Grafted and ungrafted ‘Primo Red’ tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) transplants were planted at 16-, 20-, and 24-inch spacing in a commercial high tunnel in central New York, USA, to compare yields. ‘Primo Red’ scions were grafted onto ‘Maxifort’ rootstocks and left to heal in a commercial greenhouse facility. Tomatoes were harvested as they ripened, and the weight and number of fruit per plot was recorded and then calculated out to a per-plant basis. Wider plant spacings resulted in higher yields for both grafted and ungrafted plants. However, economic returns remained highest in the highest density (16 inches in-row) spacing with grafted plants. This indicates that growers may not need to adjust density despite additional foliage from grafted plants. Foliar incidence of Botrytis gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) was not significantly different under spacing or grafting treatments. Grafting resulted in higher yields across all plant spacings compared with ungrafted plants. Commercial growers can use this information to make choices on grafting and spacing in high tunnel tomato.
We held a technology session at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Science in Atlanta, GA, to provide guidance for technology choices in extension education and an opportunity to learn more about engaging new audiences, including the millennial generation (people born between 1982 and 2000). The use of technology is now an integral part of extension-client interaction. Presenters in the session gave examples of when technologies such as blogs, social media accounts, or web conferencing tools allowed extension personnel to increase engagement with online consumers and ultimately help fulfill extension’s mission of extending knowledge and changing lives. Effective engagement requires both educators and learners to be satisfied with the exchange. It is critical to monitor the quality of these digitally facilitated exchanges as compared with traditional face-to-face interactions. Additionally, it is possible to quantify digital engagement with readily available metrics, such as “retweets” (a reposted or forwarded message) or “likes” (indication an item is appreciated). These allow innovative and substantive reporting to further justify continued use of digital technologies for enhancing client-extension relations.