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  • Author or Editor: Christopher Worden x
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Semiochemical baits impregnated with cucurbitacin, floral volatiles, and small amounts of carbaryl insecticide have been developed to control cucumber beetles. Insecticide application of low carbaryl levels with insect attractants offers low risk advantages over conventional insecticides. Experiments determined the effectiveness of different timing schedules of granular semiochemical baits and compared two application methods (i.e., air-blast and standard boom) of flowable semiochemical baits. One concern this study addressed was whether the shearing action of the air-blast applicator affected the physical integrity of the microsphere formulations and therefore its effectiveness. Both granular and flowable formulations reduced cucumber beetle populations. Total number of live and dead beetles in treated plots generally exceeded the total number found in the control plots. This suggests that immigrating beetles were attracted from outside, died, and accumulated in the treated plots. Control plots were treated with floral attractants. Bacterial wilt symptoms were not observed in any plot.

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Vegetable culture with Municipal Solid Waste Compost (MSWC) amended soils was evaluated with the emphasis on crop and soil responses. There were three treatments of 0, 20, and 40 t·ha–1 of MSWC applied in the fall of 1993 to a Matapeake Silt Loam on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The following spring the soil was prepared for planting tomatoes and green beans. All crop management practices were in accordance with the standard procedures followed in Maryland for each crop, except for the addition of the MSWC. Both crop yields were significantly increased with the addition of the MSWC. Following the bean crop, broccoli transplants were established in the fall of 1994. Again, the yields obtained with the MSWC plots as compared to the control were significantly greater. Soil properties were also favorably affected by the addition of the compost. Analysis of soil samples indicated significant increases with MSWC, such as cation exchange capacity, soil pH, percent organic matter, and water-holding capacity.

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A composting facility in New Milford, Conn. (NMF), utilizes food-processing residuals, including spent tea leaves, coffee grounds, cocoa shell and cleanings, wastewater treatment sludge from a food ingredients manufacturing plant, and past-expiration processed vegetable products. Materials are composted in aerated, frequently turned windrows under cover. The range of inputs, combined with time constraints on the composting process, has resulted in a variable, immature compost product with a high rate of microbial activity. Users have expressed concern about potential phytotoxicity or nutrient immobilization from using NMF compost. Therefore, research was conducted to determine the influence of cured and uncured NMF compost amendments on potentially sensitive crops with high nutrient requirements. Arugula (Eruca vesicaria) and green bibb lettuce (Lactuca sativa) were grown on two Connecticut organic farm research sites in 1998 and 1999. Both sites have soils classified as coarse loamy over sandy or sandy-skeletal, mixed, mesic, typic, Dystraudepts. Farms differed in the length of time under organic farm management. One farm has been an organic farm since 1988 and consequently has high soil fertility, while the other was a first-year organic farm in 1998, and had relatively low soil fertility. Three amendment types were applied: cured compost, uncured compost, and organic fertilizer (5N-3P2O5-4K2O). Amendment application rates were estimated to provide a comparable range of plant-available nutrients for the amendments and a control without fertilizer. Compost application rates were 3.4, 6.8, 20.2, 35.8, and 71.7 Mg·ha-1 (dry-weight basis) in 1998 and 11.2, 22.4, 44.8, and 89.6 Mg·ha-1 (dry-weight basis) in 1999. Organic fertilizer application rates were 1.34, 2.68, 5.36, 10.72, and 21.44 Mg·ha-1 in 1998 and 1.34, 2.68, 5.38, and 10.72 Mg·ha-1 in 1999. Soil organic matter and nutrients increased with amendment application rate at both locations. Crop yields increased with amendment rate at the new, lower-fertility farm, but yields did not respond to amendments at the older, higher-fertility farm. Yield differences were minor between the uncured and cured compost treatments at both locations. This indicates that either cured or uncured NMF food-processing residual compost can be successfully used as an organic soil amendment for salad green production.

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