeds are coated for ease of handling, singulation, precise placement, and the incorporation of beneficial chemicals or microbials. Coated seeds are accepted widely as a standard product for many crops. Quality demands for seed suitable for coating have improved knowledge of physiological seed quality. Higher, better-defined quality standards in the seed and coating industry, combined with additional quality demand for enhanced seed, will continue to improve stand establishment potential for growers.

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Steve Kovach, Larry Curtis, and Jim Allen

Irrigating with a micro-irrigation (drip) system offers improved crop quality and yield with significant savings of energy and water. To deliver these benefits reliably, a grower's system must include chlorinations or some other effective water treatment program to prevent clogging, the most common problem of micro-irrigation. Step-by-step procedures of chlorination of micro-irrigation systems are discussed. Injected into micro-irrigation systems, chlorine kills the micro-organisms—bacteria, fungi and algae—that may be in a water source and are the most common system cloggers.

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Gene A. Giacomelli

High tunnels are a special type of greenhouse with primary operational goals of season extension, crop quality improvement, and new crop production opportunities to reach unique markets. From an engineering viewpoint, high tunnels have many of the same design concerns as larger, more complex greenhouses. They capitalize on the greenhouse effect as do all enclosed plant growth structures. However, less automated environmental control systems are required for the desired crop production. Tunnel designs are less complex and less expensive than large high-technology greenhouse ranges, but they must be designed and constructed with the fundamental assurance of structural stability, safety, efficient layout, appropriate environmental control, and effective crop management in mind.

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A.M. Clements and L.A. Weston

Fall cole crops of exceptional quality and high market value are produced in Kentucky. Tobacco is an integral part of agriculture in the southeastern states and production of fall cole crops following tobacco may increase diversification and Potential profits. A float system was utilized for transplant production. Field plots were established with broccoli and cabbage grown conventionally, planted into killed sudex cover, cultivated tobacco stubble and directly into tobacco stubble. Data were collected on soil fertility, insect and weed populations, crop quality and yield. Periodically, foliar samples were analyzed for nitrate, total nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium content. Fall cole crops grown conventionally or in killed sudex cover produced comparable results and head size. Insect pressures were reduced in killed sudex covers. Total yield and quality were reduced when seedlings where planted directly into tobacco stubble.

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Teresa Olczyk, Yuncong Li, Xing Wang, and Eric Simonne

Sweet corn (Zea mays) is a major cash crop produced on calcareous soils in Miami–Dade County. Applications of large amounts of phosphorus (P) fertilizer for many years resulted in the accumulation of high levels of P in these soils. Accumulated P is slowly released into the soil solution to become available for plant roots. Previous studies conducted in this area showed little or no yield and crop quality response to P fertilizer applications. Large-scale field trials with reduced P applications were conducted in a grower's field. The treatments were: 1) no P; 2) 50% grower's rate; and 3) 100% grower's rate with six repilications. The data collected included: plant stand, height, nutrient concentrations in leaf tissue, leaf chlorophyll, tip fill, number, and weight of marketable ears/acre. Reduced rates of P fertilizer did not significantly reduce yield and quality of sweet corn.