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Charles Magee, Johnny Carter, and Clarence Johnson Jr

During the summer of 1988, a study was conducted to determine the effect of an inexpensive reusable styrofoam container on the percent weight loss in collards (bunch and head) after 30 days in a walk-in cooler. This container was designed and constructed for precooling, shipping, and storing fruits and vegetables. The insulated container was provided with a lid-mounted ice cavity that was removable and could be replaced through an access door without removing the lid. The ice cavity melted and was dispersed throughout the container onto the collards. The three treatments used in this study were (1) no top (2) top without ice, and (3) top with ice. Results indicated that both the bunches and heads responded similarly to treatments. The top with ice treatment significantly reduced percent weight loss when compared to the other treatments (top no ice and no top).

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Owusu A. Bandele, Marion Javius, Byron Belvitt, and Oscar Udoh

Fall-planted cover crops of hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), Austrian winter pea (Pisum sativum subsp. arvense L. Poir), and crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.) were each followed by spring-planted 'Sundance' summer squash [Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo (L.) Alef.] and 'Dasher' cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Squash and cucumber crops were followed by fall 'Florida Broadleaf mustard green [Brassica juncea (L.) Czerniak] and 'Vates' collard (Brassica oleracea L. Acephala group), respectively. The same vegetable sequences were also planted without benefit of cover crop. Three nitrogen (N) rates were applied to each vegetable crop. Squash following winter pea and crimson clover produced greater yields than did squash planted without preceding cover crop. Cucumber following crimson clover produced the greatest yields. No cover crop effect was noted with mustard or collard. Elimination of N fertilizer resulted in reduced yields for all crops, but yields of crops with one-half the recommended N applied were generally comparable to those receiving the full recommended rate.

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C. Stevens, V. A. Khan, A. Y. Tang, C. K. Bonsi, and M. A. Wilson

A three year study involving solar heating of soil (soil solarization) with clear polyethylene mulch demonstrated for two years, control of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita). The population of M. incognita was reduced >90% in the 0-30cm depth of solarized soil. The number of eggs per gram root recovered and the root gall index from `Georgia-Jet' sweetpotatoes were reduced (92-98%) by soil solarization. Growth and yield were enhanced in solarized soil. The beneficial effects of solarization was observed in the second year following two additional cropping cycles of collard greens and sweetpotatoes.

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N. Baharanyi, C. Stevens, V. Khan, and A. Siaway

This study evaluated the potential economic returns of two years of on-farm plastic mulch experiments for `Market Topper' cabbage and `Vates' collard greens conducted on a field with serious weed and nematode problems in Butler County, Alabama. Assuming 1987 and 1988 wholesale prices for vegetable crops in Alabama and other appropriate prices for various inputs used, and after adjusting the cost of plastics in the enterprise budgets for having used the same in the two years, the estimated return for cabbage harvested from plastic mulch experiments was 5 times greater in 1987 ($2,776.83 and $551.02) and more than 10 times in 1988 ($2,775.00 and $49.40) than from non-covered field. The estimated return for collard greens from plastic mulch experiments was also 5 times greater in 19.87 ($1,416.70 and $287.96) and more than 10 times in 1988 ($339.50 and -$444.20) than from non-covered field. Questions remain as to the perceived economic benefits for other farmers and the non-biodegradable nature of the plastic used.

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N. Baharanyi, C. Stevens, V. Khan, and A. Siaway

This study evaluated the potential economic returns of two years of on-farm plastic mulch experiments for `Market Topper' cabbage and `Vates' collard greens conducted on a field with serious weed and nematode problems in Butler County, Alabama. Assuming 1987 and 1988 wholesale prices for vegetable crops in Alabama and other appropriate prices for various inputs used, and after adjusting the cost of plastics in the enterprise budgets for having used the same in the two years, the estimated return for cabbage harvested from plastic mulch experiments was 5 times greater in 1987 ($2,776.83 and $551.02) and more than 10 times in 1988 ($2,775.00 and $49.40) than from non-covered field. The estimated return for collard greens from plastic mulch experiments was also 5 times greater in 19.87 ($1,416.70 and $287.96) and more than 10 times in 1988 ($339.50 and -$444.20) than from non-covered field. Questions remain as to the perceived economic benefits for other farmers and the non-biodegradable nature of the plastic used.

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Paul W. Teague and Tina G. Teague

Several common methods of post harvest handling and pre-cooling for fresh market bunched greens (turnips, smooth and curly mustard, and collards) were evaluated. Six treatments were evaluated where greens were rehydrated and precooled using different combinations of hydrocooling, slush ice, and shoveled ice with three rehydration methods (hydrocooling, water drench, and water floating). Product temperatures were monitored and overall quality ratings were made after seven days in cold storage. Product quality after seven days was best with hydrocooling and insignificant differences in quality were recorded whether in-box ice was shoveled or slush ice. Turnips were most sensitive to degradation if precooled inadequately. Collards were the least sensitive. Economic analysis was completed using labor and ice cost differentials of selected packing and cooling methods to calculate product volume levels required to amortize relatively high costs of the hydrocooler, slush icer, and ice machine. Extremely large volume is required to fully amortize equipment acquisition costs based on labor cost savings alone. Greater cost savings per box, when comparing the cost of purchased ice to homemade ice, resulted in much lower volume requirements for full amortization. The results indicate that a producer with limited capital would benefit the most economically from acquiring an ice machine. The greatest quality benefit is gained from precooling with the hydrocooler.

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W.B. Evans, Y. Vizzier-Thaxton, P. Hudson, and K. Paridon

Mississippi is one of the nation's largest broiler litter producing states. Interest in using litter and other organic waste products, such as compost, in horticultural systems is increasing in the state and region. The objective of this research was to determine the influences of composted broiler litter (CBL) on three aspects of vegetable crop productivity: growth and yield, microbiological safety, and mineral nutrition. This report focuses on the first two objectives. Compost was made in a covered, turned windrow for a blend of broiler litter and hardwood sawdust. Responses to CBL were tested in two vegetables: collard (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). Rates of CBL ranged from 0 to 5 tons/acre, preplant incorporated in a randomized complete block design with four replicates for each species in two separate experiments in 2004. Testing of the CBL, the soil after application, leaves, and harvested organs found no significant influence of CBL on pathogenic microbe concentrations. At each of five sampling dates through commercial crop maturity, collard (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala) fresh and dry weight per plant increased linearly with CBL applications up to 5 tons/acre. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) shoot fresh weight increased with increasing CBL applications at each sampling date. Marketable fruit yield increased linearly with increasing CBL applications. Total fruit yield response to CBL was best described by a quadratic equation.

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G. Li, A. Riaz, S. Goyal, S. Abel, and C.F. Quiros

Inheritance of three major genes involved in synthesis of aliphatic glucosinolates (GSL) was followed in segregating populations of Brassica oleracea L. generated from three crosses: broccoli × cauliflower, collard × broccoli, and collard × cauliflower. Two of these genes, GSL-PRO and GSL-ELONG, regulate sidechain length. The action of the former results in three-carbon GSL, whereas action of the latter produces four-carbon GSL. We determined that these two genes act and segregate independently from each other in B. oleracea. The double recessive genotype produces only trace amounts of aliphatic GSL. The third gene, GSL-ALK controls sidechain desaturation and, as it has been observed in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh., we found that this gene cosegregates with a fourth gene, GSL-OH, that is responsible for sidechain hydroxylation. Elucidation of the inheritance of major genes controlling biosynthesis of GSL will allow for manipulation of these genes and facilitate development of lines with specific GSL profiles. This capability will be important for improvement of Brassica breeding lines with high content of desirable GSL, like glucoraphanin, a demonstrated precursor of anticarcinogenic compounds. Additionally, this work is the first step towards cloning the major genes of the aliphatic GSL pathway, and to use these clones in transformation strategies for further crop enhancement.

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Alexander D. Pavlista

Nitroguanidines are a new family of synthetic plant growth regulators (Speltz, Walworth, and Pavlista 1986. US Patent #4, 594, 092) These compounds have cytokinin-like activity such as delaying senescence. Three compounds are AC239, 604, AC243, 419 and AC132, 654 The first two are phenyl and the latter is a benzyl nitroguanidine. Examples of anti-senescence activity of these compounds are: 1. sunflower leaves, 2. tobacco leaves, 3. leafy lettuce, 4. kale, 5. collards, and 6. Swiss chard. The senescence of cut ornamental flowers is also inhibited. Examples are gladiolus and daffodils. Along with delaying senescence, AC239, 604, for example, increased leaf size, thereby, increasing yield of leaf crops such as tobacco (Pavlista and Templeton. 1987. PGRSA Proc.) and lettuce.

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Doug Sanders, Luz M. Reyes, David Monks, Frank Louws, and James Driver

We evaluated the influence of three compost sources and compost amended with T382 with fumigant Telone C-35 and various combinations of compost and Telone C-35 on the yield and pest management of cucumber, pepper, tomato, collard, southern pea, and summer squash in a multicrop rotational system. In the first year, there were few differences between the compost treatments and Telone C-35, but all treatments resulted in more yield than the control. In the second year, all compost treatments and/or Telone C-35 improved total and marketable yield of cucumber, pepper, tomato, southern pea, and summer squash. Furthermore, in the second year, Telone C-35 treat-ments produced more yield than some of the compost treatments in tomatoes. Combining Telone C-35 with compost did not differ from either treatment alone. Nematode and disease assessments were not consistent and will be discussed in further detail.