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- Author or Editor: Albert Ayeni x
Tigernut (Cyperus esculentus var. sativus) is a type of sedge that is quickly becoming popular as a superfood. As demand for tigernut continues to increase, more information is needed to develop weed management strategies for the crop to maximize tuber yield and quality. However, no herbicide is currently labeled for use with tigernut. Experimental trials were conducted in 2017 and 2018 to assess crop safety and control of economically important weeds with preemergence herbicides for transplanted ‘NG3’ and ‘OG’ tigernut. Oxyfluorfen applied alone or mixed with pendimethalin provided excellent control (>85%) of smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus), carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata), and large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis), and it did not cause any tigernut injury, stunting, or yield reduction compared with the weed-free control. However, none of the treatments controlled hairy galinsoga (Galinsoga quadriradiata) satisfactorily 2 months after herbicide application. Bensulide alone or associated with oxyfluorfen caused 14% to 25% stunting of tigernut. Bensulide alone only provided short-term control of broadleaf weeds. Increased weed competition and tigernut phytotoxicity associated with bensulide resulted in a 39% reduction in tuber yield compared with oxyfluorfen alone. Finally, S-metolachlor caused up to 78% stunting and a 68% reduction in vegetative tigernut biomass (on average) compared with the weed-free control. Tuber yield was reduced 55% to 97% after S-metolachlor was applied at transplanting. Oxyfluorfen would provide effective weed control up to 8 weeks after treatment in fields where hairy galinsoga is not a weed of concern and fulfill the requirement of a weed-free period without affecting tuber yield of quality.
Peach (Prunus persica) trees were established and grown from 1996 to 1999 at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Bridgeton, N.J., to compare performance under four methods of orchard floor preparation: flat no-till, flat cultivated, mound unmulched, and mound mulched orchard floors. The experimental site was flat and the soil was a well-drained Aura gravelly sandy loam (61% sand, 31% silt, 8% clay) with a pH of 6.5, cation exchange capacity 5.7, and organic matter content of 2.0%. Soil moisture holding and gas exchange capacity determine the efficacy of mounding in peach orchards. Under these conditions, the method of orchard floor preparation had no effect on peach tree trunk cross sectional area (TCSA), fruit number per tree, fruit size, and yield. Thus, without irrigation, there was no advantage to the early performance of peach trees associated with orchard floor mounding on Aura gravelly sandy loam when situated on a flat terrain.
The rapid expansion of Asian populations in the United States presents significant opportunities and challenges for the eastern U.S. produce sector to take advantage of their close proximity to densely populated areas. Initial crop studies followed by ethnic consumer and crop surveys were conducted to examine vegetable, leafy green, and herb consumption and expenditures among Chinese, Asian Indians, and other Asian groups. Consumer choices were used to prioritize subsequent production trials. Family expenditures were determined for specific Asian produce types and total produce purchases. This market data were extrapolated to the east coast Asian populations to assess potential market size (90% confidence interval, error margin 5.6%). Chinese consumer values ranged from $245 to $296 million per annum and Asian Indians ranged from $190 to $230 million per annum. The average annual fresh fruit and vegetable expenditures by both Asian groups were 2 to 3.5 times respective national averages. Leading Chinese vegetables determined by average expenditures were baby bok choy, pak choy, oriental eggplant, snow pea, oriental spinach, and napa cabbage. Highest expenditure of leafy greens and herbs for Chinese consumers were chives and garland chrysanthemum. This market-driven survey reported consumption of over 100 Asian crops and 42 cultivars were ranked “feasible” to grow in the eastern section of the United States. Horticultural matrices of selection criteria narrowed the list to the most promising candidates for production. As a result, 28 cultivars were then grown in University research and demonstration plots at Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Florida in determining growth characteristics and yield to focus horticultural crop producers. Leading vegetable cultivars for Asian Indian consumers were bitter gourd, eggplant, fenugreek leaves, cluster beans, and bottle gourd. Leading leafy greens and herbs for Asian Indians were turmeric, fenugreek, sorrel spinach, and radish greens. Most of these Asian cultivars were demonstrated to grow well in the three main growing zones of 5, 7, and 9. Phytochemical attributes such as antioxidant activity, polyphenols, and mineral contents were analyzed for several of the leading crop candidates. This initial field and laboratory data shows that many of these ethnic crops can be grown in the eastern United States to direct production opportunities and are nutrient rich to help drive consumer demand.