A greenhouse study was conducted in Autumn 1998 using standard cultural practices for potted chrysanthemum [Dendranthema × grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura] to determine how fertilization affected plant growth and quality and nutrient leaching. Fertilization treatments included constant liquid fertilization until anthesis (LFA), constant liquid fertilization until disbud (LFD), slow-release resincoated fertilizer (SRF), and no-fertilizer control. Frequency of irrigation was determined gravimetrically, and leaching fractions maintained near 0.2. Plant growth and quality for LFA, LFD, and SRF met commercial crop standards. Nearly 60% of the total nitrogen applied with LFA was applied during the 4 weeks between disbud and anthesis, due to increased water demand. During the same period when liquid fertilization was discontinued for LFD, leachate electrical conductivity (EC) levels dropped from 4 to <1 dS·m-1. Leachate EC levels for LFA at anthesis remained high, but were <1 dS·m-1 for the other treatments. LFD and SRF drastically reduced the total amount of nutrients applied during the course of production compared with LFA. Use of an appropriate slow-release fertilizer or discontinued use of liquid fertilizer at disbud allow soluble salt levels to decrease during the latter weeks of the mum production cycle, when nutrient demand is low and water demand is high.
C.J. Catanzaro and R.J. Sauve
C.J. Catanzaro, C.L. Fenderson and R.J. Sauve
The Dept. of Agricultural Sciences currently offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate programs in Plant Science, Animal Science, and Rural Development were consolidated within the Dept. of Agricultural Sciences in the late 1980s due to the declining number of graduates. However, no personnel turnover or course changes occurred due to consolidation. Enrollment at the undergraduate level has doubled within the past 5 years. Student enrollment for Fall 1995 included 127 undergraduates and 31 graduate students. Graduation figures projected for 1995–96 include 26 undergraduates and 8 graduate students. Horticulture and Agronomy are now two of the concentrations available for the BS degree in Agricultural Sciences, and Plant Science is an option for the MS degree in Agricultural Sciences. Presently in the plant sciences there are approximately 30 undergraduates and 20 MS students. Faculty and professional staff affiliated with the Cooperative Agricultural Research Program are encouraged to submit teaching proposals to the 1890 Institution Capacity Building Grants Program, a USDA-funded competitive program for the agricultural sciences. Awards enable grantee institutions to attract more minority students into the agricultural sciences, expand institutional linkages, and strengthen education in targeted need areas. The Grants Program supports teaching projects related to curricula design, materials development, and faculty and student enhancement. Current teaching grants address graduate and undergraduate education in molecular biology and undergraduate education in soil sciences.