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  • Author or Editor: L.M. Reyes x
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The Southeastern Fresh Produce Food Safety Training Program has been training extension agents across the southeastern U.S. since 2000. This program has utilized a variety of methods including group case study to enhance learning and promote team work. Multistate trainings have fostered collaboration between states and institutions. One goal of the program was to produce a method for agents to provide training that was repeatable and easy to implement. As a result, two videos were produced for use in training field and packinghouse workers. These videos were an English language good agricultural practices (GAPs) video entitled Bridging the GAPs: From the Farm to the Table and a Spanish language hand-washing video entitled ¡Lave sus Manos: Por Los Niños! This program has been very effective, but has faced challenges due to language barriers. Many field and packinghouse crews were mixed in terms of language with some crew members speaking only English while others spoke only Spanish. As a result, Spanish speakers were unable to access the information in the good agricultural practices video while English speakers were unable to access information in the hand-washing video. The solution was to produce a bilingual training aid that included both sets of information and has been compiled into a DVD containing the footage of both of the original videos in both languages. For the Spanish version of the GAPs video and the English of the hand-washing video, the audio of the video's original language was left at a low sound level and the audio of the alternate language was added. These DVDs are currently being distributed to extension programs in all of the cooperating states with the aim of reaching growers who want to start a food safety plan.

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Tomato, pepper and cucumber were grown for consecutive years using compost from two North Carolina cities (Lexington and Edenton) and McGill Composts (CMC) sources and CMC amended with Tracoderma 382. Treatments included compost with an untreated control and Telone C-35 (Telone) with and without additional fertilizer. The objective was to evaluate compost influence on yield and pest management. Results showed significant differences between treatments and among years. Cucumber and pepper had higher total and marketable yields in 2005 than in 2004. Although tomato yield was lower in 2005 than in 2004 it was evident that CMC+Telone had a higher marketable and total plant dry weight in both years. Two year data showed that combinations of treatments with CMC and Telone (Telone+fertilizer, CMC+Telone, CMC+T382) produced higher yield for tomato and cucumber. Composts from Lexington and Edenton produced more number 2 grade peppers, but treatments did not differ in total and marketable yield. In general compost treatments with or without amendments showed better results in crop yields than the control. Weed counts by species were determined on all plots. Pepper had the greatest number of weeds relative to cucumber and tomato. Organic amendments seem to increase the action of the compost source in several crops. Combination of treatments may depend on the particular crop.

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Tomato, pepper, and cucumber were grown for consecutive years using compost from two North Carolina cities (Lexington and Edenton) and McGill Composts (CMC) sources and CMC amended with Tracoderma 382. Treatments included compost with an untreated control and Telone C-35 (Telone) with and without additional fertilizer. The objective was to evaluate compost influence on yield and pest management. Results showed significant differences between treatments and among years. Cucumber and pepper had higher total and marketable yields in 2005 than in 2004.

Although tomato yield was lower in 2005 than in 2004 it was evident that CMC+Telone had a higher marketable and total plant dry weight in both years. Two year data showed that combinations of treatments with CMC and Telone (Telone+fertilizer, CMC+Telone, CMC+T382) produced higher yield for tomato and cucumber. Composts from Lexington and Edenton produced more number 2 grade peppers, but treatments did not differ in total and marketable yield. In general compost treatments with or without amendments showed better results in crop yields than the control. Weed counts by species were determined on all plots. Pepper had the greatest number of weeds relative to cucumber and tomato. Organic amendments seem to increase the action of the compost source in several crops. Combination of treatments may depend on the particular crop.

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