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Mack Thetford, Jeffrey G. Norcini, Barry Ballard and James H. Aldrich

Full sun trial gardens (full sun) were established at Leon County (LC) and Santa Rosa County (SRC), Florida, to evaluate the effect of site on horticultural performance traits pertinent to landscape use (long-term growth, flowering, vigor, overall quality, and survival) of native and nonnative warm season grasses when grown under low-input landscape conditions over a 3-year period. The gardens contained landscape fabric- (LC) or plastic (SRC)-covered rows, with the synthetic mulch at each site covered by 4 inches of hardwood chip mulch. Fifteen native and eight nonnative grass species, and cultivars were evaluated as were the two grass-like species black flowering sedge (Carex nigra) and narrowleaf silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia), a native dicot with grass-like foliage. Many of the native species were derived from seeds or plants collected from naturally occurring populations in Florida, and other species or cultivars were obtained from commercial sources. Based on quality ratings and survival, a majority of the species and cultivars were rated as at least being marginally acceptable for 2 years or more, but only six species and cultivars were rated as excellent or good over all 3 years. Four of these six species were native, with 100% survival at both sites occurring only for purpletop tridens (Tridens flavus). The other three native species, gulf hairawn muhly, (Muhlenbergia capillaris var. filipes), ‘Alamo’ switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and indian woodoats (Chasmanthium latifolium) had high rates of survival. Porcupine grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Strictus’) and ‘Cabaret’ silver grass (M. sinensis ssp. condensatus) were the only two nonnative species demonstrating potential for long-term performance in a low-input landscape at both sites. Three of the four cultivars of miscanthus (Miscanthus spp.) survived the entire evaluation period in SRC, while two cultivars suffered losses only in LC, demonstrating the importance of site effects on the long-term performance of individual species or cultivars of grasses. Chalky bluestem (Andropogon capillipes) (Orange County, FL), sand lovegrass (Eragrostis trichoides), giant silver grass (Miscanthus ×giganteus), and bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa) each survived 3 years at one site but only 1 year at the other site. Pineland threeawn (wiregrass) (Aristida stricta), ‘Red Baron’ cogon grass (japanese blood grass) (Imperata cylindrical), ‘Hameln’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), black flowering fountain grass (P. alopecuroides ‘Moudry’), and ‘Feesey Form’ ribbon grass (Phalaris arundinaceae) were categorized as marginal for low-input landscapes and could only be considered short-term perennials under the conditions of this test. ‘Morning Light’ silver grass (M. sinensis), coastal bluestem (Schizachyrium maritimum), and ‘Lometa’ indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) had good 2-year landscape performance and survived at least 2 years at both sites. Bigtop lovegrass (Eragrostis hirsuta), silver plumegrass (Saccharum alopecuroides), and lopsided indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum) were categorized as having excellent 1-year landscape performance and have potential for short-term performance under low-input conditions. Chalky bluestem (Andropogon capillipes) (SRC), black flowering sedge, ‘Heavy Metal’ switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and narrowleaf silkgrass were categorized as having good 1-year landscape performance.

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James D. McCreight, Michael E. Matheron, Barry R. Tickes and Belinda Platts

Three races of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lactucae, cause of fusarium wilt of lettuce, are known in Japan, where the pathogen was first observed in 1955. Fusarium wilt first affected commercial U.S. lettuce production in 1990 in Huron, Calif., but did not become a serious problem in the U.S. until 2001 when it reappeared in Huron and appeared in the Yuma, Arizona lettuce production area. Reactions of three fusarium wilt differentials (`Patriot', susceptible to races 1, 2 and 3; `Costa Rica No. 4', resistant to race 1, and susceptible to races 2 and 3; and `Banchu Red Fire', susceptible to races 1 and 3, and resistant to race 2) in a naturally-infected commercial field test and artificially-inoculated greenhouse tests, indicated presence of race 1 in the Yuma lettuce production area. Reactions of these differentials to an isolate from Huron confirmed the presence of race 1 in that area. Consistent with previous results from the U.S. and Japan, `Salinas' and `Salinas 88' were resistant to the Yuma and Huron isolates of race 1, whereas `Vanguard' was highly susceptible. Limited F1 and F2 data indicate that resistance to race 1 in `Costa Rica No. 4' and `Salinas' is recessive. `Calmar' is the likely source of resistance in `Salinas' and `Salinas 88'.

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William Sciarappa, Sridhar Polavarapu, James Barry, Peter Oudemans, Mark Ehlenfeldt, Gary Pavlis, Dean Polk and Robert Holdcraft

Four significant developments have occurred that amplify opportunity for certified organic growers to grow highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) successfully. First, there is the 2002 U.S. Department of Agriculture national organic standard that defines organic production practices and crop labels that creates clarity and evens competition. Second, we have the continued increase of smallfruit and vegetable sales related to nutritional and human health reasons and the related market perception valuing organic produce more highly. Third, new tools are becoming available to organic growers that reduce the risk from pest problems such as the recent Organic Materials Review Institute listing of spinosad registered as a wettable powder (Entrust) and a fruit fly bait (GF-120 NF Naturalyte). Finally, the Rutgers Blueberry Working group has made considerable progress in refining integrated pest management practices and in developing new tools for organic production systems. This “work-in-progress” is investigating alternative approaches to some current agricultural practices in soil building, fertility, cultural approaches, and pest management. The authors' 7-year program has demonstrated organic methods in managing new sources of mulch, two key insect pests, two common diseases, and several weed species in establishing a commercial organic production system for highbush blueberries. As a programmatic result, organic acreage in New Jersey has increased from 0 to more than 150 acres, and more than 40 organic growers have adopted parts of this holistic production system in North America.

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Jordan M. Craft, Christian M. Baldwin, Wayne H. Philley, James D. McCurdy, Barry R. Stewart, Maria Tomaso-Peterson and Eugene K. Blythe

Traditional hollow-tine (HT) aerification programs can cause substantial damage to the putting green surface resulting in prolonged recovery. Despite the growing interest in new and alternative aerification technology, there is a lack of information in the literature comparing new or alternative technology with traditional methods on ultradwarf bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis (Burtt-Davy)] putting greens. Therefore, the objective of this research was to determine the best combination of dry-injection (DI) cultivation technology with modified traditional HT aerification programs to achieve minimal surface disruption without a compromise in soil physical properties. Research was conducted at the Mississippi State University golf course practice putting green from 1 June to 31 Aug. 2014 and 2015. Treatments included two HT sizes (0.6 and 1.3 cm diameter), various DI cultivation frequencies applied with a DryJect 4800, and a noncultivated control. The HT 1.3 cm diameter tine size had 76% greater water infiltration (7.6 cm depth) compared with the DI + HT 0.6 cm diameter tine size treatment. However, DI + HT 0.6 cm diameter tine size had greater water infiltration at the 10.1 cm depth than the noncultivated control. Results suggest a need for an annual HT aerification event due to reduced water infiltration and increased volumetric water content (VWC) in the noncultivated control treatment. It can be concluded that DI would be best used in combination with HT 1.3 or 0.6 cm diameter tine sizes to improve soil physical properties; however, the DI + HT 0.6 cm diameter tine size treatment resulted in minimum surface disruption while still improving soil physical properties compared with the noncultivated control.

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Erick G. Begitschke, James D. McCurdy, Te-Ming Tseng, T. Casey Barickman, Barry R. Stewart, Christian M. Baldwin, Michael P. Richard and Maria Tomaso-Peterson

Preemergence herbicides generally have a negative effect on hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy] establishment. However, little is known about the effect they have on root architecture and development. Research was conducted to determine the effects of commonly used preemergence herbicides on ‘Latitude 36’ hybrid bermudagrass root architecture and establishment. The experiment was conducted in a climate-controlled greenhouse maintained at 26 °C day/night temperature at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS, from Apr. 2016 to June 2016 and repeated from July 2016 to Sept. 2016. Hybrid bermudagrass plugs (31.6 cm2) were planted in 126-cm2 pots (1120 cm3) and preemergence herbicide treatments were applied 1 d after planting at the recommended labeled rate for each herbicide. Preemergence herbicide treatments included atrazine, atrazine + S-metolachlor, dithiopyr, flumioxazin, indaziflam, liquid and granular applied oxadiazon, S-metolachlor, pendimethalin, prodiamine, and simazine. Treatments were arranged in a completely randomized design with four replications. Plugs treated with indaziflam and liquid applied oxadiazon failed to achieve 50% hybrid bermudagrass cover by the end of the experiment. Of the remaining herbicide treatments, all herbicides other than granular applied oxadiazon and atrazine increased the number of days required to reach 50% cover (Days50). In addition, all herbicide treatments reduced root mass when harvested 6 weeks after treatment (WAT) relative to the nontreated. By 10 WAT, all treatments reduced root mass in run 1, but during run 2, only prodiamine, pendimethalin, simazine, atrazine + S-metolachlor, liquid applied oxadiazon, and indaziflam reduced dry root mass compared with the nontreated. At 4 WAT, all treatments other than simazine and granular applied oxadiazon reduced root length when compared with the nontreated. By 10 WAT, only dithiopyr, S-metolachlor alone, and indaziflam reduced root length when compared with the nontreated. No differences were detected in the total amounts of nonstarch nonstructural carbohydrates (TNSC) within the roots in either run of the experiment. Results suggest that indaziflam, dithiopyr, and S-metolachlor are not safe on newly established hybrid bermudagrass and should be avoided during establishment. For all other treatments, hybrid bermudagrass roots were able to recover from initial herbicidal injury by 10 WAT; however, future research should evaluate tensile strength of treated sod.