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  • Author or Editor: K. B. Paul x
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Most farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa plant local cultivars introduced generations ago. Various national and international organizations and development projects introduce annually hundreds of improved germplasms to a country, and test these under farmer conditions for adaptability and acceptability. Although some local varieties perform well under traditional farming practices, many disease and insect pest resistant improved varieties out-yield local cultivars even under low-input production conditions of Africa. Regrettably, the seed production and distribution system in most of these countries are poorly developed; thus the promising varieties remain unavailable to the majority of farmers. To overcome this problem, the University of Arkansas-led Rwanda Farming Systems Research Project (FSRP) personnel trained farmer-cooperators in the production of good quality bean (Phaselous sp.) seeds. This, and the development of a farmer to farmer seed distribution system that led to quick diffusion of improved bean varieties in the project area will be discussed.

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Greenhouse and field studies were conducted to determine the influence of container type and cell size on cabbage [Brassica oleracea (L.) Capitata Group] transplant growth and subsequent yield. Cabbage seedlings were grown in the greenhouse in two types of containers, Sutton polystyrene and Speedling styrofoam “Todd Trays”. Four sizes of each tray were tested, ranging from 8.0 to 80.5 cm3 for polystyrene and 7.5 to 80 cm3 for styrofoam. In general, stem diameter, plant height, and leaf area of seedlings increased with increase in container size, but container type had no influence. In the field, head width and length were similar for all treatments. Plants grown from the large cell sizes had higher head weight than those from small cell sizes.

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Consumer flower-color preferences are of interest to market researchers, plant producers, and retailers because this information can help them to anticipate accurately the sales product mix. Our objective was to determine consumer bract-color preferences for 47 poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) cultivars. Visitors (124) to the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio, rated `Sonora', a red cultivar, highest (4.6 of 5.0) of any cultivar. Nine of ten highest rated cultivars were red. We compared the ratings of poinsettia buyers with those of nonpoinsettia buyers and found only one difference: nonpoinsettia buyers rated `Jingle Bells III', a marble cultivar, higher (4.3) than poinsettia buyers (3.8). We also compared consumers who had purchased a red poinsettia to those who had purchased nonred colors and found that red poinsettia buyers rated `Sonora' higher (4.9) than nonred poinsettia buyers (4.5). Men rated `Red Elegance' higher (3.7) than women (3.3), whereas women rated `Freedom White' higher (3.1) than men (2.4). We found few differences between men and women, buyers and nonbuyers, and nonred buyers and red buyers, which may indicate a relatively homogeneous market that does not greatly differentiate among poinsettia bract color.

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Twenty-four half-sib sweetpotato families were field tested for freedom from injury by sweetpotato weevil and other soil inhabiting, injurious insects (WDS). Three pairs of adult male and female weevils were applied to the crown of each plant at the beginning of storage root enlargement. Naturally occurring numbers of WDS were high enough for considerable injury from those insects. WDS injury free roots ranged from 19% in Centennial, the suceptible control, to 57% in Regal, the resistant control. The highest family mean for percent non-injured by WDS was 55%. Weevil injury free roots ranged from 67% in Centennial to 90% in Regal with 3 families producing mean weevil non-injured roots of 89%. The genetic correlation between weevil injury free and WDS injury free roots was 0.69 ± 0.28. That estimate is preliminary and based on data from one environment. Evaluations will be repeated in 1994 for estimates of GXE to derive genetic correlation estimates with less environmental interactions.

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