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Mack A. Wilson

I received an Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship (the fellowship's office is based in Philadelphia). The purpose of my fellowship was to work as a horticulture consultant on a 12-acre community development vegetable farm located in Curtea de Arges, Romania. The farm was designed to produce vegetables for market in the town or community of Curtea de Arges. Romania, a former part of the communist regime, is considered a poor country. Money was siphoned away from the people through corrupt government practices and mismanagement. The result of a political upheaval has the people now living in primitive conditions and they need help to feed themselves. Vegetable farming in Romania is still reliant on manual labor and manure fertilizer. Romania is at least 50 years behind other Western European countries or the United States in knowledge and farming technologies. Crops on the 12-acre farm were manually seeded, transplanted, watered, hoed, weeded, sprayed, and harvested. My concerns, along with those of the director of the community development project, were to advise and set up demonstrations on modern farm techniques to assist the farm manager in doing a better job. Some of the tasks that I was successful at were 1) setting up demonstrations of clear plastic and rowcovers on cabbage and potatoes to increase earliness of crops, 2) setting up drip irrigation systems in low tunnel greenhouses, and 3) determining the feasibility and profitability of crops grown at the farm.

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Mack A. Wilson and Michael Aide

Four types of row covers were evaluated on 'Norchip' and 'Atlantis' potatoes at Charleston, Missouri on a Lilbourn sandy loam entisol. Row covers used were spun-bonded polyester, insolar slitted, clear slitted and VisPore. The row covers increased the mean afternoon soil temperature above the ambient afternoon air temperature from 3 to 25°F when potato plants were covered. The number of plants which emerged were significantly different among treatment for the cultivar 'Norchip'. Data for plant height was significantly different between the bare soil control and the row cover treatments. Yield (Kg/HA) were higher with the spunbonded polyester and insolar slitted row covers for both number and weight of grade A (47.6-82.6 mm) potatoes, and results were significantly different.

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Mack A. Wilson and Michael Aide

Potatoes (Solantum tuberosum) were grown on a Lilbourn sandy loam entisol in Charleston, Missouri, with varying rates of potassium fertilizer. Four rates of murate of potash (KCl) were used; 0, 196, 392 and 582 Kg-K/HA. Potassium was measured in tuber and soil by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The amount of soil potassium was apparently high. Although potassium content in the two cultivars of potatoes, `Norchip' and `Atlantis' was slightly higher (2.3-3.7) as compared to another researcher's data (2%). Obviously, the need for potassium fertilizer for vegetable crops is related to the supplying ability of the soil. Tuber yields (Kg/HA) were higher with added rates of potassium fertilizer than the control, and the results were significant. Yields (Kg/HA) of `Atlantis' were significantly higher than `Norchip.'

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Mack A. Wilson and Victor A. Kahn

Four row covers (clear and white slitted), spunbonded polyester, and VisPore were used on `Atlantic' potato cultivar at Charleston, Missouri. Row covers were installed on March 6, 1991 and removed on May 5, 1991. No significant differences were observed with orthoganal comparisons on grade A, B, and total number of potatoes among row covers. Total yields were higher with row covers and the data was significant. Potato plant heights were greater with row covers and the data was significantly different when the control was compared with row covers.

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Mack A. Wilson and Victor A. Kahn

The influence of VisPore row cover and four synthetic mulches on the growth and yield of watermelons were studied. Row cover and synthetic mulch treatments consisted of VisPore row cover, IRT-76 (green), AL-0R (brown), clear and black polyethylene mulches. VisPore was used with a combination of' four mulches and two controls (VisPore alone and bare soil). Significant differences were observed by orthogonal comparison when no row cover (NRC) was compared to row cover (RC) on the number '000/acre of marketable `Crimson Sweet' watermelons. Total, marketable and percent marketable yields were significantly different when orthogonal comparison were performed on NRC vs. RC. Yields were greater when RC vs. NRC treatments were used on `Crimson Sweet' watermelons.

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Mack A. Wilson and Michael T. Aide

`Norchip' and `Atlantic' potatoes grown at Blodgett and Dielstadt, Missouri on 2 sandy, well drained entisols were evaluated using four row covers. The row covers were spunbonded polyester, insolar slitted, clear slitted polyethylene and VisPore. Row covers increased the mean afternoon soil temperature from 62° to 108°. The mean plant heights were significantly different among treatments for the cultivar `Norchip' but were not different for `Atlantic'. Data for average and total plant heights were significantly different between the bare soil control and all row covers. The grade a marketable weights and numbers in Kg and nos/Ha of `Norchip' and `Atlantic' potatoes had a significant contrast at the 0.01 level of probability with cultivars.

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Mack A. Wilson, Michael T. Aide and Victor A. Khan

Four row covers were evaluated on fall production of `Packman' broccoli and `Gourmet' cabbage at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Row covers used were spunbonded polyester, insolar and clear slitted polyethylene and VisPore. The mean afternoon soil temperature for row covers were higher than the bare soil control. There were no significant differences among treatments with respect to head size, total numbers and yield of marketable broccoli. The number of broccoli heads per thousand between the bare soil control vs. row cover treatments were significantly different. Data for number of broccoli heads per thousand and marketable yield (Kg/Ha) were significant among row covers. Marketable yield (Kg/Ha) was significant among row covers for `Gourmet' cabbage.

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Mack A. Wilson, Victor A. Khan and Clauzell Stevens

Several plastic mulches [clear, black, IRT-76 (green), and ALOR (brown)] were used in combination with four row covers [(clear and white slitted), spunbonded polyester and VisPore]. The total numbers and marketable numbers per 1000/ha were highest with the clear and IRT-76 mulches without the use of row covers, respectively. There was a significant orthagonal comparison interaction with the clear & IRT-76 mulches vs. black & ALOR mulches. A significant orthogonal comparison interaction was observed with total yield with row covers vs. no row cover, mulch vs. control, clear and IRT-76 vs. black & ALOR, clear vs. IRT-76, and black vs. ALOR. Marketable yield showed a significant interaction with orthogonal comparison with row covers vs. no row cover and clear & IRT-76 vs. black & ALOR.

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Mack A. Wilson, Victor A. Khan and Clauzell Stevens

Four types of row covers were evaluated on two cultivars of potatoes (`Atlantic' and Frito-Lay 795') at Charleston, Missouri on sandv loam entisol. Row covers used were spunbonded polyester, clear and white slitted and VisPore. Significant interactions occurred in the sub-plot (row cover × varieties) and sub-subplots (varieties × flower treatments) for numbers of grade A potatoes. The total numbers of potatoes for 'Atlantic' and 'Frito-Lay 795' cultivars as influenced by flower removal and row cover treatments showed significant interactions of row covers × varieties and varieties × flower treatments. Yield of grade A potatoes for both cultivars as influenced by flower removal and row cover treatments showed a significant interaction between row covers × varieties. Genetic differences occurred among potato cultivars in response to flower removal. cultivar response to row covers were also different based on genetic makeup. Clear and spunbonded polyester were superior to other types of row covers for grade A numbers and yield of potatoes.

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Mack A. Wilson, Victor A. Khan and Clauzell Stevens

An experiment was conducted to determine the influence of manure and fertilizer, with and without solarization, on the growth of marigolds. Average plant height was significantly greater in media that was solarized and covered with a plastic film to retain heat. Leaf length was significantly greater in amended media with fertilizer application. Plants grown in covered media produced significantly more flower buds than those grown in noncovered media, while flower numbers were significantly greater for fertilized plants. Plant fresh and dry weights were significantly affected by covering the media during solarization and the application of fertilizer. Media amended with manure significantly affected plant fresh weight only. Flower size showed significant interactions between all factors evaluated in this study.