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Laurie Hodges, Roger Uhlinger, Ernesto Brovelli, Susan Cuppett and Anne Parkhurst

Fourteen asparagus cultivars were established in 1988 in eastern Nebraska on a heavy silty clay soil to determine suitability for Nebraska production. Total & marketable yields differed among cultivars with highest total & marketable yields obtained with “UC157-F1”, “Jersey General”, “Jersey Knight”, 44P×22-8, 51×22-8 & Md10×22-8. Production of the cultivars “Jersey Gem”, “Jersey Giant”, & “Jersey General” was additionally compared as green & blanched (white) production under white-on-black plastic blanching frames. Lowest ratio of culls to marketable spears & highest marketable weight was obtained with “Jersey General” for both blanched & green spears. Although total weight was greater for green asparagus, use of blanching frames reduced the number of culls for each cultivar and increased the weight of marketable spears to exceed that of green asparagus.

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Rohini Deshpande, D. P. Coyne, K. G. Hubbard, J. R. Steadman, E. P. Kerr and Anne M. Parkhurst

The microclimate of Great Northern (GN) dry bean lines with diverse plant architecture was investigated in terms of white mold (WM) incidence and yield. A split-plot design was used with protected (3 weekly sprays of benomyl 0.9 KG HA-1 after flowering) and unprotected treatments as main-plots and GN lines as sub-plots in a WM nursery (1990, 1991). Canopy density, erectness, leaf area index, and plant characteristics were measured. `Starlight' (upright) and `Tara' (prostrate) were selected for detailed microclimate studies. An infrared thermometer, humidity sensor, and a thermistor were placed within the canopy at the advent of flowering. Leaf wetness and its duration were estimated by the leaf temperature in combination with air temperature and dewpoint temperature. `Starlight' showed later and shorter duration of leaf wetness, lower humidity, and WM and higher yield than `Tara'. Severe WM and reduced yields occurred also on all other susceptible entries with dense prostrate plant habits in the unprotected plots. Fractal analysis was done on the images of the canopy to quantify the light interception within the canopy.