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D. Scott NeSmith

During 1997 through 1999 mature `Southland' muscadine grapes were grown in Griffin, Ga., with different rates of daily irrigation. Irrigation rates were 0, 15, 22.5, and 30 L·d–1, supplied to individual plants through two emitters. Substantial water deficit occurred during August 1997, May and June 1998, and July and August 1999. The greatest yield response to irrigation was observed during 1998. No significant response to irrigation was observed during 1999, even though soil water was greatly depleted in the upper 30 cm late in the season for control plants. The 3-year average response of total yield indicated a significant response to irrigation, with the greatest yield occurring at the 22.5-L·d–1 rate. Together these data suggest that muscadine grapes respond to irrigation, especially when water deficits during the early to midseason are prevalent. With single trellis vines, 22.5 L·d–1 should provide adequate water in warm, humid regions similar to the southeastern U.S.

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D. Scott NeSmith

Regionalization is a contemporary issue facing those of us involved in research, teaching and extension in the area of agricultural and environmental sciences. Primarily, regionalization involves sharing of intellectual resources (i.e., scientists, specialists) across institutional boundaries to accomplish common objectives. While at times it seems that regionalization is simply a euphemism for down-sizing, the issue can actually be broader reaching than that. Given our increased ability for virtual technology transfer, the global market our clientele face, and the ever decreasing budgets for agriculture, regionalization may well be a key to meeting the needs of those we serve in the most cost efficient way. Hopefully, as we regionalize, the efforts will be synergistic. There also has to be awareness that personal contact with our constituents is still highly desirable for many. The purpose of this forum is to gain perspectives, both pros and cons, from those involved in regional efforts. These perspectives will include an administrator, a regional faculty, and an extension specialist/agent. Also, there will be two examples of regional efforts that are underway: the USDA–ARS Southern Horticultural Laboratory and the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium.

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D. Scott NeSmith

During 1997 through 1999 mature `Southland' muscadine grapes were grown in Griffin, Ga., with different rates of daily irrigation. Irrigation rates were 0, 15, 22.5, and 30 L·d–1 (LPD), supplied to individual plants through 2 emitters. In 1997, substantial water deficit occurred during August, in 1998 during May and June, and in 1999 during July and August. The greatest yield response to irrigation was observed during 1998. No significant response to irrigation was observed during 1999, even though soil water was greatly depleted in the upper 30 cm late in the season for control plants. The 3-year average response of total yield indicated a significant response to irrigation, with the greatest yield occurring at the 22.5 LPD rate. Together these data suggest that muscadine grapes respond to irrigation, especially when water deficits during the early to mid season are prevalent. With single trellis vines, 22.5 LPD should provide adequate water in warm, humid regions similar to the southeastern U.S.

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D. Scott NeSmith

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D. Scott NeSmith

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D. Scott NeSmith

A new southern highbush blueberry cultivar named `Rebel' was released in 2005 by The University of Georgia. It is a very early season cultivar with large fruit having a medium to light blue color, and a small, dry picking scar. `Rebel' berry firmness is good, while flavor is only average. The new cultivar flowers 3 to 4 days before `Star' and ripens 6 to 9 days before `Star' in south and middle Georgia. `Rebel' plants are highly vigorous, very precocious and have a spreading bush habit with a medium crown. Yield has been similar to or greater than `Star' in south Georgia. Leafing has been excellent, even following mild winters. Rebel has an estimated chill requirement of 400 to 450 hours (<7 °C). Propagation is very easily accomplished using softwood cuttings. Plants of `Rebel' are self-fertile to a degree, but should be planted with other southern highbush blueberry cultivars with a similar time of bloom for cross-pollination (`Emerald' and `Star' suggested). `Rebel' is new, so planting on a trial basis is recommended. `Rebel' requires a license to propagate. For licensing information and/or a list of licensed propagators, contact the Georgia Seed Development Commission, 2420 S. Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA 30606; or visit their web-site at www.gsdc.com.

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D. Scott NeSmith

Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was grown under greenhouse conditions in 0.35, 2.00, or 7.60 liter containers with full light or with 50% full light to determine the effects of root restriction and reduced light on crop growth and development. Leaf area was determined nondestructively over the course of the experiment, and destructive plant samples were taken weekly to determine dry matter accumulation and partitioning. The experiment was repeated to validate results. There was a decline in production of plant leaf area and dry matter accumulation in response to increased root restriction under full light conditions. However, under 50% light, root restriction had less impact on plant growth when comparing the 2.00 and 7.60 liter container plants. Under the most severe root restricting conditions, light level had little impact on leaf area production and dry matter accumulation. There were no consistent differences in leaf chlorophyll attributable to root restriction or reduced light; however, there was a trend for decreased leaf weight per unit of leaf area under low light conditions. Fruit dry matter production was notably diminished under severe root restriction in full light, and under all root environments under 50% light.

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D. Scott NeSmith

Different planting dates were used to study the influence of thermal time on leaf appearance rate of four summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultivars. During the first year (1991), thermal time or growing degree days (GDD) were calculated using a base temperature of 8C and a ceiling temperature of 32C for several planting dates. Leaf numbers per plant were determined every 2 to 3 days. Leaves that were beginning to unfold with a width of 2 cm or greater were included in the counts. The relationship between leaf number and GDD was established from the initial data set, and data from subsequent years were used for model validation. Results indicated that single equation could be used to predict leaf appearance of all four cultivars in response to thermal time. The response of leaf appearance to GDD was curvilinear, with a lag over the first five leaves. After five leaves, the increase in leaf number per plant was linear with increased GDD. Segmented regression with two linear functions also fit the data well. With this approach, leaf 5 was the node, and a separate linear function was used to predict the leaf number below five leaves and above five leaves. The results of this model should prove to be useful in developing a model of leaf area development, and eventually a crop growth model, for summer squash.

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D. Scott NeSmith