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R. A. Straw and C. A. Mullins

`Merit' and `Silver Queen' sweet corn plants were treated with nicosulfuron and primisulfuron herbicides at rates of 0.035 and 0.039 kg ai ha-1, respectively. These herbicides were applied either over the top postemergence or directed post emergence. Over the top postemergence applications killed all of the `Merit' plants, but did not injure `Silver Queen' plants. All treatments provided greater than 90 % control of johnson grass and fall panicum.

In a separate experiment, `Silver Queen', `Incredible', `How Sweet It Is', `Pinnacle', `Sweetie 76', and `Landmark' showed slight injury, while `Silverado' showed moderate injury 2 weeks after application of a postemergence treatment of either nicosulfuron or primisulfuron. However, the plants soon outgrew this injury and yields were not reduced due to herbicide treatments.

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C. A. Mullins and R. A. Straw

`Blue Ridge' snap beans were planted with no fertilizer or banded rates of 560 kg ha-1 of a 10-4.4-8.3 fertilizer on soils with medium fertility in 1990 and 1991. Foliar applications of water soluble fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium were made at early bloom and in split applications at early bloom and repeated 10 days later. No response to fertilizer banded at planting or to foliar nutrient applications was found in snap bean yields or pod quality. Most fertilizer applications at planting increased plant size and lodging in 1990, but not in 1991. With the use of a rotation schedule and winter cover crops, snap beans showed no response to fertilization on soils of medium fertility.

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C. A. Mullins and R. A. Straw

Nine size controlling apple rootstock were evaluated in trials initiated at the Plateau Experiment Station, Crossville, TN in 1981 using `Starkspur Supreme Delicious' as the scion cultivar. Tree survival was poor with M.9 EMLA, Ottawa 3, M.27 EMLA, and Mark rootstock. Trees on M.27 EMLA and Mark were extremely low in vigor and yields. Root suckering was severe with MAC 24 and M.7 EMLA. Trees on M.26 EMLA were the most productive over six fruiting years. Fruit from trees on Ottawa 3 tended to be firmer and have more red color than fruit from trees on the other rootstock when harvested on the same date. Fruit size did not vary due to rootstock over the six fruiting years.

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R. A. Straw and C. A. Mullins

Tomato trials with black plastic mulch, drip irrigation, and fertigation were conducted on a Lily sandy loam soil of medium fertility at Crossville, TN in 1990 and 1991. 'Mountain Pride' tomatoes were fertilized with a broadcast preplant application of 1120 kg ha–1 of 10-4.4-8.3 fertilizer with and without combinations of black plastic mulch and weekly applications of 0.64 cm of water for 12 weeks through drip irrigation. Three black plastic mulch and drip irrigation treatments supplied additional nitrogen and potassium fertilizer through the drip irrigation system. Yields were increased by use of black plastic mulch and by trickle irrigation in 1991. However, additions of fertilizer through drip irrigation had no effect on yields.

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Charles A. Mullins and R. Allen Straw

Eleven filet snap bean cultivars (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were evaluated near Crossville, Tenn., in 1995 and 1996. `Minuette' and `Pluto' were among the most productive cultivars in 1995, while `Carlo', `Masai', and `Minuette' were among the most productive cultivars in 1996. In 1995, `Maxibel' produced the greatest percentage of pods No. 3 or larger in sieve size while in 1996, `Carlo', `Dandy', `Maxibel', and `Teseo' were among cultivars that produced the highest percentage of pods No. 3 or larger sieve size. `Flevoro', `Nickel', and `Pluto' pods were firmer than pods of all cultivars except `Axel', `Masai', and `Maxibel' in 1995. In 1996, pods of `Flevoro' were firmer than pods of all cultivars except `Carlo', `Maxibel' and `Nickel'. Pods of `Minuette', and `Rapier' were darker in color than pods of all cultivars except `Axel' and `Teseo'. `Maxibel' produced the longest pods, while `Axel' produced shorter pods than all cultivars except `Masai' and `Rapier'. `Masai' in 1995, and `Masai' and `Nickel' in 1996 produced the smoothest pods. `Dandy' and `Maxibel' pods had the most curvature in 1995, while in 1996, `Maxibel' had more pod curvature than all cultivars except `Carlo', `andy', `Nickel', and `Teseo'.

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Charles A. Mullins and R. Allen Straw

Several pod characteristics were evaluated to select methods for determining optimum maturity for mechanical harvest of flat podded `Roma II' beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). The test was conducted over a 3-year period (1993-1995) at Crossville, Tenn. A total length of 3.6 to 4.4 inches (90 to 112 mm) for the center seed from each of 10 of the more mature pods was a rather reliable and rapid field guide for determining optimum maturity for mechanical harvest of `Roma II' bush beans.

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R. Allen Straw, Rebecca A. Gilfillen, Michael D. Mullen and Charles A. Mullins

A trial evaluating the use of municipal biosolids application in 1996 resulted in stunted transplants, delayed fruit set, season-long reduction in plant vigor, and reduced yield of `Mt. Pride' tomatoes. Hypotheses for these effects include nitrogen (N) immobilization, increased salinity, and acetic acid phytotoxicity. Subsequently, a trial was initiated in 1997 at The Univ. of Tennessee Plateau Experiment Station near Crossville to evaluate the effect of timing of biosolid application on `Mt. Fresh' tomato plant growth and fruit yield. Treatments included an inorganic control consisting of 134, 67, and 67 kg·ha-1 N, P2O5, and K2O, respectively and a municipal biosolid at a rate of 168 kg·ha-1 N applied at transplanting, 2 months prior to transplanting, or 3 months prior to transplanting. The rationale for these treatments is that time would allow for mineralization of N and leaching of salts and/or acetic acid. Stunting of transplants was observed in all treatments receiving applications of municipal biosolids, with the degree of stunting increasing as length of delay decreased. Marketable and total yields were not influenced by treatment. Municipal biosolids applied at transplanting resulted in the greatest fruiting delays and increased the amount of blossom end rot observed. Plants receiving inorganic fertilization produced the highest percentage of cracked and rotten fruit. Recommendations for municipal biosolid use include applying a rate based on N in the fall prior to production or applying a rate based on phosphorus with supplemental inorganic N in the spring.

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Charles A. Mullins, R. Allen Straw, J. Rennie Stavely and Jim Wyatt

`White Half Runner' is a popular green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivar in the southern Appalachian region of the United States. The cultivar is highly susceptible to rust and virus diseases. Nine breeding lines with `White Half Runner' parentage were compared to `White Half Runner' for rust tolerance, yield, and pod quality in 1998 and 1999 field trials at Crossville, Tenn. The BelTenn selections were developed by USDA plant breeders and the UT selections were developed by University of Tennessee plant breeders. Selections `BelTenn-RR-2', `BelTenn 4-12028', `BelTenn 4-12046', `BelTenn 4-12053', `BelTenn 5-2717' and `UT-96-3' were resistant to rust. Only `UT 96-4' had lower yields than `White Half Runner' in 1999. The BelTenn lines had slightly smaller pods, and the UT selections had larger and rougher pods than `White Half Runner'. `BelTenn-RR-2' wasreleased in 1995 as a breeding line with rust resistance and pod quality similar to `White Half Runner'. Further selection of BelTenn-RR-2 by a private seed company led to the naming of a cultivar named `Volunteer White Half Runner'.

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Richard G. Snyder, A. Brent Rowell, Thomas J. Koske and R. Allen Straw

The protocol for agent training has always been for extension specialists to train agents within the same state in each aspect of agriculture. However, with ubiquitous cutbacks among universities, and extension in particular, it is no longer feasible for every state to provide expertise in each field. Consequently, agents cannot receive training in some specialized fields. With a partnership agreement from the USDA Risk Management Agency, the Greenhouse Tomato Short Course in Jackson, Miss., provided training for five to seven agents from each state in the region: Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Funding was made available to cover travel expenses, registration, and a resource notebook for 25 agents. As a result, these agents took part in 3 days of intensive training seminars, as well as a 1-day tour of greenhouses. Invited speakers from around the United States spoke to these agents, as well as current and prospective commercial growers from all over the United States. Topics included basics of producing a commercial crop of hydroponic greenhouse tomatoes, budget for establishing and operating a greenhouse business, marketing and promotion, principles of risk management, pest and disease identification and management, grower's point of view, heating, cooling, and ventilation of greenhouses, new technologies, diagnostics, recent research in greenhouse production, and alternative crops (lettuce, peppers, mini-cucumbers, galia melons, baby squash) for the greenhouse. With this training, agents from throughout the south-central region returned to their offices with the skills to assist growers in their counties to succeed in the hydroponic greenhouse tomato business. Complete information on the short course can be found at www.greenhousetomatosc.com.

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C.A. Mullins, R.A. Straw, B. Pitt Jr., D.O. Onks, M.D. Mullen, J. Reynolds and M. Kirchner

`Silver Queen', `Incredible', and `Challenger' sweet corn (Zea mays L.) cultivars were evaluated at different nitrogen (N) fertilization rates at Springfield, Tenn., in 1993, 1994, and 1995. `Incredible' was more productive than `Silver Queen' and `Challenger'. Of the three cultivars, `Silver Queen' had the tallest plants, longest ears, and most attractive ears. Nitrogen fertilization rates were 0, 50, 100, and 150 (100 lb/acre at planting and 50 lb/acre sidedressed) lb/acre (0,56, 112, and 168 kg·ha-1). The 100 lb/acre rate of N applied at planting appeared to be sufficient for producing sweet corn in soils with an annual cropping frequency. Height of plants and ear diameters were larger at the higher fertilization rates, but differences among treatments were not great and were usually not significant. The cultivars of different genetic types did not differ in response to N fertilization rates. Cultivar × year interactions were significant for most factors evaluated, but most other interactions were not significant.