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  • Author or Editor: Daljeet S. Dhaliwal x
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Consumer demand for edamame [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], the vegetable version of soybean (Glycine max), has grown during the past decade in North America. Domestic production of edamame is on the rise; however, research to guide fundamental crop production practices, including knowledge useful for developing appropriate recommendations for crop seeding rate, is lacking. Field experiments near Urbana, IL, were used to quantify edamame response to plant density and determine the economically optimal plant density (EOPD) of machine-harvested edamame. Crop growth and yield responses to a range of plant densities (24,700 to 395,100 plants/ha) were quantified in four edamame cultivars (AGS 292, BeSweet 292, Gardensoy 42, and Midori Giant) across 2 years. Plots were harvested with the Oxbo BH100, a fresh market bean harvester. In general, as plant density increased, branch number and the ratio of pod mass to vegetative mass decreased, while plant height and leaf area index increased. Recovery, the percent of marketable pods in the machine-harvested sample, varied among cultivars from 86% to 95%. Results identified the EOPD for machine-harvested edamame ranged from 87,000 to 120,000 plants/ha. When considering the effect of plant density on plant morphology, as well as seeding cost, harvester efficiency, recovery, and marketable pod yield, edamame EOPDs are considerably lower than seeding rates of up to 344,200 seeds/ha recommended in recent publications.

Open Access

Sweet corn (Zea mays L. var. rugosa or saccharate), consumed both fresh and processed (primarily canned or frozen), is a popular vegetable crop in the United States. Recent nationwide data have reported declining trends in sweet corn production, which poses serious challenges for the US processing sweet corn producers. Here, we evaluated a processing sweet corn dataset that represents nearly 3 decades (1992ā€“2018) of commercial production in the Upper Midwest and the Pacific Northwest regions in an attempt to understand national trends in US processing sweet corn. The objectives of this study were to (a) quantify trends in processing sweet corn production (harvest area and total green ear mass production); (b) understand trends in planting date, plant population density, and hybrid lifespan; and (c) estimate interannual yield deviations in green ear mass yield. Our results reveal declining trends in sweet corn hectares, particularly in rainfed production systems of the Upper Midwest. For the past 3 decades of commercial sweet corn production, plant population density and planting dates used by vegetable processors have remained unchanged. Our analysis revealed a large range (1 to 20 years) in hybrid lifespan, which can be attributed to wide differences in hybrid yield stability across the diverse production environments in the United States. Rainfed production systems are becoming scarcer because sweet corn yields under rainfed conditions are particularly susceptible to severe weather, including heat and drought stress events. Future research is needed to understand sweet corn yields as a function of climatic and nonclimatic variables to stabilize the industry, particularly given predictions of a future with more frequent weather extremes.

Open Access

Sweet corn (Zea mays L.var. rugosa or saccharata) is sown across a wide range of dates to provide a steady supply of marketable ears for fresh market and processing. There is a perception in the sweet corn industry that plant density tolerance declines in late-season plantings in the midwestern United States; however, publicly available data to support this perception cannot be found. Using field experiments, the objectives of this research were to quantify the effect of the sowing date on growth responses to plant density and determine the extent to which the sowing date influences the optimum plant density and maximum yield/profit. There were few main effects or interactions of the sowing date on crop growth. More importantly, there was no effect of the sowing date on the economically optimum plant density or plant density that optimized yield. Although variations exist in sweet corn optimum plant densities in the midwestern United States, these variations are likely driven by several factors other than the sowing date that have not yet been fully characterized.

Open Access