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  • Author or Editor: James Travis x
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One hundred forty-nine consumers participated in a sensory evaluation, conducted on 14 Nov. 2008, at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, to determine consumer acceptance and perceptions of scab-resistant apples (Malus ×domestica). Consumers were exclusively screened for liking and eating apples. The study provides tree fruit growers and marketers in the mid-Atlantic United States with information on consumer preferences for apples that might substitute for common cultivars that require frequent apple scab pesticide applications. Resistant cultivars are also attractive in organic production systems. During the 10-minute sensory evaluation, panelists rated five scab-resistant apples [‘Crimson Crisp’, ‘GoldRush’, NY 75907–49 (NY 49), ‘Crimson Topaz’, and ‘Sundance’] and a commercially available non-resistant cultivar, Jonagold, on appearance, aroma, texture, flavor, and overall liking using a nine-point hedonic scale (9 = “like extremely” and 1 = “dislike extremely”). Three of the four apples tested with a red peel (‘Crimson Topaz’, NY 49, and ‘Crimson Crisp’) were rated significantly higher than the other apples on the basis of appearance, receiving mean ratings that were between “like moderately” and “like very much,” a rating of 7 and 8, respectively. In regards to texture, ‘Crimson Topaz’ and ‘Crimson Crisp’ were significantly higher than ‘Jonagold’ and NY 49, with mean ratings between “like slightly” and “like moderately.” For overall liking scores, ‘Crimson Crisp’, which was rated between “like slightly” and “like moderately,” was not significantly different from ‘Crimson Topaz’ and ‘GoldRush’; however, ‘Crimson Crisp’ was rated higher than ‘Jonagold’, NY 49, and ‘Sundance’. Panelists also responded to questions regarding their food-purchasing attitudes and behaviors. Sixty-two percent of panelists purchased fresh apples for themselves and/or other household members at least “two or three times a month” during an average year. Only 2.7% responded that they purchased fresh apples “more than once a week.” This study of consumer preferences provides an initial assessment of the feasibility of marketing new apple cultivars and organic apples within the mid-Atlantic U.S. region. Those that performed well in the sensory evaluation should be candidates for additional market research.

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Fragaria ×ananassa Duchesne ex Rozier, or the cultivated strawberry, resulted from the hybridization of two wild species, F. chiloensis (L.) Miller and F. virginiana Miller. In an attempt to recreate the cultivated strawberry, elite clones of F. chiloensis and F. virginiana were crossed within species and then hybridized to produce 26 reconstructed populations. Of these populations, FVC11 [(Frederick 9 × LH 50-4) × (Scotts Creek × 2 MAR 1A)] had unusually large fruit size and was selected for further analysis. In the summer of 2008, 78 individuals of this population were evaluated for their seasonal flowering patterns, inflorescence number, inflorescence height, crown production, flower number, fruit size, yield, internal color, soluble solids, fruit firmness, and plant vigor. Progeny means were compared with those of the parental means and most traits exhibited transgressive segregation, most notably yield and fruit weight. Significant positive correlations were found between many of the production traits, although there were significant negative correlations between fruit firmness and flower number per inflorescence, fruit firmness and soluble solids, and yield per plant and soluble solids. Overall performance scores were assigned to each genotype by summing their relative performance for each trait in the population. Individuals were identified that combined high values for fruit weight and yield with higher than average values for fruit color, firmness, and soluble solids. Use of this population in breeding programs could help expand the genetic base of the cultivated strawberry with limited linkage drag.

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Research was conducted at multiple locations throughout the southeastern United States during 2012 and 2013 to assist turf managers in developing integrated programs for managing crabgrass in common bermudagrass turf. Our objective was to determine the effect of mowing height on the efficacy of several pre-emergent (PRE) herbicides labeled for crabgrass control in bermudagrass turf. Plots were established in Raleigh, NC (NCSU), Knoxville, TN (ETREC), and Winder, GA (UGA) and treated with a factorial combination of two mowing heights (1.5 or 3.8 cm), two application regimes [single or split application (initial and an 8-week sequential)], and six preemergent herbicides (dithiopyr, indaziflam, oxadiazon, pendimethalin, prodiamine, and prodiamine + sulfentrazone). In 2012, all herbicides provided greater crabgrass control on plots maintained at 3.8 cm compared with 1.5 cm. This response was not detected in 2013, potentially as a result of above-average rainfall at two of the three trial locations. Analysis revealed mowing height did not affect pendimethalin soil residue, whereas prodiamine concentrations from bermudagrass maintained at 1.5 cm were greater than bermudagrass maintained at 3.8 cm. Therefore, differences in crabgrass control in bermudagrass maintained under different mowing heights may be the result of plant growth, reduced photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at the soil surface, among other reasons, and not solely differential degradation of applied herbicides at the 1.5- and 3.8-cm mowing heights. Future research should explore effects of increasing bermudagrass mowing height on PAR required for crabgrass germination and growth.

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