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Ravishankar Palanisamy*, Rajasekaran Lada, Steve Kyei-Boahen, Asture Stiles, Claude Caldwell, and Sam Asiedu

Green shoulder (GS) and Internal Greening (IG) are the physiological disorders in carrots due to chlorophyll accumulates either at the crown or internal tissues or both. GS and IG affect root quality and makes carrot roots unfit for consumption and cause a great lose to the processing industry. One of the hypothesis in our study was that plant population modulate GS and IG due to its variation in light interception. The objectives of this study were to identify the effect of plant population on the occurrence of GS and IG and establish a relationship between them. Dicer (Red core chantenay) and Slicer (Caro choice) varieties were seeded at various seeding rates. The experiment used a Randomized Block design. Each treatment was replicated four times. GS and IG were measured using a Chlorophyll meter and the output was read as Chlorophyll Index (CI). Leaf area index (LAI) was determined using a LAI-2000 Plant canopy analyzer. Carrot roots were also collected per meter for each plot. Plant population showed a significant negative correlation with GS. Correlation also existed between GS and LAI. However, plant population and LAI had poor correlation with IG in both the Dicer as well as in the Slicer varieties. It is possible that the IG may perhaps be induced prior to canopy development. Also, a poor correlation existed between IG and GS in both the Slicers and Dicers implying that one does not control other event.

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Joel L. Shuman and Todd C. Wehner

Production of pickling cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) requires a significant expenditure of labor and money. Those resources could be better managed if both yield and harvest date could be predicted for a given planting date and production area. The objective of this experiment was to develop a model to simulate growth and yield of pickling cucumbers under field conditions in North Carolina. Detailed measurements of leaf area, branching habit, flowering, fruiting, and dry weight distribution were obtained for the cultigens `Calypso', M 21, `Wis. SMR 18', and WI 2757 for 10 planting dates. Light interception, air temperature, and rainfall were also recorded. There were differences among cultigens and planting dates for time needed to reach certain growth stages. Number of days to reach a given stage generally decreased with later planting dates. Addition of nodes over time to the main stem was linear and the interaction of planting date by cultigen was significant. Number of staminate and pistillate flowers was affected by both cultigen and planting date.

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Stephen F. Klauer, Chuhe Chen, and J. Scott Cameron

In 1998, yield of the split (ST) vs. conventional trellis was again compared in `Meeker' red raspberry with work at Vancouver focusing on advanced trellis development and technology transfer. Field testing was expanded from two to five sites in northern (Lynden) and southwestern (Woodland, Ridgefield, WSUV REU) Washington, with a total of eight trials. These tested a variety of widths (28–51 cm), crossarm styles, and machine harvesters in fields with varied cultural practices. Four trials were machine-picked, and, in Vancouver, harvest efficiency was studied. For widths >43 cm, yields were 10% to 13% greater for ST in four trials, while widths less than 43 cm showed no increase. As in previous years, estimated yield potential was 20% to 59% higher for ST in three of four trials. Differences between actual/estimated yields were due to several factors, including damage to laterals, harvest inefficiency, and poor early fruit release. Yield potential was greater (28%) for ST in a second-year trial, suggesting sustainability. In various trials, numerous data were collected including canopy and primocane measurements, aboveground biomass, light interception and leaf: area, gas exchange, chlorophyll content, fourth derivative spectra, fluorescence, N content, and tissue for anatomical analysis. Results were similar to last year. Increased light within ST causes earlier and larger canopy growth and fruit development. There was a large increase in leaf number, leaf area and berry number. Increases in yield were again associated with higher number of lateral/cane. There was no difference in leaf physiological measurements/leaf area between treatments.

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Michael K. Bomford

Polycultures are thought to offer yield advantages over monocultures when net competition between plants of different species is less than that between plants of the same species. Planting density and crop ratios may both alter these competitive effects. To observe such effects, dicultures of basil (Ocimumbasilicum L.), brussels sprout (Brassica oleracea L.), and tomato (Lycopersicumesculentum Mill.) were grown organically at a range of ratios and densities (1–47 plants/m2) over two field seasons. Relative land output (RLO) values were calculated from field data and from modeled yield-density-ratio surfaces. Both methods showed yield advantages from polyculture at high planting densities (RLO = 2.20 @ top density), but not at low densities. Dicultures offered a 19% yield advantage, on average. Competition for resources was compared by measuring canopy light interception and soil moisture content, showing tomato to be the most competitive crop, followed by brussels sprout, then basil. Diculture yield advantages were most pronounced when individuals of a less competitive species outnumbered those of a more competitive species. Yield advantages were 36% and 20% for dicultures dominated by basil and brussels sprout, respectively.

Dicultures dominated by tomato offered no yield advantage. The results are discussed in terms of the current ecological understanding of plant interactions, and possible advantages to be derived from small-scale intercropping, popularly termed companion planting.

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Gisele Schoene, Thomas Yeager, and Joe Ritchie

In crop models, it is important to determine the leaf area, because the amount of light interception by leaves influences two very important processes in the plant: photosynthesis and evaporation. Leaf area is dependent on leaf appearance and expansion rates. Leaf appearance rate is driven mainly by temperature. Although the influence of temperature on leaf area development is well known for several agronomic crops, there is no information for woody ornamentals. An experiment was conducted to study the relationship between temperature and leaf appearance of container-grown sweet viburnum. Plants were grown in field conditions in Gainesville, Fla., during two growing periods (Apr. to Aug. 2004 and Aug. 2004 to Jan. 2005). Daily maximum and minimum temperature and leaf appearance were recorded. Linear regression equations were fitted to data and maximum and minimum temperature and leaf appearance were recorded. Linear regression equations were fitted to data and base temperature was assumed to be 8 °C. Thermal time (°C d) was calculated as daily average maximum and minimum air temperature minus the base temperature and was regressed against leaf number. The sum of accumulated thermal time was found to be linearly correlated with leaf number. Phyllochron, which is the thermal time between the appearances of successive leaves, was estimated 51 °C per day. The information presented in this study will be useful in modeling water use of sweet viburnum in response to environmental conditions.

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Leslie A. Weston and Andrew F. Senesac

For the past 5 years, we have evaluated more than 100 herbaceous perennial groundcovers, including both grasses and grass mixtures, as well as ornamental broadleaf materials, for their ability to establish, suppress weeds, provide aesthetic appeal, and resist pests in various landscape and roadside settings across New York State. By working in cooperation with the NYSDOT, we have developed recommendations for materials that have performed well in difficult, potentially stressful, roadside and landscape settings. We have performed replicated research and demonstration trials that have clearly shown that certain species and cultivars provide effective weed suppression; great aesthetic appeal due to foliar texture, color, or flowering, resist pests and diseases; and require low maintenance over time. In addition, certain materials tolerate high levels of salt (NaCl), simulating roadside salt application exposure, in supplemental greenhouse studies. Materials generally suppressed weeds effectively by forming a dense canopy in a short period of time, and reducing light interception at the soil surface under this dense canopy. Certain groundcovers also appeared to exhibit strong potential allelopathic properties when grown either in field or laboratory settings. The selection of new plant materials for use in low-maintenance landscape settings offers potential to reduce time and maintenance inputs in difficult landscape or roadside settings, with the added benefit of reducing pesticide application in these settings for weed management. Additional studies are currently underway to develop further recommendations for use of warm- and cool-season turfgrasses in these settings.

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Milton E. McGiffen Jr., E.J. Ogbuchiekwe, and B.S. Saharan

While there are published reports of varietal differences in competitiveness with weeds, no crop varieties have been specifically developed for tolerance to weed interference. We explored several methods that mechanistically compare potential sources of tomato varietal tolerance to purslane, velvetleaf, and black night-shade: 1) The influence of canopy structure and development was studied with a wide range of crop and weed germplasm with different growth habits. Leaf expansion rate and other morphological characters were used to select crop genotypes for more-detailed study. 2) Replacement series experiments with selected cultivars found that purslane and other species can adapt to avoid competition. The greatest varietal differences in competitiveness were with nightshade species that had a canopy structure similar to tomatoes. 3) Field measurements of canopy development and light interception found that competitive advantage shifted over time as height and leaf area of weeds and crops changed. 4) A systems analysis method, sensitivity analysis, found that changes in plant architecture over time were more important than initial or final crop characteristics in determining competitive outcomes.

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Cedric A. Sims and Srinivasa R. Mentreddy

Basil (Ocimum sp.), belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae (Labiatae), is a popular herb grown for the fresh market or for its dried aromatic leaves, which are used as a spice or in potpourris. In Asian countries, basil, particularly O. tenuiflorum, is better known as a medicinal plant species used for treating ailments ranging from colds to complex diseases such as cancers and diabetes. In the United States, however, it has a limited acceptance as a fresh-market herb. There is much potential for developing basil as a medicinal plant to cater to the growing herbal medicinal products industry. A field trial was therefore conducted to determine optimum date of planting basil in Alabama. Six-week-old seedlings were transplanted from the greenhouse into field plots arranged in a split-plot design with four replications. Planting dates at monthly intervals beginning in April were the main plots and three Ocimum accessions, Ames 23154, Ames 23155, and PI 288779 were sub-plot treatments. The accessions were compared for growth, leaf area development, light interception, canopy cover, and dry matter accumulation and partitioning pattern over planting dates. Ames 23154, with greater canopy cover (98.5%) and photosynthetically active radiation interception (96.1%), also produced higher total plant biomass than other accessions. Accession PI 288779 appeared to partition greater dry matter to leaves, which are the primary source of bioactive compounds in basil. Among planting dates, second (May) date of planting appeared to be optimum for both total biomass and leaf dry matter production. Genotypic variation f or dry-matter partitioning and relationships among agronomic parameters as influenced by planting date will be discussed in this presentation.

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Shumin Li, Nihal C. Rajapakse, and Ryu Oi

The far-red light intercepting photoselective plastic greenhouse covers have been shown to be effective in producing compact vegetable transplants. However, photoselective films reduce the photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) transmission compared to conventional plastic films because of the dye contained in the film. The low PPF in greenhouses covered with photoselective films may result in decreased plant dry matter production and could especially be a problem in the season with low light level and in northern latitudes. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine if covering at the end of the day (EOD) with photoselective films was effective in controlling height of vegetable seedlings. This will allow growers to maintain a high light level during daytime for optimum growth of plants. Cucumber seedlings were exposed to light transmitted through a photoselective film and a clear control film. Three exposure durations: continuous, exposure to filtered light from 3:00 pm to 9:00 am, and from 5:00 pm - 9:00 am, were evaluated. Results show that, after 15 days of treatment, about 25% of height reduction could be achieved by exposing the plants at the EOD from 3:00 pm to 9:00 am or from 5:00 pm to 9:00 am. Plants grown continuously under filtered light were the shortest. Compared to plants grown in photoselective chamber continuously, EOD exposed plants had greater leaf, stem and shoot dry weights, greater leaf area and thicker stem. Specific leaf and stem dry weights were also greater in EOD exposed plants. Number of leaves was not significantly affected by any exposure periods tested. The results suggested that the EOD use of photoselective film is effective in reducing height of cucumber seedlings. The responses of other crops need to be evaluated to test the feasibility of using photoselective film as a EOD cover on wide range of crops.

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Sujatha Sankula, Mark J. VanGessel, Walter E. Kee Jr., C. Edward Beste, and Kathryne L. Everts

Potential increases in the yield of agronomic crops through enhanced light interception have led many growers to consider using narrow rows in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.). However, no information is available on how narrow row spacing affects weed management or fits into an integrated pest management strategy. To address this, field studies were conducted in Delaware and Maryland in 1996 and 1997 to evaluate the effects of row spacing (38 vs. 76 cm) on weed control, and on yield and quality of lima bean. Weed management inputs were also evaluated with labeled or reduced pre-emergence rates of metolachlor plus imazethapyr applied broadcast or banded. Only 76-cm rows were cultivated according to the standard practice for this production system. In general, row spacing, herbicide rate, and herbicide application method had no effect on lima bean biomass or yield, on weed density, control, or biomass production, or on economic return. However, weed control consistency was improved when wide rows were used, even with reduced herbicide rates, possibly because of cultivation. Using reduced herbicide rates and band applications resulted in 84% less herbicide applied without affecting weed control. Chemical names used: 3-(1-methylethyl)-(1H)-2,1,3-benzothiadiazin-4(3H)-one 2,2-dioxide (bentazon); 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1Himidazol-2-yl]-5-ethyl-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid (imazethapyr); 2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-methylethyl)acetamide (metolachlor); 2-[1-(ethoxyimino)butyl]-5-[2-ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one (sethoxydim).