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  • Author or Editor: Harbans Bhardwaj x
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Winter legume cover crops have been successfully used to meet N needs of many summer crops, but they are not being used extensively in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region, especially for specialty crops such as muskmelon and sweet corn. The objective of these studies was to determine the potential of winter legume cover crops in meeting N needs of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) and sweet corn (Zea mays L.). Comparisons of performances of muskmelon and sweet corn, grown after lupin (Lupinus albus L.), hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), Austrian winter pea ([AWP] Pisum arvense L.), and control fertilized with 112 kg N ha–1, and unfertilized control were made during 1999, 2000, and 2001. The interactions between cover crop treatments and years were, generally, significant. The muskmelon fruit yields were 53.6, 45.0, 23.1, 13.0, and 5.6 Mg·ha–1 during 1999; 27.8, 26.3, 8.6, 5.8, and 2.2 Mg·ha–1 during 2000; and 41.1, 39.9, 25.5, 21.4, and 2.1 Mg·ha–1 during 2001 respectively for lupin, hairy vetch, AWP, 112 kg N ha–1, and control. Similar results were obtained for number and size of muskmelon fruits. The sweet corn ear yields (Mg·ha–1) were 8.5, 5.6, 3.1, 1.5, and 0.7 during 1999; 5.2, 3.9, 4.0, 4.8, and 1.2 during 2000; and 2.6, 2.4, 1.9, 2.0, and 0.9 during 2001, respectively for lupin, hairy vetch, AWP, 112 kg N ha–1, and control. White lupin and hairy vetch, as winter cover crops, were superior than AWP and 112 kg N ha–1 for sweet corn ear number and size, and plant height. These results demonstrated that winter legume crops, especially lupin and hairy vetch, can be excellent winter cover crops for meeting N needs of muskmelon and sweet corn.

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Sprouts from various seeds are considered healthy for human consumption. However, no information is available about sprouts made from canola (Brassica napus L.) and white lupin (Lupinus albus L.), two new potential alternate crops in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Canola sprouts, on an average, contained (g/100 g, dry weight basis) 38.9 oil, and 61.5, 18.6, 9.2, 7.4, 92.6, 64.8, and 27.8 percent of 18:1, 18:2, 18:3, total unsaturated, total saturated, MUFA, and PUFA fatty acids, respectively, in the oil. Corresponding values for white lupin sprouts were: 6.5, 43.0, 24.9, 9.3, 17.9, 82.1, 47.9, and 34.2. Canola sprouts contained 26.9% protein, whereas white lupin sprouts contained 26.3% protein. Details of these experiments and further results would be presented.

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Although there is increasing consumer interest in newer foods such as green seeds, green shell bean production in Virginia is nonexistent. We conducted replicated field studies during 2022–23 to characterize production potential of green shell beans and green seeds from black and navy beans. Average green pod and green seed yields were 10,121 and 5186 kg·ha−1, respectively, whereas average seed number per pod was 3.6. As a group, black beans had a higher shelling percent than navy beans, with an average shelling percent of 54%. Green seeds from black and navy bean contained 26% protein, 82 mg·kg−1 Fe, and 38 mg·kg−1 Zn in addition to appreciable concentrations of other nutrients. Our results indicated that black and navy beans have potential as alternative crops to supply green seeds.

Open Access

An on-farm animal manure, such as chicken manure, can be a source of nutrients for the growth and production of agricultural crops. However, use of manures at rates that are considered adequate for crop production may cause excessive accumulation of phosphorus (P) and also result in leaching of nitrogen (N), thus leading to potential pollution of ground and surface water. Composting of manures with a carbon (C) source can reduce P and N to manageable levels to support production of crops. In order to determine the potential of composted manure for crop production, we studied growth and production of sweet corn by using poultry manure composted with a carbon source of crimson clover hay or wheat straw. These experiments, conducted during 2002 and 2003, compared six treatments: 1) uncomposted chicken manure alone; 2) composted with wheat straw turned weekly; 3) composted with wheat straw turned bi-weekly; 4) composted with crimson clover hay turned weekly; 5) composted with crimson clover hay turned bi-weekly; and 6) a control with a commercial recommendation rate of N fertilizer. These treatments resulted in 9244; 13,866; 15,688; 16,734; and 11,977 marketable ears/acre, respectively, indicating significant superiority of treatments 4 and 5 over all others. Similar results were obtained for ear length, ear fresh weight, and plant height. Results indicated that composting of poultry litter with wheat straw or crimson clover hay is a viable way to utilize poultry manure for production of sweet corn and other agricultural crops. This study implies that composting of on-farm animal manure with organic material, such as hay and straw, could play an important role in development of an environmentally friendly, economically feasible, and sustainable organic production of agricultural crops.

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Information about oil and fatty acids in tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray) seed, a promising alternative crop for the mid-Atlantic region of U.S., is largely unknown. Such information is needed to assess the food and feed potentials of tepary bean seed. We determined the concentrations of oil and fatty acids in seed produced by eight tepary bean genotypes planted at three different dates each during 1997 and 1998 at Ettrick, Va. Tepary bean seeds contained 1.8% oil as compared to literature values of 1.3%, 1.1%, and 1.1% for navy, kidney, and pinto beans, respectively. Tepary bean seed oil contained 33% saturated, 67% unsaturated, 24% monounsaturated, and 42% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Planting dates and genotypes did not affect oil concentration. Neb-T-14 was identified to be a desirable genotype based on a low concentration of saturated and a high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Based on concentrations of oil and fatty acids, tepary bean seeds compared well with those of navy, kidney, and pinto beans.

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Sprouts from seeds of cruciferous plants, such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower (Brassica sp.) are considered desirable for human diets. However, no information is available about sprouts made from seeds of canola (Brassica napus L.), a cruciferous crop that is increasing in acreage in the United States and is considered a source of healthful, edible oil. This study reports contents of aluminum (Al), boron (B), calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), sodium (Na), phosphorus (P), sulfur (S), and zinc (Zn) in sprouts made from seeds of four canola cultivars (Banjo, KS 8200, KS 8227, and Virginia) grown at three locations (Orange, Petersburg, and Suffolk) in Virginia during two crop seasons (2001–02 and 2002–03). The contents of protein, oil, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, and Na (expressed as percent on a dry weight basis) in canola sprouts were 27.33, 25.1, 0.61, 0.43, 0.43, 0.31, 0.57, and 0.01, respectively. The contents of B, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn (expressed as mg·kg−1) in canola sprouts were 12.35, 5.69, 88.46, 45.44, and 48.98, respectively. Contents of various minerals in canola sprouts were greater than those in sprouts of alfalfa, brussels sprouts, mungbean, and radish reported in the literature. It was concluded that canola sprouts are a potential component of diets for superior human nutrition.

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Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray), a native of southwestern U.S., is a promising plant for crop diversification and for production in short rotations with wheat. However, protein and mineral concentrations in tepary bean seed produced outside the southwestern U.S. are largely unknown. We evaluated concentrations of protein and various minerals in seed produced by eight tepary bean genotypes planted at three different dates each during 1997 and 1998 at Ettrick, Virginia. Significant year × planting date and year × genotype interactions existed for protein and other traits. Protein and zinc concentrations increased and calcium concentrations decreased with later plantings during both years. Mid-June planting had 14% higher protein concentration (24.5%) than late-May planting (21.4%) and mid-July planting had 6% higher protein concentration (25.9%) than mid-June planting. Color of seedcoat was not associated with concentrations of protein or minerals. The average concentrations of boron, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, and zinc (mg/100g) were: 1, 184, 1, 11, 1531, 192, 3, 451, 311, 4, respectively. Tepary bean seeds contained 24% protein as compared to reported average values of 22.3% in navy, 22.5% in red kidney, and 20.9% in pinto bean. The average iron concentration (mg/100g) in tepary bean seed (10.7) was higher than that in navy (6.4), red kidney (6.7), and pinto (5.9) bean. Based on protein and mineral concentrations tepary bean seed compared well with seeds of navy, red kidney, or pinto bean.

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In recent times, the use of sprouted seeds has become popular in human diets. Considerable information is available in the literature about various types of sprouts such as alfalfa, mungbean, and radish. However, information about canola (Brassica napus L.) sprouts, an oilseed crop that is receiving serious consideration as a source of domestic oil for human consumption, is lacking. We studied the composition traits of sprouts made from four canola cultivars (‘Banjo’, ‘KS8200’, ‘KS8227’, and ‘Virginia’) grown at three locations (Orange, Petersburg, and Suffolk) in Virginia for two crop seasons (2001 to 2002 and 2002 to 2003). Two 20-g seed samples (two replications) of each cultivar × location combination were sprouted for 6 d in the laboratory using tap water. Sprouting of canola seeds increased the weight 5.6 times over the original seed weight. Canola sprouts, on average, contained 27.3% oil, 25.1% protein, and 10.8% crude fiber on dry weight basis. Fresh yield of canola sprouts, from 20-g seed, averaged 111.1 g, whereas moisture content averaged 80.3%. Effects of cultivars on fresh sprout yield and moisture content were not significant. Locations where seeds were grown had significant effects on all traits of canola sprouts except for fresh sprout yield. Canola sprouts made from seed of ‘Virginia’ cultivar had the highest protein content (26.2%), whereas those made from seeds of ‘KS8227’ cultivar had the highest oil content (28.7%). Based on traits under study, canola sprouts compared well with alfalfa, brussel sprouts, mungbean, and radish sprouts for overall nutritional quality.

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Although sprouts have played a significant role in human nutrition, there is a lack of information about sprouts made from seed of canola, a new crop in the United States as a source of edible and industrial-use oil. We studied oil content and fatty acid composition in sprouts made from seed of four canola cultivars (Banjo, KS 8200, KS 8227, and Virginia) grown at three locations in Virginia (Orange, Petersburg, and Suffolk) during 2001–2002 and 2002–2003 crop seasons. Canola cultivars exhibited significant effects on contents of oil and all fatty acids except for C20:0, whereas growing locations only affected contents of oil and C22:0, C18:2, and C18:3 fatty acids in the sprouts. The contents of oil and C16:0, C18:0, C20:0 C22:0, C24:0, C16:1, C18:1, C18:2, C18:3, C20:1, C22:1, total saturated, total unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated in canola sprouts were 27.33%, 5.38%, 1.21%, 0.53%, 0.27%, 0.15%, 0.68%, 45.71%, 18.35%, 8.82%, 7.44%, 11.46%, 7.54%, 92.46%, 60.18%, and 27.17% of total fatty acids, respectively. The ratio of C18:2 to C18:3 fatty acids in canola sprouts averaged 1.00 to 2.09 with Virginia cultivar having the highest ratio (2.33) and KS 8227 having the lowest ratio (1.91). These ratios were within the recommended ratios of 1.00 to 4.00 for optimal human nutrition. Our results indicated that, based only on oil and fatty acid contents, canola sprouts may be healthier than alfalfa, brussels sprout, mungbean, and radish sprouts.

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Mungbean [Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek, Fabaceae] is one of the most important food legume crops in Asia. It is also gaining importance in other parts of the world such as Australia and Canada. The United States imported mungbean worth ≈22 million dollars during 2014. To establish domestic production and to determine if mungbean can be produced in rotation with winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), replicated experiments were conducted during 2012 and 2013 using two cultivars (Berken and TexSprout), two planting dates (early and late July), and two row spacings (37.5 and 75 cm). Cultivar and planting date effects on seed yield were not significant, however, narrow row spacing resulted in significant higher seed yield and concentration of protein over the wider row spacing (1.76 vs. 0.86 Mg⋅ha−1 yield and 24.9% vs. 23.7% protein). Early planting resulted in lower sugar and oil concentrations over late planting (4.4% vs. 5.5% sugar and 1.24% vs. 1.99% oil). Average mungbean values for seed yield, seed size, and concentrations of protein, sugars, and oil were 1.31 Mg⋅ha−1, 7.08 g/seed100, 24.3%, 4.91%, and 1.59%, respectively. Low harvest index values (17% to 25%) indicated that potential exists for improvement in mungbean seed yield. The results indicated that mungbean can be easily produced in rotation with winter wheat in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

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