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Douglas C. Sanders and Luz M. Reyes

Two formulations of a new methylene urea product on tomato were evaluated. Applications of 150, 200, 250 lb/acre of N in eastern North Carolina and 175 and 250 lb/acre of N in western North Carolina of both liquid and dry formulation of the material were made. The liquid was applied the first 6 weeks of growth and the dry applied at planting. These treatments were compared with 200 lb/acre of N (standard) and 300 lb/acre of N, which were fertigated throughout the season. In eastern North Carolina, all rates of the liquid and high rate of dry formulations produced more yield of larger fruit than the standard. In western North Carolina, all methylene urea sources out-performed the standard. Soil and foliar nitrate was somewhat greater than the standard throughout the season, but, at end of season in the west, only the 250 dry material had more N in the soil. Methylene urea treatments took up more N than the control. All methylene urea except 200 dry produced more dollars per acre than the standard.

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J.R. Schupp, H.A. Schupp, and M.H. Bates

A study was conducted in 1992 at Highmoor Farm, Monmouth, ME to test the effects of fish hydrolysate fertilizer on fruit set, fruit size and fruit quality of apple. Mature, semi-dwarf `Delicious' and `Golden Delicious' trees received 2.76g/1 N, supplied by either fish hydrolysate fertilizer or urea, or received no fertilizer (control). Fertilizers were applied via three foliar sprays applied at seven day intervals, beginning at petal fall. Fish hydralysate fertilizer reduced fruit set of `Delicious' and `Golden Delicious'. Foliar urea increased fruit set and yield of 'Golden Delicious'. Neither fertilizer affected mineral nutrient concentrations of leaves collected in July. Fish hydrolysate increased fruit russeting on both cultivars. Fish hydrolysate is not recommended as a foliar fertilizer for apples.

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Yuncong Li and Min Zhang

Excessive bicarbonate concentrations and high irrigation water pH affect the growth and appearance of nursery plants in southern Florida. A greenhouse experiment consisting of five nitrogen (N) rates of urea or nitric acid was conducted to evaluate the influence of N sources and rates in irrigation water on bicarbonate concentrations, medium pH, and growth and appearance of anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum Lind.) plants. Pot medium pH, dry weight, plant appearance and N uptake by plants were significantly affected by N rates in irrigation water amended with either liquid urea or nitric acid, but the differences between the two N sources were not significant. The optimum growth and the best appearance of anthurium were achieved when N was added to irrigation well water as either urea or nitric acid at a rate of 20 mg·L-1 (ppm) and an electrical conductivity in a range of 0.36 to 0.42 dS·m-1 Nitrogen rates at 80 and 120 mg·L-1 induced adverse plant growth because of the greater salinity of the solutions and the lower pH of the medium.

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R. Scott Johnson, Rich Rosecrance, Steve Weinbaum, Harry Andris, and Jinzheng Wang

The suspected contributory role of soil fertilization to nitrate pollution of groundwater has encouraged exploration of novel fertilizer management strategies. Foliar-applied urea has long been used to supplement soil N applications, but there have been no apparent attempts to replace soil N applications completely in deciduous orchard culture. Two experiments were conducted to study the effect of foliar-applied low biuret urea on productivity and fruit growth of the early maturing peach [Prunus persica L. Batsch (Peach Group)] cultivar, Early Maycrest. In a 3-year experiment, a total foliar urea regime was compared to an equivalent amount of N applied to the soil. The foliar treatment supplied adequate amounts of N to the various organs of the tree including the roots, shoots, and fruit buds, but mean fruit weights were lower than in the soil-fertilized treatment. In a 2-year experiment, a 50%-50% combination treatment of soil-applied N in late summer with foliar-applied N in October, maintained yields and fruit weight equal to the soil-fertilized control. Some soil-applied N appears necessary for optimum fruit growth. Soil N application may be needed to support root proliferation and associated processes, but we did not determine a threshold amount of soil-applied N needed. The combination treatment also reduced excessive vegetative growth which is characteristic of early maturing peach cultivars. Therefore, this combination treatment offers promise as a viable commercial practice for maintaining tree productivity and controlling excessive vegetative growth in peach trees.

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Vladimir Orbovic, Diann Achor, Peter Petracek, and James P. Syvertsen

We examined the effects of air temperature, relative humidity (RH), leaf age, and solution pH on penetration of urea through isolated cuticles of citrus leaves. Intact cuticles were obtained from adaxial surfaces of different aged grapefruit leaves. A finite dose diffusion system was used to follow movement of 14C-labeled-urea from solution droplets across cuticles throughout a 4-day period. The rate of urea penetration increased as temperature increased from 19 °C to 28 °C, but penetration was not further increased at 38 °C. Increasing RH increased droplet drying time and urea penetration at both 28 °C and 38 °C. Cuticle thickness, weight per area, and the contact angle of urea solution droplets increased as leaves aged. Cuticular permeability to urea decreased as leaf age increased from 3 weeks to 7 weeks, but permeability increased in cuticles from leaves older than 9 weeks. Contact angles decreased with increased urea solution concentration on six 7-week-old leaf surfaces, but solution concentration had no effect on contact angle on cuticles from younger and older leaves. Reducing pH of urea solution from pH 8 to pH 4 accelerated the loss of urea from breakdown, possibly due to hydrolysis.

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M. Meheriuk

`Newtown' apples (Malus domestics Borkh.) treated weekly with urea at 10 g·liter-l or Ca(NO3)2 at 7.5 g·liter-1 for 5 consecutive weeks from late August were greener at harvest and during storage than comparable control fruit. A postharvest dip in Nutri-Save, a polymeric coating, was better for retention of skin greenness than a dip in diphenylamine and both gave greener apples than control (nondipped) fruit. Fruit treated with Ca(NO3)2 displayed lesions that were larger and more numerous than typical bitter pit in the control fruit.

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Young K. Joo, Nick E. Christians, and John M. Bremner

We evaluated the response of Kentucky bluegrass (Pea pratensis L.) turf to urea amended with the urease inhibitors PPD, NBPT, and ATS and with the cations K+ (KCl) and Mg+2 (MgCl2). Treatments for the 2-year field experiment included liquid urea applied monthly in June to Sept. 1985 and 1986 at 49 kg N/ha with PPD (1%, 2%, 3% by weight of applied N), NBPT (0.5%, 1%, 2%), ATS (5%, 15%, 25%), K+ (5%, 15%, 25%), and Mg+2 (5%, 15%, 25%). The NBPT was included only in the 1986 field study. The Mg+2 and K+ reduced foliar burn and increased turf quality during mid- and late Summer 1985 at the 5% rate, but clipping yield was not affected by any treatment. In 1986, under milder climatic conditions, PPD and NBPT increased clipping yield by 13.2% and 15.2%, respectively. At the 15% rate, ATS increased clipping yield by 15.1%, but, on average, PPD and NBPT were much more effective. Chemical names used: phenylphosphorodiamidate (PPD), N-(n -butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT), and ammonium thiosulfate (ATS).

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Brian A. Kahn, John P. Damicone, Kenneth E. Jackson, James E. Motes, and Mark E. Payton

Nine nematicide treatments were evaluated from 1993 through 1995 in field experiments on paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Materials tested included a chitinurea soil amendment and six chemicals: fosthiazate, carbofuran, aldicarb, oxamyl, fenamiphos, and 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D). Stands at harvest were increased relative to the control by chitin-urea, fosthiazate, and 1,3-D, but only fosthiazate increased marketable fruit yield relative to the control. Aldicarb reduced preharvest nematode populations relative to the control, but aldicarb did not result in a significant fruit yield increase. Chitin-urea was the only treatment to produce a net increase in nematode counts from preplant to preharvest in all three years. Although fosthiazate was promising, nematicide treatments were of limited benefit under the conditions of these studies. Chemical names used: (RS)-S-sec-butyl O-ethyl 2-oxo-1,3-thiazolidin-3-ylphosphonothioate (fosthiazate); 2,3-dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-7-benzofuranyl methylcarbamate (carbofuran); 2-methyl-2-(methylthio)propionaldehyde O-(methylcarbamoyl)oxime (aldicarb); methyl N′N′ -dimethyl-N-[(methylcarbamoyl)oxy]-1-thiooxamimidate (oxamyl); ethyl 3-methyl-4-(methylthio)phenyl(1-methylethyl) phosphoramidate (fenamiphos).

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Lailiang Cheng, Sunghee Guak, Shufu Dong, and Leslie H. Fuchigami

Bench-grafted Fuji/M26 plants were fertigated with seven nitrogen concentrations (0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10, 15, and 20 mM) by using a modified Hoagland solution from 30 June to 1 Sept. In mid-October, half of the fertigated trees were sprayed with 3% urea twice at weekly intervals, while the other half were left as controls. The plants were harvested after natural leaf fall, stored at 2 °C, and then destructively sampled in January for reserve N and carbohydrate analysis. As N concentration used in fertigation increased, whole-plant reserve N content increased progressively with a corresponding decrease in reserve carbohydrate concentration. Foliar urea application increased whole-plant N content and decreased reserve carbohydrate concentration. The effect of foliar urea on whole-plant reserve N content and carbohydrate concentration was dependent on the N status of the plant, with low-N plants being more responsive than high-N plants. There was a linear relationship between the increase in N content and decrease in carbohydrate concentration caused by foliar urea, suggesting that part of the reserve carbohydrates was used to assimilate N from foliar urea. Regardless of the difference in tree size caused by N fertigation, the increase in the total amount of reserve N by foliar urea application was the same on a whole-tree basis, indicating that plants with low-N background were more effective in using N from urea spray than plants with high-N background.

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Guihong Bi, Carolyn Scagel, and Leslie Fuchigami

One-year-old field-grown `Nonpareil'/'Nemaguard' and `Nonpareil'/`Lovell' almond nursery trees were used to study the effects of chemical defoliants (CuEDTA and ZnSO4) and foliar applications of urea on defoliation and nitrogen (N) reserves. Although both chemical defoliants significantly promoted earlier defoliation, CuEDTA was more effective than ZnSO4 in promoting early defoliation. Two applications of defoliant had a similar effect as one application on promoting leaf abscission. Foliar applications of urea in addition to defoliant applications (urea + defoliant treatments) generally increased the efficiency of ZnSO4 (1.25% to 2%) and CuEDTA (0.5%) in promoting early defoliation. Although treatments with only defoliants did not consistently lower N reserve levels, trees treated with foliar urea or urea + defoliants had significantly higher nitrogen reserves compared to trees receiving only defoliant treatments. N reserves were comparable in urea + defoliant-treated trees to the levels found in naturally defoliated (control) trees. We conclude that both CuEDTA and ZnSO4 are effective in promoting early defoliation of almond nursery trees. Combining urea with defoliants can effectively promote early defoliation and is important for achieving N reserves similar to naturally defoliated trees.