Nitrogen (N) is often the most limiting mineral nutrient for taro growth. Two experiments were carried out under hydroponics conditions to determine the effects of varying solution N levels and N form on taro (Colocasia esculenta L. Schott cv. Bun Long) growth and foliar nutrient concentrations for 42 days. In the first experiment, taro plants were grown at six NH4NO3 levels (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 mm N). In the second experiment, taro plants were grown at a total N level of 3 mm with five nitrate (NO3-): ammonium (NH4+) percent molar ratios (100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, and 0:100). In the N level experiment, dry matter and leaf area increased up to 2 mm N and then decreased at the highest N level. The reduced growth of taro at the highest N level was attributed in part to a high NH4+ level that reduced uptake or translocation of cations, such as Ca2+, Mg2+, and Mn2+. Nitrogen concentration in leaf blades increased with increasing N levels. The critical foliar N concentration that coincided with 95% of maximum growth based on a quadratic model was 40.4 g·kg-1 (dry weight basis). In the N form experiment, NO3-: NH4+ ratios of 75:25 or 100:0 favored greater plant growth compared to other treatments. Taro plants grown in NH4+-rich solutions drastically acidified the solution pH, and had retarded growth and smaller leaf area compared to those grown in NO3--rich solutions.
N.W. Osorio, X. Shuai, S. Miyasaka, B. Wang, R.L. Shirey, and W.J. Wigmore
William C. Olien
Dormant application of soybean oil formulations (SBO) effectively thin peach flower buds and delay bloom. Alternatively, thinners applied at bloom, such as ammonium thiosulfate (ATS), must be applied before pollination is complete. Consistent thinning with ATS is complicated by bloom duration and weather at bloom. Overall, 1995 peach bloom in South Carolina was delayed and progressed rapidly from 20% to 90% bloom in 2 days. Under these conditions, we compared thinning response of control (untreated), ATS (2%) applied at 70% bloom, SBO concentrations (2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, or 10%) applied 3 weeks before bloom (WBB), and application time of 5% SBO (1, 2, or 3 WBB). SBO was not available for applications earlier than 3 WBB. Treatments were applied by hand gun to six replications of single-tree plots of Redhaven. ATS had no effect on fruit set, yield, or fruit size, contrary to normal bloom years. Flower bud death increased linearly from 8% to 28% with increasing rate of SBO. Delay in SBO application decreased bud death. SBO at 5%-10% rates caused minor delay of 50% bloom, did not effect bloom duration, and increased mean fruit weight over control. Maximum effect was achieved with 10% SBO, reducing fruit number/ha and firmness by 72% and 18% and increasing fruit weight and soluble solids by 67% and 5% from control, respectively. Results show the advantage of bud thinning with SBO during the dormant season in a short bloom duration year.
Murray Clayton, William V. Biasi, I. Tayfun Agar, Stephen M. Southwick, and Elizabeth J. Mitcham
During three consecutive years, 'Bing' sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) trees were treated during dormancy with the dormancy-manipulating compounds, CH2N2 or CaNH4NO3, or were treated with the plant growth regulator GA3 at straw color development. Fruit of a range of maturities, based on skin color, were evaluated for quality following harvest and simulated transit and market storage conditions. At comparable maturities, CH2N2 and GA3 fruit were of similar firmness and were consistently firmer than CaNH4NO3-treated and untreated fruit across years, storage regimes, and maturities. CaNH4NO3 and untreated fruit were of similar firmness. CH2N2-treated cherries were larger than fruit of other treatments, but only marginally with respect to variation in fruit size between years. Contraction of fruit diameter occurred after 3 days storage, but ceased thereafter up to 11 days storage. Soluble solids and titratable acidity varied between years, storage regimes, and maturities. Strong interactions of treatment and year concealed possible treatment effects on these indices. GA3 fruit contained fewer surface pits in one year while CH2N2 fruit suffered less shrivel in another. The earlier harvest date for CH2N2 fruit often avoided higher field temperatures and the resulting promotion of postharvest shrivel. Pitting and shrivel were more prevalent in stored fruit. Brown stem discoloration developed in storage, occurring most frequently in mature fruit, although methyl bromide-fumigated fruit were particularly susceptible. This disorder was more common in GA3 fruit during years of high incidence. Chemical names used: gibberellic acid (GA3); calcium ammonium nitrate (CaNH4NO3); hydrogen cyanamide (CH2N2).
Murray Clayton, William V. Biasi, I. Tayfun Agar, Stephen M. Southwick, and Elizabeth J. Mitcham
`Bing' sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) trees were treated with hydrogen cyanamide (CH2N2) or calcium ammonium nitrate (CaNH4NO3) during dormancy, or gibberellic acid (GA3) 26 days before harvest during three consecutive years. Fruit were evaluated at harvest for sensory taste quality using twenty trained panelists sampling for firmness, sweetness, tartness, and cherry flavor. Nondestructive instrumental firmness preceded destructive sensory firmness on the same untreated and GA3-treated cherries in one year when used as a supplementary evaluation. Sensory firmness was consistently higher in GA3 fruit and to a lesser extent in CH2N2 fruit than in CaNH4NO3 and untreated fruit. Instrumental firmness of GA3 fruit did not increase significantly compared with untreated fruit yet instrumental firmness of each treatment correlated relatively well with perceived sensory firmness. Sensory sweetness and cherry flavor scored very similarly, yet both attributes simultaneously varied between treatments across the years. Perceived sensory tartness of treated fruit was variable among years; yet, on average, was rated among treated and untreated fruit as similar. Under the assumption that elevated sensory firmness, sweetness, and cherry flavor intensity reflects improved sweet cherry quality, GA3 fruit were rated of higher quality than untreated fruit given their increased firmness and similar or occasionally elevated sweetness and cherry flavor intensity. CH2N2 fruit maintained quality similar to that of untreated fruit, despite often having marginally higher firmness, due to similar or reduced ratings for sweetness and cherry flavor intensity. Notwithstanding similar firmness between CaNH4NO3 and untreated cherries, sensory quality of CaNH4NO3-treated cherries was reduced due to their often-diminished levels of perceived sweetness and cherry flavor.
Timothy K. Broschat
Five-gram (0.18 oz) samples of two controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs), Osmocote 15N–3.9P–10K (8–9 month) (OSM) and Nutricote 18N–2.6P–6.7K (type 180) (NUTR), were sealed into polypropylene mesh packets that were placed on the surface of a 5 pine bark: 4 sedge peat: 1 sand (by volume) potting substrate (PS), buried 10 cm (3.9 inches) deep below the surface of PS, buried 10 cm below the surface of saturated silica sand (SS), or in a container of deionized water only. Containers with PS received 120 mL (4.1 floz) of deionized water three times per week, but the containers with SS or water only had no drainage and were sealed to prevent evaporation. Samples were removed after 2, 5, or 7 months of incubation at 23 °C (73.4 °F) and fertilizer prills were crushed, extracted with water, and analyzed for ammonium-nitrogen (NH4-N), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Release rates of NO3-N were slightly faster than those of NH4-N and both N ions were released from both products much more rapidly than P or K. After 7 months, OSM prills retained only 8% of their NO3-N, 11% of their NH4-N, 25% of their K, and 46% of their P when averaged across all treatments. Nutricote prills retained 21% of their NO3-N, 28% of their NH4-N, 51% of their K, and 65% of their P. Release of all nutrients from both fertilizers was slowest when applied to the surface of PS, while both products released most rapidly in water only. Release rates in water only exceeded those in SS, presumably due to lower rates of mass flow in SS.
M. Pilar Bañados, Bernadine C. Strik, David R. Bryla, and Timothy L. Righetti
/ha) on Quatama series soil (fine-loamy, mixed, mesic Aqualtic Haploxeralfs). Douglas fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii Franco) sawdust, 0.2 m deep and 0.3 m wide centered on planting rows, and fertilizer (66 kg·ha −1 of N as ammonium sulfate), a standard
Steven A. Fennimore, Frank N. Martin, Thomas C. Miller, Janet C. Broome, Nathan Dorn, and Ian Greene
transplanting compared with non-treated beds. Steam + MSM increased soil nitrate in the first 2 weeks after treatment at the TCR site, but nitrate levels declined to a much lower level by 4 weeks after steam application. A similar increase for ammonium is in
Eric J. Hanson, Philip A. Throop, Sedat Serce, John Ravenscroft, and Eldor A. Paul
Highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) are long lived perennial plants that are grown on acidic soils. The goal of this study was to determine how blueberry cultivation might influence the nitrification capacity of acidic soils by comparing the nitrification potential of blueberry soils to adjacent noncultivated forest soils. The net nitrification potential of blueberry and forest soils was compared by treating soils with 15N enriched (NH4)2SO4, and monitoring nitrate (NO3 --N) production during a 34-day incubation period in plastic bags at 18 °C. Net nitrification was also compared by an aerobic slurry method. Autotrophic nitrifiers were quantified by the most probable number method. Nitrate production from labeled ammonium (15NH4 +) indicated that nitrification was more rapid in blueberry soils than in forest soils from six of the seven study sites. Slurry nitrification assays provided similar results. Blueberry soils also contained higher numbers of nitrifying bacteria compared to forest soils. Nitrification in forest soils did not appear to be limited by availability of NH4 + substrate. Results suggest that blueberry production practices lead to greater numbers of autotrophic nitrifying bacteria and increased nitrification capacity, possibly resulting from annual application of ammonium containing fertilizers.
Ariena H.C. van Bruggen, Philip R. Brown, and Art Greathead
1 Assistant Professor. 2 Postgraduate Research Assistant. 3 Farm Advisor. We thank Hubert van Rijckevorsel and Gerard de Boer of the Cooperative Extension DANR Diagnostic Laboratory, Univ. of California, Davis, for nitrate and ammonium analyses of
Kathryn S. Hahne and Ursula K. Schuch
Velvet mesquite [Prosopis velutina Woot., Syn.: P. juliflora (Swartz) DC. var. velutina (Woot.) Sarg.] has become more popular in arid landscapes of the southwestern U.S., but little information on N requirements during the seedling stage is available. In addition to optimize growth of seedlings, minimizing N in runoff during production is an important consideration. Experiments were conducted to determine how biomass production and N leaching were affected first by different ratios of ammonium and nitrate N in sand culture and second by different N concentrations when seedlings were grown in two substrates. Mesquite seedlings produced the greatest biomass after 120 days when fertigated with a solution of 33 NO3 –: 67 NH4 +. Loss of N through leachate was 40% greater when NH + 4 comprised two thirds or more compared to one third or none in the fertigation solution. Nitrogen in leachate was highest after 16 weeks of treatment, coinciding with the reduced growth rate of seedlings. The second experiment utilized either sand or commercial growing media and a fertigation solution of 33 NO3 –: 67 NH4 +. Fertigation with 200 mg·L–1 N after 60 days in either substrate produced greatest biomass, while rates of 25, 50, or 100 mg·L–1 N produced about half of that biomass. With few exceptions, less N in either form was found in leachate when seedlings were grown in media and were fertigated with the two higher N rates compared to seedlings grown in sand at the two higher N rates. Plant morphology, biomass accumulation, photosynthate allocation, and the fate of N in the growing substrate and in leachate were strongly affected by the choice of growing substrate.