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A.A. Trotman, C.E. Mortley, D.G. Mortley, P.P. David, and P.A. Loretan

Hydroponic growing systems have the potential to maximize phytomass production of peanut (Arachis hypogea) for Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS). Two greenhouse experiments were conducted with plant nutrients supplied in a modified Evan's solutionusing a nutrient film technique. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of hydroponic growing systems on pod and foliage yield of `New Improved Spanish' and `Georgia Red' peanut. Sub-objectives were to evaluate (i) the impact of channel size and (ii) the impact of gradation in pore size on the separation of the rooting zone from the zone of gynophore development. The treatments consisted in the first experiment of a wide channel (122 by 15 by 46 cm) fitted with a perforated (3.0mm diam.) PVC grid; a narrow channel (122 by 15 by 15 cm) either fitted with a perforated grid or without a grid. For 'New Improved Spanish' peanut dry foliage yield tended to be higher in the wide channel treatment (0.33 kg/sq m). But the narrow channel yielded the highest mean pod dry weight (0.12 kg/sq m). Pore sizes of the screens ranged from infinity (no screen). perforated grid, square mesh. filtering screen (75u) and solid screen (no pores). For `Georgia Red' peanut, the impact of gradation in pore size of screens was variable: pod number was highest with the filtering (food) screen (216/sq m) but pod dry weight was highest for the square mesh treatment (0.09 kg/sq m). Foliage yield was significantly greater for the filtering (food) screen (1.12 kg/sq m) than in any of the other treatments. The findings of the research indicate that use of screens is feasible and will not retard pod development. The presence of a perforated grid tended to result in lower phytomass production for `New Improved Spanish' peanut.

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D.G. Mortley, C.B. Smith, and K.T. Demchak

The effects of fertilizer placement on growth and nutrient uptake of `Count II' tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were evaluated in a 3-year study. Fertilizer was applied broadcast at two rates or banded in two bands at two widths or in four bands, or applied in combinations of sidedressing or broadcasting with banding of N, P, and K at 56, 112, or 224 kg·ha-1 each. Total fruit yield for the 112 kg·ha-1 banded treatment was 24% higher than that for the same rate broadcast and similar to yield for 224 kg·ha-1 broadcast. Treatments involving combined placements, wider bands, or four bands produced yields similar to that for 112 kg·ha-1 banded, but the 56 kg·ha-1 banded with two 56 kg·ha-1 sidedressings had the highest yield. Leaf concentrations and plant contents of N, P, and K and percentage recovery of quantities applied were generally higher in treatments involving banding or sidedressing when compared to broadcasting. Leaf Mn was much higher in banded or sidedressed than for broadcast treatments but was lower when 112 kg·ha-1 was applied in four bands than in two. Only with Mg and Mn were leaf concentrations and plant contents highly correlated. With 112 kg·ha-1 banded, 31.2% of the N, 5.8% of the P, and 44.7% of the K applied were taken up, compared to 12.5%, 2.3%, and 17.2%, respectively, for double this rate broadcast.

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A.A. Trotman, P.P. David, D.G. Mortley, and G.W. Carver

In a greenhouse study, continuous use of the same plant nutrient solution for hydroponic culture of sweetpotato was investigated to determine the effect on storage root yield, plant growth and nutrient solution composition. Plants were grown for 120 days under continuous flow from a 30.4-liter reservoir. Plant growth was compared when nutrient solution was changed at 14-day intervals and when nutrient solution was not changed but nutrients replenished through addition of a Modified half-Hoagland's (N:K=1:2.4) plant nutrient solution when volume in reservoir was -10 liters. Storage root yield was significantly decreased (181 vs 310.3 g/plant) and foliar biomass was significantly increased (372.4 vs 2% g/plant) when nutrient solution was not changed Nitrate and phosphate concentrations decreased in the plant nutrient over the duration of the experiment while sulfate and chloride concentrations increased. Salinity and electrical conductivity were monitored at 2-day intervals and increased with duration of the crop. Increased foliage production may have been the result of nitrogen replenishment going largely for foliage rather than storage root production. It may be that continuous use of the same plant nutrient solution as practiced in this study, resulted in lowered phosphate and nitrate concentrations that limited uptake of these ions by sweetpotato plants, thus reducing yield

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A.A. Trotman, D. G. Mortley, P.P. David., and G.W. Carver

The effect of inoculation of sweetpotato (Ipomea batatas L. (Lam.)) cultivar “TI-82-155” with Azospirillum brasilense was investigated in an observational greenhouse experiment. Sweetpotato was grown in a closed hydroponic system and plant nutrients were supplied in a Modified Half-strength Hoagland's solution (N:K 1:2.4) using a nutrient film technique system (NFT). Plants were either supplied with mineral nitrogen (160 ppm) and noninoculated or were supplied mineral nitrogen (160 ppm) and inoculated. Storage root dry matter was higher under inoculation with A. brasilense. Inoculation also increased the percent total nitrogen in the shoot, leaves, and fibrous root. There was a significant difference in fresh fibrous root weight for the inoculated (262.5 g) over the noninoculated (177.1 g) treatments. Mineral nitrogen supplied in the PNS was not limiting because dry matter for plants inoculated with A. brasilense was not significantly higher than for the noninoculated control.

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D. G. Mortley, J. Y. Lu, P. Grant, and G. W. Carver

The effect of periodic removal of peanut foliage for use as a green vegetable on final foliage and nut production was evaluated in a field experiment in the summer of 1992. Georgia Red peanut cultivar was grown in Norfolk sandy loam soil in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Treatments consisted of removing peanut foliage at 2, 4, and 6 weeks, starting six weeks after planting, and an untreated check. Fresh foliage yield declined an average of 30% while dry weight declined 34% when harvested at 2 and 4 weeks. Nut yield declined 33% when harvested at 2 and 4 weeks but yield decreased only 10% when harvested at 6 weeks. Peanut greens are highly nutritious especially as a rich source of vitamin C and protein. For good balance between foliage and nut production, it appears that harvest intervals should be after four weeks.

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Audrey A. Trotman, P.P. David, D.G. Mortley, and D. Douglas

In developing a nutrition management strategy that reduces the quantity of products entering the waste management stream, gaining an understanding of the patterns and fluctuations of nutrient levels and crop growth characteristics is essential. In a greenhouse study, `TU-82-155' sweetpotato was grown hydroponically for 120 days in three nutrient application–replenishment treatments: l) REG-solution changed at 14-day intervals and volume allowed to fluctuate; 2) daily replenishment with 10× concentrate of a modified quarter Hoagland's solution (MQH) or with water to regain set volume (30.4 liters) and maintain set point of electrical conductivity [(EC); 1050 to 1200 μmho]; 3) daily replenishment with l0× concentrate of a modified half Hoagland's solution (MHH) or with water to regain the set volume and maintain the set point of EC. There were no statistically significant differences among nutrient application protocols for storage root count, fresh and dry weights, and percent dry matter. The MHH treatment consistently yielded significantly higher leaf biomass and pencil roots (>1 mm in diameter), indicating a higher potential for increased storage root yield. A nutrient application protocol using treatment 2 has potential for reduced waste production if used in hydroponic sweetpotato production. The plants from the MQH treatment initiated vegetative buds at a significantly later date than in the other treatments and generally showed evidence of suppressed plant development.

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P.P. David, A.A. Trotman, D.G. Mortley, D. Douglas, and J. Seminara

A study was initiated in the greenhouse to examine the effects of five \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}:\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} ratios on sweetpotato growth. Plants were grown from vine cuttings of 15-cm length, planted in 0.15 x 0.15 x 1.2-m growth channels using a closed nutrient film technique system. Nutrient was supplied in a modified half-strength Hoagland's solution with a 1:2:4 N:K ratio. \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}:\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} ratios investigated were 100:0, 0:100, 40:60, 60:40, and a control that consisted of a modified half-Hoagland solution with an N:K ratio of 1:2:4 and an \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}:\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} of 1:7. Treatments were initiated 30 days after planting (DAP). Sequential plant harvest began 30 DAP and continued at 30-day intervals until final harvest at 150 DAP. Results showed a linear increase in fresh storage root fresh weight until 90 DAP for all treatments. However, from 60 DAP until the end of the growing season, plants grown in a 100% \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document} solution consistently produced significantly less storage roots than in all other treatments. While all other treatments showed a decrease in storage root fresh weight after 90 DAP, plants grown in 100% \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} and the control solution continued to increase linearly in storage root production. Storage root dry weight throughout the growing season followed similar trends to that of storage root fresh weight. Data suggest that a nutrient solution containing NO 3as its sole nitrogen source may be adequate for sweetpotato growth. This would make it possible for utilizing a one-way pH control method for nutrient solution.

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A.A. Trotman, W.A. Hill, D.G. Mortley, P.P. David, and P.A. Loretan

The effect of inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense strain Cd on mineral concentration in sweetpotato, [Ipomeo batatas (L) Lam cv. TI-155] tissue and ionic composition of plant nutrient solution was investigated in a greenhouse study. In the field, inoculation of sweetpotato with Azospirillum spp. has been reported to enhance. sweetpotato yield. In this study, 48-h old broth cultures were used as inoculum at a population density of approx. 1 × 108 cfu/ml. The inoculum (0.20 L) was added to the reservoirs containing 30.4 L of a modified half Hoagland's plant nutrient solution at 28 days after the start of the experiment Results indicate that percent total nitrogen in sweetpotato foliage tended to be higher for the inoculated fibrous mat than in the fibrous mat for non-inoculated plants. The percent total nitrogen in storage roots for the non-inoculated treatment tended to be higher than in storage roots for inoculated plants. Inoculation resulted in a slight increase in foliar phosphorus concentration but had no effect on phosphorus concentration in sweetpotato storage and fibrous root samples. Inoculation tended to reduce foliar calcium concentration. Magnesium concentration in leaf tissue was not influenced by inoculation. Foliar potassium concentration tended to increase slightly. The effect of inoculation on potassium concentration in sweetpotato root tissue was not well-defined; potassium concentration tended to be higher in fibrous root tissue for the inoculated treatment. But in storage root tissue, potassium concentration was higher for the non-inoculated treatment than for the inoculated treatment. Inoculation did not affect foliar concentrations of any of the micronutrients measured. This study indicates no effect of inoculation on ionic strength of nutrients in solution reservoirs.

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S. Burrell, D. Mortley, P. Loretan, A.A Trotman, P. P David, and G. W. Carver

The effects of light intensity on three sweetpotato cultivars [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] were evaluated in growth chambers, as part of NASA's Closed Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) program for long duration space missions. Vine cuttings of `TI-155', `GA Jet', and TUJ1 were grown using nutrient film technique (NFT) in a modified half Hoagland's solution with a 1:2.4 N:K ratio in channels (0.15×0.15×1.2 m). Plants were exposed to irradiance levels of 360 or 720 umols m-2s-1 with an 18/6 photoperiod in a randomized complete block design with two replications. Temperature was set at 28:22 lightdark and RH was 70%. Differences in plant response to were more related to cultivars than the effect of light intensity. Storage root number (8) fresh, (786 g/plant) and dry weights (139 g/plant) were highest for `TI-155' while foliage fresh and dry weights were highest for `TUJ1' when averaged across light levels. TI-155' (921 g/plant) and `GA Jet' (538 g/plant) produced greater yields at higher irradiance. `TUJ1' produced a higher yield (438 g/plant at the lower intensity compared to 219 (g/plant) at the higher intensity, suggesting this cultivar could produce storage roots in similar conditions in a CELSS.

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S. Burrell, D. Mortley, P. Loretan, L. Garner, A. Trotman, P. David, and G. W. Carver

The effects of photoperiod and light intensity on two sweetpotato cultivars [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] were evaluated in growth chambers. Vine cuttings of `TI-155' and `GA Jet' were grown using nutrient film technique (NFT) in a modified half Hoaglands solution with a 1:2.4 N:K ratio in channels (0.15×0.15×1.2 m). Plants were exposed to 9:600 or 18:300 umols m-2 s-1 photoperiod:light intensity treatments in a randomized complete block design with two replications. Temperature was set at 28:22 light:dark and RH was 70%. Storage root fresh and dry weights and fibrous root dry weight for both cultivars were significantly higher for plants exposed to longer photoperiod and lower light intensity than for those at a shorter photoperiod and higher light intensity. Foliage fresh weight for TI-155' was higher at 18:300 photoperiod:light intensity but dry weights were similar. Foliage fresh and dry weights for `GA Jet' and number of storagage roots/plant for both cultivars were similar regardless of treatments.