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Many of the apples (Malus ×domestica) grown in the southeastern United States are sold to consumers through direct farm markets and roadside stands. Fruit in these markets may be exposed to high temperatures (>68 °F), which cause the fruit to ripen quickly, limiting their shelf life and consumer appeal and increasing their susceptibility to decay pathogens. Studies were undertaken in 2009 and 2010 to determine the effects of a 1-μL·L−1 postharvest 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment on the maintenance of flesh firmness and the incidence of rots in fruit held at elevated temperatures for up to 8 weeks. 1-MCP-treated fruit of three apple cultivars (Ginger Gold, Gala, and Golden Delicious) held in three retail farm markets in the southeastern United States maintained their firmness for 3 to 5 weeks. The firmness of non-treated ‘Ginger Gold’ fruit declined to less than 12 lbf after 1 week in each market, whereas the firmness of treated fruit remained greater than 16 lbf after 3 weeks. Treated ‘Gala’ fruit maintained their firmness at 14 lbf during 4 weeks in each farm market, whereas the firmness of non-treated fruit declined to less than 12 lbf after 2 weeks. The firmness of non-treated ‘Golden Delicious’ fruit declined to less than 12 lbf after 1 week in each farm market, whereas treated fruit maintained their firmness for up to 4 weeks. ‘Golden Delicious’ fruit treated with 1-MCP exhibited almost no loss of firmness during 4 weeks at 32, 50, or 70 °F, or even up to 8 weeks at 32 or 50 °F. The incidence of fruit rots increased with temperature, and 1-MCP reduced the incidence of fruit rots after 4 weeks at 70 °F in 2009 or after 8 weeks at 70 °F in 2010. These data show that 1-MCP may be of great benefit to producers who sell their fruit directly to the consumer by delaying the loss in firmness and reducing the incidence of rots in fruit kept at elevated temperatures.

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Smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum) and goosegrass (Eleusine indica) are problematic weeds in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) because of limited herbicide options for postemergence (POST) control and turfgrass injury potential. Metamifop is a herbicide currently being considered for release to markets in the United States but information is lacking on the most effective rates and application timings for smooth crabgrass and goosegrass control in creeping bentgrass. Field trials were conducted in Auburn, AL in 2009 and 2013 to evaluate metamifop rates (200 to 800 g·ha−1) and single or sequential application timings compared with fenoxaprop (51 to 200 g·ha−1) at two different mowing heights. Metamifop applied twice and three times sequentially at 200 g·ha−1 provided the greatest smooth crabgrass (>97%) and goosegrass (>90%) control at rough (1½ inch) and green (1/8 inch) mowing heights without unacceptable creeping bentgrass injury at 56 days after initial treatment. All treatments caused <20% visible injury on creeping bentgrass at both mowing heights except the highest rate of metamifop. Smooth crabgrass control at the green mowing height was greater than at the rough mowing height, especially at lower metamifop rates with a single application.

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Researchers have collected a considerable amount of data relating to apple (Malus ×domestica) cultivars and rootstocks over the past 30 years, but much of this information is not easily accessible. The long-term goal of our working group is to increase access to this information using online technology available through eXtension. In eXtension, researchers and extension personnel are developing a community of practice (CoP) to increase the quality and amount of online information for individuals interested in our work [referred to as a community of interest (CoI)]. For this project, our CoI is broadly defined as commercial apple producers, nursery professionals, county extension educators, Extension Master Gardeners, home gardeners, and consumers. Our CoP is developing diverse educational tools, with the goals of increasing productivity, profitability, and sustainability for commercial apple production. Additionally, we will provide other members of our CoI access to research-based, reliable information on the culture of apples. We chose to begin our focus on cultivars and rootstocks adapted to the eastern United States and will add other U.S. regions as our resources and interest in our project grows.

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