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  • Author or Editor: C. Vázquez x
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Municipal solid waste compost (MSW) can be used as an effective substrate for ornamental plant production as an alternative to peat. In a previous study a mix with peat, perlite, and vermiculite (1:1:1 per volume) was used along MSW compost at 1:1 per volume ratio as a growing substrate for Catharanthus roseus, providing nitrogen (N) for adequate plant growth. This study will focus in determining if MSW provides adequate amounts of N and Phosphorous (P) for Anthurium pot plant production, reducing the use of fertilizers and nutrient loss to the environment. Plants were fertilized at 0, 100, 150, and 200 ppm N using a 20-10-20 soluble fertilizer. Chemical characterization of leachates collected from plants grown in substrates with or without MSW, to determine possible nutrient run off. Tissue analysis for N and P content was conducted to determine absorption. Our results shows an increase in NH4 -N, NO3 -N and soluble P in leachates as the fertilizer level increased. Higher NO3 -N content in leachates was observed in treatments with MSW. Higher P concentrations were observed in leachates from substrate without MSW. Weeks after, 62% of the plants grown in MSW were dead; the surviving plants had less biomass, but similar N content in leaf and root tissues than plants grown without MSW. Higher P content in tissues was observed in fertilized plants grown without MSW. The MSW was a nutrient source for the plants, but further studies should be conducted for optimum use of MSW as a component of growing substrate.

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In 1995, 37 new dessert and cooking bananas (Musa spp.) were introduced into South Florida for evaluation under local edaphic and environmental conditions. The number of pseudostems per mat, height at fruiting, and cycling time were determined during the first fruiting cycle, and bunch number and bunch weight were recorded from 1996 to 1998. A productivity index (PIX), calculated as 100 × mean bunch weight in kg/cycling time in days, was used to determine the productivity of the clones over time. Informal taste panels assessed the appearance and organoleptic qualities of fruit on a subjective 1 to 4 scale. In a separate experiment, the susceptibility of 30 of the clones to fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, was assessed. Some of the most popular and productive clones were susceptible to fusarium wilt and are not recommended for production in areas that have a history of this disease. The dessert clones `Pisang Ceylan', FHIA01', FHIA02', and FHIA17' and the cooking accessions `Kandrian', `Kumunamba', and `Saba' resisted fusarium wilt, produced moderate to high yields (PIXs ≥ 1) of good to excellent fruit (mean ratings ≥ 3), and are recommended for use in all areas in Florida.

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México is an important mango producer. During its marketing is necessary to maintain fruit quality for long periods to access distant markets. Modified (MA) and controlled (CA) atmospheres are used in some tropical fruits to attain these goals. In this work, we evaluated Keitt mangoes quality under CA (low O2 ≤0.3%) and MA with three low density polyethylene (LDP) films (100, 200 and 300 mils) during six days. CA fruit treated and LDP packed were stored for 30 days at 10C. Every three days, samples from CA and MA were evaluated, and every ten days a lot of treated fruits were transferred to 20C to determine fruit quality changes. We found that both, CA and MA (using LDP) delayed weight and firmness losses. Fruits kept a good appearance with a significative delay of the maturity process. However, fruit packed with 200 and 300 mils LDP developed a fermented taste after 10 days at 10C. Our conclusions suggest that these treatments prolong marketing and storage life of “Keitt” mangoes.

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