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  • Author or Editor: D. Bender x
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Tree-ripe `Tommy Atkins' mangoes were not injured during storage in controlled atmospheres (CA) for 21 days at 8°C, and the fruit resumed ripening after transfer to air at 20°C (Bender et al., 1995). In our study, tree-ripe `Keitt' mangoes were stored at 5 and 8°C in either 10% or 25% CO2 combined with 5% O2 with control fruit maintained in air. Control fruit had higher percentages of electrolyte leakage than CO2-treated fruit at transfer from the CA and after 3 days in air at 20°C. Fruit stored in 25% CO2 at 5°C had significantly higher concentrations of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), over 0.5 nmol ACC/g fresh weight in mesocarp tissue. All the other treatments had similar ACC levels (<0.3 nmol/g fresh weight) after 21 days in CA. Ethylene production rates at both temperatures were significantly lower in the 10% CO2 treatment than in control fruit and were not detectable in 25% CO2. Ethylene production was similar in all treatments after transfer to air. Fruit from the 25% CO2 treatment at 5°C developed dull, green-grayish spots on the epidermis, but otherwise epidermal color, as determined by chroma and hue angles, did not differ among the treatments. There also were no differences in flesh color and flesh firmness.

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Exposure to hypoxic O2 levels has been reported to result in better epidermal color, higher titratable acidity and soluble solids levels, delayed softening and reduced ethylene production and respiratory activity in many fruit species. Mangoes have been shown to tolerate short term (4 days) exposures to O2 concentrations below 0.5% with beneficial effects on firmness retention and maintenance of ground color. In the present work, `Haden' mangoes were stored for 14 days at 15°C with O2 levels ranging from 2% to 5% and compared to an air control and an atmosphere of 25% CO2 in air. `Tommy Atkins' mangoes were stored under the same treatments at 12°C for 21 days. After storage at 12 or 15°C the mangoes were transferred to air at 20°C for 5 days. Ethanol production rates during controlled atmosphere (CA) storage were significantly higher at O2 levels of 4% and below. Respiration (CO2 production) rates were reduced during CA storage but did not differ from the control after transfer to air. There were no differences in ethylene production as well as in flesh firmness, titratable acidity and total sugars. The ground color of mangoes kept under the lowest O2 concentration and under 25% CO2 was greener, as indicated by higher hue angles, than in the other treatments upon transfer to air at 20°C. However, only the mangoes stored under high CO2 maintained higher hue angles during the subsequent 5 days at 20°C.

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The influence of three irrigation treatments on flowering, yield, tree growth, root distribution, and leaf analysis of mature `Hass' avocado (Persea americana Mill.) was investigated over a six year period (1987-1992). Three irrigation treatments; 60, 80, and 100% of evapotranspiration (ETc) were applied using low-volume spray emitters. The differential irrigation treatments were maintained year round. Irrigation treatments did not affect the timing or intensity of bloom. Yield data from years 2-6 show a significant irrigation effect on cumulative weight and total number of fruit per tree. Trees receiving 100% ETc had higher yield/tree. This increased yield was due both to increased fruit numbers and individual fruit weight per tree. Tree growth was also significantly impacted by the irrigation treatments. Trees receiving 100% ETc exhibited the greatest amount of vegetative growth over the study. Yield efficiency (Kg fruit/m3 canopy) was not influenced by irrigation treatment. Irrigation treatment did not significantly influence nutrient analysis taken in the fall of each year.

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Effects of solarization and fumigation on control of pink root disease of onion (Allium cepa L.) were determined in microplot studies in 1984. A 62-day solarization treatment significantly improved stand and productivity of ‘Granex 429’ onion while decreasing pink root expression. Metam-sodium fumigation gave equivalent improvement in stand and reduction in pink root expression, while causing an even greater onion growth response. Effects of these soil disinfestation techniques in onion seedbeds on subsequent field performance of onion transplants were examined in 1985–1986. Fumigation and solarization of individual soil beds virtually eliminated Pyrenochaeta terrestris infection of onion transplants. Seedbed treatment had no beneficial effect on yield, bulb diameter, or pink root expression at harvest when transplants were grown to maturity in an infested field. Chemical name used: sodium methyldithiocarbamate (anhydrous) (metam-sodium).

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During the past several years, watermelon trials have been performed in the state, but not as a coordinated effort. Extensive planning in 1997 led to the establishment of a statewide watermelon trial during the 1998 growing season. The trial was performed in five major production areas of the state including: The Winter Garden (Carrizo Springs); South Plains (Lubbock); East Texas (Overton); Cross Timbers (Stephenville); and the Lower Rio Grande Valley (Weslaco). Twenty seedless and 25 seeded hybrids were evaluated at each location. Drip irrigation with black plastic mulch on free-standing soil beds was used to grow entries in each area trial and yield data was recorded in a similar manner for each site. Results were reported in a statewide extension newsletter. Future plans include a continuation of the trial in the hope that multiple-year data will provide a basis for valid variety recommendations for watermelon producers in all areas of the state.

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