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  • Author or Editor: Michael W. Smith x
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Nitrogen was applied to mature pecan (Carya illinoinensis Wangenh. C. Koch.) trees annually as a single application at 125 kg·ha-1 N in March or as a split application with 60% (75 kg·ha-1 N) applied in March and the remaining 40% (50 kg·ha-1 N) applied during the first week of October. Nitrogen treatment did not affect yield, and had little effect on the amount of N absorbed. Nitrogen absorption was greater between budbreak and the end of shoot expansion than at other times of the year. Substantial amounts of N were also absorbed between leaf fall and budbreak. Little N was absorbed between the end of shoot expansion and leaf fall, or tree N losses met or exceeded N absorption. Pistillate flowers and fruit accounted for a small portion of the tree's N; ≈0.6% at anthesis and 4% at harvest. The leaves contained ≈25% of the tree's N in May and ≈17% when killed by freezing temperatures in November. Leaves appeared to contribute little to the tree's stored N reserves. Roots ≥1 cm diameter were the largest site of N storage during the winter. Stored N reserves in the perennial parts of the tree averaged 13% of the tree's total N over a three year period. Current year's N absorption was inversely related to the amount of stored N, but was not related to the current or previous year's crop load.

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The unextracted and reduced lipid (supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of 22% and 27% (w/w) of total lipids) pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] kernels packaged in 21% O2, 79% N2 were analyzed for color, hexanal, sensory, fresh weight, and lipid class changes periodically during 37 weeks of storage at 25 °C and 55% relative humidity. Pecan nutmeats were lightened by partial lipid extraction. The pecan testa darkened (decreasing chromameter L*) with storage time. Most color changes occurred in the first 18 weeks. Hexanal concentration of reduced-lipid pecans was negligible throughout storage, while unextracted pecans reached excessive levels by week 22 of storage. Hexanal concentration, indicative of rancidity, was in agreement with sensory analysis results with the hexanal threshold level for objectionable rancidity ranging from 7 to 11 mg·kg-1 pecans. Weight change was negligible during storage, except in 27% reduced-lipid pecans. Free fatty acids increased with storage and were significantly higher in unextracted pecans than the reduced-lipid pecans at 0, 10, 18, 32, and 37 weeks of storage. Shelf life of pecans with partial lipid extraction was longer than unextracted pecans. In addition to decreasing the total amount of lipid available for oxidation, the free fatty acid lipid component that correlated with the development of rancidity was reduced by extraction.

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Field studies were conducted in North Carolina in 2019 and 2020 to determine the effect of a reduced-tillage, high-residue rye (Secale cereal) cover crop system on soil health, and growth and storage root yield of sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) cultivars having upright (NC04-0531 or NC15-650) or prostrate (Covington or Bayou Belle) vining characteristics. Sweetpotato canopy width expanded quicker in the conventional tillage system than the reduced-tillage rye system. Prostrate sweetpotato cultivars had greater late-season canopy widths than upright cultivars. Soil bulk density of raised beds was greatest in the reduced-tillage rye system, but both systems remained within the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended range for soil bulk density. The conventional-tillage system resulted in 17% more marketable roots; however, no differences were observed in total marketable root weight between systems. ‘Covington’ and ‘NC15-650’ had greater marketable yield than ‘NC04-0531’ but less marketable yield than ‘Bayou Belle’.

Open Access