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Catarina Saude, Mary Ruth McDonald and Sean Westerveld

Alternaria leaf blight (ALB) caused by Alternaria dauci (Kühn) Groves and Skolko and Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) caused by Cercospora carotae (Pass.) Solheim are the major foliar diseases of carrot in Ontario, Canada. In addition to reducing photosynthetic area, the diseases can weaken carrot tops, which can break during mechanical harvesting, reducing harvested yields. Fungicides are commonly used to manage the disease, but there is potential to reduce fungicide applications through nitrogen (N) management. Trials were conducted on mineral soils from 2006 to 2008 to determine the importance of applied N and fungicide applications to control fungal leaf blights of carrot. Three rates of N (0, 110, and 220 kg·ha−1) and 0, 3, or 5 (2006 and 2007) or 6 (2008) fungicide applications were applied. Leaf blight severity was assessed biweekly throughout the season and at harvest. The severity of both ALB and CLS and combined disease severity index at harvest decreased with increasing N and fungicide application. In some cases, disease severity of carrots treated with high N and no fungicides was equivalent to carrots treated with no N and five fungicide sprays. Total and marketable yield increased with increasing number of fungicide sprays in 2006 and 2007, but N application did not affect yield. Results suggest that severity of ALB and CLS can be minimized through a combination of N and fungicide applications, but rates of N higher than 110 kg·ha−1 may reduce marketable yield through a decrease in stand and an increase in oversized roots.

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Mary Ruth McDonald and Sean M. Westerveld

Shanghai pak choy [Brassica rapa L. subsp. chinensis (Rupr.) var. communis Tsen and Lee] and Chinese flowering cabbage [Yow choy; B. rapa L. subsp. chinensis (Rupr.) var. utilis Tsen and Lee] were seeded into organic (muck) soil naturally infested with the clubroot pathogen (Plasmodiophora brassicae Woronin) at the University of Guelph Muck Crops Research Station, Ontario, Canada, in June, July, and Aug. 2001 and May, June, July, and Aug. 2002. At harvest, clubroot incidence and disease severity index (DSI) were assessed. Data from 17 different seedings at the research station over 4 years were used to compare the relationship between disease incidence and DSI and weather conditions during crop development. Clubroot incidence and severity were highest for crops harvested in July and August and lowest for crops harvested in October. Mean air temperatures during crop development ranged from 15 to 22 °C and were positively correlated with clubroot incidence and severity for both pak choy (r = 0.68) and flowering cabbage (r = 0.73). The strongest correlations occurred between air temperatures and disease severity over the final 10 d before harvest (r = 0.82 for pak choy; r = 0.84 for flowering cabbage). The research suggests that clubroot damage in Asian Brassica vegetables could be minimized by seeding in early spring and late summer in areas infested with P. brassicae.

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Sean Westerveld, Alan McKeown and Mary Ruth McDonald

In previous work with carrots (Daucus carota L.), little effect of nitrogen could be found on yield, but low nitrogen increased foliar disease. To determine if residual soil nitrate supplies sufficient nitrogen for carrots, plots were located on the same site for 3 years. Two sites were selected, one sand (pH 8.1, 2.6% OM), one organic (pH 6.0, 75% OM). Treatments consisted of 0%, 50%, 100%, 150%, and 200% of recommended levels (kg·ha-1) for organic (60) and mineral soils (110), plots were spilt in half with one fertilized every year, one in 2002 and were arranged in a split plot design with four replications. Foliar and soil samples were taken for nitrate analysis plus levels of Alternariadauci and Cercospora carotae foliar blight were recorded each year. Applied nitrogen had no effect on yield on muck soils. Over 3 years on mineral soils, total yield ranged from 36 to 48 t·ha-1 with no applied N. On mineral soils, yield was maximized at (kg·ha-1) 110, over 165, and 55-165 in 2002, 2003, and 2004, respectively. Stands on mineral soils were reduced at or above recommended rates in 2004. It is possible that carrots obtained considerable nitrogen perhaps deep in the soil profile. As in previous studies, applied nitrogen reduced foliar blights. Thus, nitrogen application is required for pest management purposes even if there is almost sufficient residual nitrogen for yield.

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Michael T. Tesfaendrias, Mary Ruth McDonald and Jon Warland

The relationship between long-term weather and yield of 11 horticultural crops and one field crop in Wisconsin was determined for a 55-year period (1950–2005). The relationships among weather parameters and yield in Wisconsin were also compared with associations between weather and yields in Ontario, Canada, from a previous study. The number of days in a growing season with maximum temperatures 30 °C or greater (hot days) was negatively correlated with yields of beet for canning (r 2 = 0.15), green pea (r 2 = 0.16), onion (r2 = 0.08), and sweet corn for processing (r2 = 0.16) in Wisconsin. Hot days were also negatively correlated with yield of green pea (r2 = 0.16) in Ontario, Canada. Growing season precipitation in Wisconsin was positively correlated with yields of beet for canning (r2 = 0.18) and green pea (r2 = 0.09). An increase in yields of beet for canning in Wisconsin and green pea from Ontario was also observed with an increase in number of days with rainfall during the growing season (r2 = 0.12 and 0.15, respectively). Monthly minimum and maximum temperatures and hot days had an effect on vegetable yields in Wisconsin. A high number of days with precipitation in May and July was associated with yields of most vegetables and grain corn in Wisconsin. These results indicated the importance of the total and frequency of seasonal precipitation and the negative effect of exposure of crops to extreme temperatures on yields of vegetable crops.

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Sean M. Westerveld, Alan W. McKeown and Mary Ruth McDonald*

Residual nitrogen (N) in agricultural soils is an environmental concern. Nitrogen requirements for carrots were examined over a two-year period in Ontario, Canada. Carrots, cvs. `Idaho' and `Fontana' were seeded into organic and mineral soil in 2002 and 2003 in the same plots. In 2002, N was applied at 0%, 50%, 100%, 150%, and 200% of current Ontario recommendations. Each experimental unit was split in half in 2003 with one half getting the same N rate as in 2002, and the second half getting no applied N. At harvest, total and marketable yield, weight per root, and quality were assessed. Yield and quality were unaffected by N rate in both mineral soil in 2002 and organic soil in both years. On mineral soil in 2003 there was a linear increase in total and marketable yield and weight per root with increasing N rate, with total yield ranging between 36 and 55 t/ha. However, in the treatments given no N in 2003, yield also increased from 36 to 47 t/ha between the 2002 no N and high N treatments. Consequently, a large portion of the increase in yield in 2003 on mineral soil was due to residual N from the previous season. Carrots are capable of taking up very high amounts of N from the soil over a growing season, but may only require additional N for maximum total yield if soil N content is low due to low mineralization rates or depletion by a previous crop. However, low N rates can reduce the ability to harvest the crop due to increased carrot leaf blight severity even when yield is unaffected.

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Mary Ruth McDonald*, Kevin Vander Kooi, Cathy Bakker and Alan McKeown

Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) is a high value cool season crop which requires vernalization to induce flower formation. The climate in Ontario does not allow for survival of perennial cultivars or for consistent natural vernalization of annuals. Three methods of vernalization were tested: a controlled environment chamber, a lighted cold storage, or GA3 application in the field. Plants, cv. Green Globe Improved, were grown in a greenhouse set at 25 °C day temperature in 72-cell Styro-foam trays in a peat mix. At 4 weeks, plants receiving vernalization were transferred to growth chambers, or lighted coolers (four standard 8 foot cool white fluorescent lamps) at 10 °C for two weeks. The others stayed in the greenhouse. GA3 treatments (PROGIB, 15 g ai/ha) were applied at 2, 4 and 6 weeks after transplanting. Cultivars Green Globe Improved, Imperial Star, Emerald, and Large Green Globe were evaluated in separate trials. Trials were conducted at Simcoe, on coarse sand in a high heat area, and Kettleby, on organic soils in a cooler area of Ontario. Shortly after planting at Simcoe several 30 °C days occurred which devernalized and injured the crop. Artichokes grew well at the Kettleby site. Vernalization in the growth chamber was most effective and resulted in the earliest bud formation and highest total yield (1503 cases/ha). Large Green Globe was not well adapted to Ontario conditions. Imperial Star and Emerald produced the highest yields, 2180 and 1779 cases/ha, respectively. Globe artichokes can be grown successfully as an annual crop in cool production areas of Ontario.

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Sean M. Westerveld, Mary Ruth McDonald and Alan W. McKeown

The Nutrient Management Act (NMA) established in the province of Ontario in 2002 has prompted a re-evaluation of nitrogen (N) management practices. However, N management research in Ontario is currently outdated. The experiment in this 3-year study was designed to establish the yield response of carrot (Daucus carota) to N fertilization on mineral and organic soils and identify the relative yield effects of preplant and residual soil N. In 2002, N was applied at 0%, 50%, 100%, 150%, and 200% of recommended N application rates in Ontario as ammonium nitrate (organic soil: 60 kg·ha-1 preplant; mineral soil: 110 kg·ha-1 split 66% preplant/33% sidedress). Experimental units were split in half in 2003 and 2004, and N was applied to one half in 2003 and both halves in 2004 to identify the effects of residual N from the previous season on yield. Crop stand, yield, and quality were assessed at harvest, and storability was assessed by placing carrots into cold storage for 6 months. Nitrogen application rate had no effect on the yield, quality, or storability of carrots grown on organic soil. On mineral soil there were no effects of applied N in the first year of the 3-year study. In the second and third year on mineral soil, yield increased in response to increasing N, up to 200% and 91% of the recommended application rate, respectively, based on the regression equations. Yield declined above 91% of the recommended application rate in the third year due to a decrease in stand at higher N application rates. There were no effects of N on carrot quality or storability on mineral soil. On mineral soil, residual N from the 2002 season had more effect on yield at harvest in 2003 than N applied in 2003. This major effect of residual soil N on yield provides an explanation for the lack of yield response to preplant N application in previous studies conducted in temperate regions. These results indicate that there is no single N recommendation that is appropriate for all years on mineral soil. Assessing the availability of N from the soil at different depths at seeding is recommended to determine the need for N application.

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Kalpana K.C. Adhikari, Mary Ruth McDonald and Bruce D. Gossen

Field trials were conducted from 2008 to 2010 to assess the disease reaction to clubroot, caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae Woronin, in selected lines of Brassica spp., including short-season vegetable crops [Shanghai pak choy (B. rapa subsp. Chinensis var. communis)], Chinese flowering cabbage (B. rapa subsp. Chinensis var. utilis), and napa cabbage (B. rapa subsp. Pekinensis), the Rapid Cycling Brassica Collection (RCBC), also known as Wisconsin Fast Plants, and spring canola (B. napus). The trials were conducted on naturally infested soil with P. brassicae at the Muck Crops Research Station in Ontario, Canada, where pathotype 6 is predominant. Clubroot incidence and severity were higher in 2008 and 2010 compared with 2009. The lines of Shanghai pak choy and Chinese flowering cabbage were highly susceptible to clubroot, but each of the clubroot-resistant cultivars of napa cabbage, ‘Deneko’, ‘Bilko’, and ‘Yuki’, was highly resistant to pathotype 6. Among the RCBC lines, B. carinata and B. juncea were highly susceptible and could be used as susceptible models for further studies. Two RCBC lines, B. napus and R. sativus, were resistant to pathotype 6. Two of the canola cultivars, 46A76 and 46A65, were susceptible, but two others, ‘45H21’ and ‘Invigor 5020LL’, were highly resistant to pathotype 6. This difference in response can be exploited in future studies of clubroot reaction in canola.

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Sean M. Westerveld, Alan W. McKeown and Mary Ruth McDonald

Alternaria leaf blight (ALB) and Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) are economically important diseases of carrot in Ontario. Field experiments were conducted in the Holland Marsh, Ontario, to determine the effect of nitrogen (N) application rates on both diseases. Five rates of N were applied to organic and mineral soils in which two carrot cultivars, Idaho and Fontana, were grown in each of 2002, 2003, and 2004. Both diseases were rated every 2 weeks on a scale of 0 (healthy) to 10 (tops destroyed), and the number of live (green) leaves per plant was assessed at harvest. In addition, three N rates were applied to carrot plants grown in the greenhouse, and the plants were inoculated with Alternaria dauci (Kühn) Groves and Skolko. Disease severity, senescence, and sap nitrate-N concentration were assessed. In the field trials, the response of ALB and CLS to N application rate was relatively consistent across cultivar, soil type, and year. Area-under-the-disease-progress curves typically increased with decreasing N rate for both diseases. In lower N treatments, this resulted in fewer live leaves per plant at harvest. In the greenhouse, ALB severity increased with increasing amount of leaf senescence at final assessment. The results suggest that N application rate could be used to reduce the need for fungicide applications to control these diseases in the field.

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Catarina Saude, Alan McKeown, Bruce D. Gossen and Mary Ruth McDonald

Field trials were conducted to evaluate resistance to clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae, pathotype 6) in green cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) and napa cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis) at sites in southern Ontario in 2009 and 2010. The reaction of green cabbage cultivars Kilaton, Tekila, Kilaxy, and Kilaherb and the commercial standard cultivars, Bronco or Atlantis, were evaluated on organic (two site-years) and mineral soils (two site-years) that were naturally infested with the clubroot pathogen. In addition, fluazinam fungicide was drench applied to one treatment of the commercial standard cultivar immediately after transplanting. The napa cabbage cultivars Yuki, Deneko, Bilko, and Mirako (in 2009) and Emiko, Mirako, Yuki, and China Gold (in 2010) were evaluated only on organic soils (two site-years). At harvest, the roots of each plant were assessed for clubroot incidence and severity. Also, plant and head characteristics of the resistant green cabbage cultivars were evaluated at one site in 2010. The green cabbage cultivars Kilaton, Tekila, Kilaxy, and Kilaherb were resistant to pathotype 6 (0% to 3.8% incidence), but ‘Bronco’ was susceptible (64% to 100% incidence). Application of fluazinam reduced clubroot severity on ‘Bronco’ by 6% at one of three sites. Resistance was more effective in reducing clubroot than application of fluazinam. Plant and head characteristics of the resistant cultivars were similar to those of ‘Bronco’ treated with fluazinam. Napa cabbage cultivars Yuki, Deneko, Bilko, Emiko, and China Gold were resistant to clubroot (0% to 13% incidence), and ‘Mirako’ was highly susceptible (87% to 92% incidence). We conclude that the clubroot resistance available in several cultivars of green and napa cabbage was effective against P. brassicae pathotype 6.