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Sujatha Sankula, Mark J. VanGessel, Walter E. Kee, and J.L. Glancey

Field studies were conducted in 1997 and 1998 to evaluate labeled (1×) or reduced (0.5×) rates of metolachlor plus imazethapyr preemergence either broadcast or band applications to lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) planted in 30-inch (76-cm) or 15-inch (38-cm) rows for weed control, yield, harvestability, and harvest recovery. Lima bean was planted in large plots simulating a commercial production system. All 30-inch rows were cultivated once 40 days after planting in 1997 and 21 days after planting in 1998. No differences were noted in weed densities between treatments both years. Marketable lima bean yield was greater from plots thatwere spaced 15 inches apart in 1997 only. However, total hand-harvested yield in both years, machine-harvested yield in 1998, and marketable yield in 1998 were not different between treatments. Measurements on harvest recovery revealed that a greater number of unstripped pods were left on plants after harvest in 15-inch row plots that were sprayed broadcast with 1× herbicide rate in 1997 only. Weight of beans lost per unit area and trash weight from 7-oz (200-g) bean sample was similar among treatments both years. Overall, weed control, yield, and harvest efficacy of lima bean was not impacted by row spacing, herbicide rate, or method of herbicide application in a commercial production system.

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Hannah G. Rempel, Bernadine C. Strik, and Timothy L. Righetti

The effects of 15N-labeled fertilizer applied to mature summer-bearing red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. `Meeker') plants were measured over 2 years. Four nitrogen (N) treatments were applied: singularly at 0, 40, or 80 kg·ha-1 of N in early spring (budbreak), or split with 40 kg·ha-1 of N (unlabeled) applied at budbreak and 40 kg·ha-1 of N (15N-depleted) applied eight weeks later. Plants were sampled six times per year to determine N and 15N content in the plant components throughout the growing season. Soil also was sampled seven times per year to determine inorganic N concentrations within the four treatments as well as in a bare soil plot. There was a tendency for the unfertilized treatment to have the lowest and for the split-N treatment to have the highest yield in both years. N application had no significant effect on plant dry weight or total N content in either year. Dry weight accumulation was 5.5 t·ha-1 and total N accumulation was 88 to 96 kg·ha-1 for aboveground biomass in the fertilized plots in 2001. Of the total N present, averaged over 2 years, 17% was removed in prunings, 12% was lost through primocane leaf senescence, 13% was removed through fruit harvest, 30% remained in the over-wintering plant, and 28% was considered lost or transported to the roots. Peak fertilizer N-uptake occurred by July for the single N applications and by September for the last application in the split-N treatment. This uptake accounted for 36% to 37% (single applications) and 24% (last half of split application) of the 15N applied. Plants receiving the highest single rate of fertilizer took up more fertilizer N while plants receiving the lower rate took up more N from the soil and from storage tissues. By midharvest, fertilizer N was found primarily in the fruit, fruiting laterals, and primocanes (94%) for all fertilized treatments; however, the majority of the fertilizer N applied in the last half of the split application was located in the primocanes (60%). Stored fertilizer N distribution was similar in all fertilized treatments. By the end of the second year, 5% to 12% of the fertilizer acquired in 2001 remained in the fertilized plants. Soil nitrate concentrations increased after fertilization to 78.5 g·m-3, and declined to an average of 35.6 g·m-3 by fruit harvest. Seasonal soil N decline was partially attributed to plant uptake; however, leaching and immobilization into the organic fraction may also have contributed to the decline.

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Marc van Iersel

Uprooting and transplanting seedlings can cause root damage, which may reduce water and nutrient uptake. Initiation of new roots and rapid elongation of existing roots may help minimize the negative effects of transplant shock. In this study, seedlings with four true leaves were transplanted into diatomaceous earth and the plants were transferred to a growth chamber, where they were treated with NAA (0, 0.025, 0.25, and 2.5 mg·L-1; 36 mL/plant). The effects of drenches with various amounts of 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) on the posttransplant CO2 exchange rate of vinca [Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don] were quantified. Whole-plant CO2 exchange rate of the plants was measured once every 20 minutes for a 28 day period. Seedlings treated with 0.025 or 0.25 mg·L-1 recovered from transplant shock more quickly than plants in the 0 and 2.5 mg·L-1 treatments. Naphthaleneacetic acid drenches containing 0.025 or 0.25 mg·L-1 increased whole-plant net photosynthesis (Pnet) from 10 days, dark respiration (Rdark) from 12 days, and carbon use efficiency (CUE) from 11 days after transplanting until the end of the experiment. The increase in CUE seems to have been the result of the larger size of the plants in these two treatments, and thus an indirect effect of the NAA applications. These differences in CO2 metabolism among the treatments resulted in a 46% dry mass increase in the 0.025 mg·L-1 treatment compared to the control, but shoot-root ratio was not affected. The highest rate of NAA (2.5 mg·L-1) was slightly phytotoxic and reduced the growth rate of the plants.

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Peter R. Hicklenton and Kenneth G. Cairns

Nutrient release from Nutricote Type 100 (100-day N release; 16N-4.4P-8.1K), and from a 1:3 mixture of Nutricote Type 40 (40-day N release; 16N-4.4P-8.1K) and Type 100 was affected by time and temperature. The Type 40/100 mixture released nutrients more rapidly over a 5 to 35C range in laboratory studies. Seasonal growth of containerized cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri C.K. Schneid `Coral Beauty') and juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench. `Plumosa Compacta') increased with increasing application rates of either Nutricote Type 100 or a 1:3 mixture of Type 40/100 over the range 2-10 kg·m-3. Between 25 June and 27 July, cotoneaster grew more rapidly in media with Type 40/100 Nutricote, but by the end of the season (27 Sept.), fertilizer type showed no effect on plant dry weight. Shoot N was higher in cotoneaster plants grown with Type 40/100 Nutricote than with the Type 100 formulation during the first 2 months of growth, reflecting the more rapid release and uptake of N from the mixture. During the last month the situation was reversed, as nutrients from the Type 40/100 mixture were depleted. Potassium and P shoot concentrations were not affected by fertilizer type. Juniper growth and shoot concentrations of N, K, and P were not affected by fertilizer type at any time during the season. The results provided no evidence that seasonal growth could be enhanced in either cotoneaster (grows rapidly) or juniper (slower growing) by mixing rapid and more slowly releasing types of Nutricote.

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M.L. Gaskell

The effects of repeated application of two composts differing in carbon: nitrogen (C: N) ratio on soil NO3-N, soil NH4-N, and leaf lettuce yield was studied over three sequential crop cycles from 1995 to 1996. One compost type (HiCN) was prepared primarily from yard wastes and had a C: N ratio of 29 to 32:1 The other compost (LoCN) was a compost composed of a mixture of crude materials including yard wastes, feedlot manures, and vegetable trimmings and had a C: N ratio of 10 to 12:1. Before transplanting leaf lettuce, both composts were applied and incorporated in the same plots repeatedly over three crop cycles at rates of 9, 18, 36, and 54 Mg·ha–1 (dry mass) in each application. In the first crop cycle, no differences were observed for weekly soil NO3-N, NH4-N, or leaf lettuce yield among compost types or rates. In the second and third crop cycles, weekly soil NO3-N and soil NH4-N were directly related to LoCN compost application rates. First harvest lettuce yield was also directly related to LoCN rate in the second and third cycles, but total yield was not related to LoCN rate. In the second and third cycles, soil NO3-N and early and total lettuce yield were inversely related to rate of application of the HiCN material. Weekly soil NH4–N was not consistently related to application rates of HiCN or LoCN material.

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Bernadine Strik, Timothy Righetti, and Gil Buller

Fertilizer nitrogen (FN) recovery, and changes in nitrogen (N) and dry weight partitioning were studied over three fruiting seasons in June-bearing strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch. `Totem') grown in a matted row system. Fertilizer nitrogen treatments were initiated in 1999, the year after planting. The standard ammonium nitrate N application at renovation (55 kg·ha-1 of N) was compared to treatments where additional N was applied. Supplemental treatments included both ground-applied granular ammonium nitrate (28 kg·ha-1 of N) applied early in the season and foliar urea [5% (weight/volume); 16 kg·ha-1 of N] applied early in the season and after renovation. When labeled N was applied (eight of nine treatments) it was applied only once. The impact of no FN from the second through the third fruiting season was also evaluated. Fertilizer nitrogen treatment had no impact on total plant dry weight, total plant N, yield or fruit quality from the first through the third fruiting seasons. Net dry matter accumulation in the first fruiting season was 2 t·ha-1 not including the 4 t·ha-1 of dry matter removed when leaves were mowed during the renovation process. Seasonal plant dry weight and N accumulation decreased as the planting aged. Net nitrogen accumulation was estimated at 40 kg·ha-1 from spring growth to dormancy in the first fruiting season (including 30 kg·ha-1 in harvested fruit, but not including the 52 kg·ha-1 of N lost at renovation). Recovery of fertilizer N ranged from 42% to 63% for the broadcast granular applications and 15% to 52% for the foliar FN applications, depending on rate and timing. Fertilizer N from spring applications (granular or foliar) was predominantly partitioned to leaves and reproductive tissues. A large portion of the spring applied FN was lost when plants were mowed at renovation. Maximum fertilizer use efficiency was 42% for a granular 55 kg·ha-1 application at renovation, but declined to 42% just before plant growth the following spring, likely a result of FN loss in leaves that senesced. In June, ≈30% of the N in strawberry plants was derived from FN that was applied at renovation the previous season, depending on year. This stored FN was reallocated to reproductive tissues (22% to 35%) and leaves (43% to 53%), depending on year. Applying fertilizer after renovation increased the amount of remobilized N to new growth the following spring. The following June, 15% of plant nitrogen was derived from fertilizer applied at renovation 2 years prior.

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Michael W. Smith

Thirty-five-year-old `Hayes' and `Patrick' trees (22 trees/ha) were fertilized with 112 kg N/ha (NH4NO3) either the second week of March or the first week of Oct each year. Phosphorus was applied (broadcast) during March 1986 and again during May 1989 at 0 or 244 kg P/ha. Treatments were arranged in a split-split-plot design with four single-tree replications. Leaf N concentration and the number of shoots/1-year-old shoot were not affected by N application time, and the effect on shoot length was inconsistent. Total yield and annual yield three of five years were greatest from `Hayes' when N was applied during Oct rather than March. Yield of `Patrick' was unaffected by time of N application. Phosphorus application increased soil P up to 20 cm deep, and leaf P concentration was increased three of five years in `Hayes' and two of five years in `Patrick'. Shoot growth, number of new shoots, nut size, kernel percentage, and yield were generally not affected by P application.

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Lambert B. McCarty, Landon C. Miller, and Daniel L. Colvin

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K.M. Batal

Commercial N fertilizer formulations, ammonium nitrate, calcium nitrate, sodium nitrate, potassium nitrates (15-0-14 and 13-0-44) applied at 84 and 168 kg N/ha in 3 or 5 split applications did not affect total marketable yield of dry onion. Application frequencies causing an increase in total amount of N applied during the spring months (Feb.-Apr.) increased marketable yield by 5 MT/ha. Bulb decay was the highest when ammonium nitrate was applied, whereas the least number of decayed bulbs resulted from sodium nitrate applications. Plants grown with potassium nitrate (13-0-44) were most susceptible to cold injury. Ammonium nitrate and sodium nitrate applications produced the highest percentage of onions that bolted. The lowest percentage of plants showing bolting incidence resulted from calcium nitrate applications. Bolting of onions was closely associated with rapid growth and increased onion size. However, cold injury and bulb decay were not influenced by these growth factors.

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Mary Ann Rose and John W. White

`Celebrate 2' Poinsettias were grown for 8 weeks in a controlled-environment growth room until first signs of bract coloration. In growth stage I (GSI; weeks 1 through 4) low, medium, and high N rates (25, 75, and 125 mg N/liter, respectively) were applied by subirrigation (no leaching). Following floral induction [growth stage II (GSII), weeks 5 to 8], there were nine treatments: all possible combinations of the three N rates in GSI plus three rates (75, 125, and 175 mg N/liter) in GSII. Although >80% of shoot dry weight and >90% of total leaf area developed during growth GSII, reaching an acceptable plant size by week 8 depended on receiving adequate fertilization in growth GSI. In contrast, leaf chlorosis, noted in plants receiving the lowest rate in GSI, was rapidly reversed by increasing the N rate in GSII. Quadratic regression equations fitted to shoot dry weight and leaf area data predicted that using 125 mg N/liter in both growth stages gave maximum responses at week 8. However, using 75 mg N/liter in GSI and 125 mg N/liter in GSII also produced acceptable growth in poinsettias. Our results suggest that some growth restriction imposed by N availability during the first 4 weeks of growth may be acceptable and perhaps desirable to reduce growth regulator use and the environmental impact of overfertilization.