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  • Author or Editor: B.G. Mullinix Jr. x
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The effects of three rates of N, Mg, and B on cauliflower (Brassica oleracea, Botrytis group) yield, average curd mass, and hollow stem disorder were evaluated on sandy and clay loam soils. Cultivars White Empress and Stovepipe were tested on the sandy loam soil and `White Empress' was tested on the clay loam soil. Maximum mean curd mass and maximum yields were obtained with the highest N rates (269 and 381 kg·ha-1) applied to sandy loam and clay loam soils, respectively. Yield response to increased N rates varied with cultivar. Increasing Mg from 22.5 to 90 kg·ha-1 did not affect yield or curd mass on clay loam soil, but increased yield and mean curd mass on sandy loam soil. The Mg effect on curd mass was influenced by N and B rates. On both soil types, the higher Mg and B rates reduced the incidence of hollow stem, but the Mg effect was influenced by N applications. On clay loam soil, increasing B from 2.2 to 8.8 kg·ha-1 reduced hollow stem but had no effect on yield or curd mass. On sandy loam soil, B at 4.4 kg·ha-1 maximized yield and curd mass, but the hollow stem disorder continued to decrease as B rates were increased from 2.2 to 8.8 kg·ha-1.

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Five years of testing found equal damage on peaches from trees sprayed with an air-blast sprayer or with a PASS. A PASS is a modified boom sprayer mounted on the lower truss of a center-pivot. A PASS and an air-blast sprayer apply the same chemical formulations at the same rates per ha. Because a PASS injects no chemicals into the center-pivot, it is not chemigation. Unlike an air-blast sprayer that sprays out and up, a PASS sprays down, which should result in less spray drift. Because a PASS sprays over the tops of the trees, it places no restriction on row or tree spacing. Also, a PASS eliminates the pesticide exposure of a tractor driver spraying with an air-blast sprayer. Comparing capital costs of a PASS and an air-blast sprayer showed projected savings for the PASS of from $128/ha to over $248/ha as the orchard size increased from 7 ha to 29 ha. A PASS is much simpler than an air-blast sprayer which is pulled by a tractor, so the operating and maintenance costs for a PASS should be lower.

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