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  • Author or Editor: R.P. Bracy x
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Prior studies have demonstrated that a Gaspardo vacuum seeder provides less uniform seed spacing than a Stanhay belt seeder. It was hypothesized that the difference was primarily because of the greater seed drop height on the Gaspardo seeder. A Gaspardo metering unit was modified by adding a slide or an enclosed tube to guide the seeds from the release point (seed plate) to 1.0 inch (25 mm) above the bottom of the seed furrow. Seed uniformity tests were conducted with cabbage (Brassica oleracea), onion (Allium cepa), and mustard (Brassica juncea) seeds. The modified planter unit was compared with an unmodified unit. No improvement in seeding uniformity was noted with either the slide or the tube. In fact, seed placement uniformity was degraded with the addition of the slide and tube. Although it is probable that the seed spacing nonuniformity was caused by drop height, attempts to control the seed trajectory were unsuccessful.

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A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of banding or broadcasting fertilizer on yield and quality of turnip (Brassica rapa L. Rapifera group), sweetcorn (Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf.), and cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group). Preplant fertilizer was applied broadcast before bedding, broadcast after bedding, or banded after bedding. Sidedress applications were broadcast or banded on the beds. Differences in plant size and vigor were noticed early in the season in the spring turnip crop, with the growth in the broadcast-and-bed treatment appearing superior. The yield at first harvest and total yield were lower for turnip grown with the bed-and-broadcast treatment. No differences in yield of cabbage or sweetcorn resulted from the treatments. Few differences in turnip stem-to-leaf ratio were noted due to fertilizer treatment. Few differences in yield due to sidedress method were noted with any of the crops. Analysis of soil samples in a grid pattern across the beds showed that the location of the fertilizer after the broadcast-and-bed treatment was similar to the placement of the banded fertilizer. Since broadcasting can be done with a faster, wider applicator, growers could reduce costs by broadcasting fertilizer and obtain yields that are at least equivalent to the yields obtained by banding the fertilizer.

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A cultural system consisting of precision seeding on shaped beds, followed by cultivation using mechanically guided equipment, was developed and evaluated with several vegetable crops. The precision cultural system allowed for growing the crops at high plant populations by using precision planting and exact cultivation of multiple narrow rows of plants on wide beds. Eight field experiments were conducted from 1987 to 1989 on broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L.), cabbage (Bra&a oleracea var. capitata L.), mustard (Brassica juncea var. crispfolia L.), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) to evaluate production of these crops on single- and multiple-row configurations on narrow (1 -m) and wide (2-m) beds. The precision cultural system was assessed to be an excellent method for production of the small-seeded crops that were tested. Yield was highest for cabbage, mustard, and spinach planted in six rows on 2-m beds compared with four-, two-, or one-row beds. Multiple-row configurations did offer yield advantages over the single-row configuration for broccoli production.

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