Three main plot production systems - conventional, organic and mixed organic/conventional - were established in a fixed location at the Yuma Valley Agricultural Center in September 1989. A split plot treatment of a liquid biological soil conditioner was applied to one-half of each main plot. Chemical or organic fertilizers were applied to give 225 kg N/ha for the growing season. During a two-year transition plant mineral nutrient content did not differ greatly. However, nitrate and total nitrogen were significantly lower in the organically grown lettuce. Plant nitrate content was also enhanced by the soil conditioner as was early head weight. A greater number of heavier heads was harvested early from the chemically fertilized plots. Soil microbial populations did not reflect an effect of fertilizer treatments in the first season; there were trends for population fluctuations in response to sidedressing in the second and third seasons. No significant insect activity was observed and no pest control was necessary. Higher populations of soil pathogens were detected on mature lettuce roots in the conventionally fertilized plots.
John McGrady, Michael Matheron, Charles Sanchez, Michael Rethwisch, Vicki Bess, Joe Matejka, and Phil Tilt
The Earth Box is made of recycled plastic and designed to maintain a water table. A nutritional gradient is initiated with N–K fertilizer applied on the surface of the soil or media contained in the box. The box is designed to facilitate the functioning of a nutritional procedure known as the gradient concept. Basically, the concept synchronizes the nutrient/water input with removal, providing stability and nutritional predictability to the ionic composition of the soil solution. Crop response (yields and, especially, quality) with the Earth Box has been most positive, indicative of an optimal nutritional precision. The positive response is also evident in the field—average tomato yields in Florida more than doubled with the inception of the gradient-mulch system (1970s). the gradient as the dominant nutritional component eliminates the soil (type and/or quantity)–plant–season as nutritional variables. The Earth Box with minimal water, minimal pollution, minimal management, and the potential for a minimal unit cost could be the basis of a globally sustainable production system.
Penelope Perkins-Veazie and Gene Lester
For both conventional and organic production systems, market-quality factors are the same. Fruit should be free of injury and decay, have appropriate color and shape, and have typical texture and flavor. Although consumers may be willing to
G.D. Hoyt, J.E. Walgenbach, and P.B. Shoemaker
This experiment was designed to compare best management practices for conventional and conservation tillage systems, chemical IPM vs. organic vegetable production, and rotation effect on tomatoes. Three vegetables were grown under these management practices with sweet corn (1st year) and fall cabbage or cucumber (2nd year), and fall cabbage on half of the field plots and tomatoes on the other half. The treatments were: 1) conventional-tillage with chemical-based IPM; 2) conventional-tillage with organic-based IPM; 3) conservation-tillage with chemical-based IPM; 4) conservation-tillage with organic-based IPM; and 5) conventional-tillage with no fertilizer or pest management (control). This poster describes sweet corn, cabbage, and cucumber yields from the various treatments over two 3-year rotations. Sweet corn yields were 34% higher in treatments with chemical fertilizer and pest control than with organic methods. Ear worm damage was high (58%) in the organic treatment compared to the chemical IPM program (14%). Fall cabbage was planted after sweet corn and cucumber harvest (all treatments were reapplied). Marketable cabbage yields were in the order: conventional-tilled-organic > strip-tilled-chemical > conventional-tilled-chemical > strip-till-organic > control for both years. Percent culls (< .9 kg heads) were in reverse order of marketable heads. Cabbage insect control was similar in chemical IPM and organic management. Cucumber yields were in the order: conventional-tilled-chemical > conventional-tilled-organic = strip-till-chemical > strip-tilled-organic > control for both years. Insect damage on cucumber fruit was 51% for organic systems and 1% for chemical methods of production. No differences were seen between tillage system within the same production system (chemical vs organic).
Girija Page, Terry Kelly, Maria Minor, and Ewen Cameron
source) is a better indicator of net contribution to GHG ( Kerckhoffs and Reid, 2007 ; OECD, 1999 ), earlier attempts of life cycle assessment (LCA) and carbon footprinting of fruit production systems have not considered carbon balance as a result of
Matt A. Rudisill, Bruce P. Bordelon, Ronald F. Turco, and Lori A. Hoagland
with organic amendments can be difficult because the amendments must mineralize before they are available for plant uptake. Animal manures are commonly applied in high tunnel production systems and they have previously been shown to meet crop nutrient
Javier Fernandez-Salvador, Bernadine C. Strik, Yanyun Zhao, and Chad E. Finn
production systems are interested in growing blackberry cultivars that extend the fruiting season, have a high yield, and produce high-quality fruit. Cultivars must have good postharvest fruit quality and an acceptable shelf life for shipping and for storage
Dewayne L. Ingram, Charles R. Hall, and Joshua Knight
competitive nature of the poinsettia market and the decreasing number of potential wholesale buyers that have resulted from retail-level consolidation, growers need to fully analyze every aspect of their production system to increase efficiency and decrease
Andrew K. Koeser, Sarah T. Lovell, Aaron C. Petri, Robin G. Brumfield, and J. Ryan Stewart
plantable pot used ( Kuehny et al., 2011 ). This study offers a first look at the overall sustainability of biocontainers as part of a greenhouse production system. Hall et al. (2009) noted in their survey work that greenhouse growers believed
Dewayne L. Ingram, Charles R. Hall, and Joshua Knight
production systems in the U.S. ( Hall and Ingram, 2014 , 2015 ; Ingram, 2012 , 2013 ; Ingram and Hall, 2013 , 2014a , 2014b , 2015a , 2015b ; Ingram et al., 2016 ; Kendall and McPherson, 2012 ). CF is expressed in GWP in units of kilograms of carbon