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  • Author or Editor: R. Allen Straw x
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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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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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Abstract

Conventional tillage (CT), no-tillage (NT), and rotary strip-tillage (RT) methods were combined with row spacings of 0.46 m (28 plants/m2) and 0.92 m (56 plants/m2) in 1985 and 1986 snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) tests with a split-plot factorial arrangement of treatments. Yields were lowest with NT and 0.92-m row spacings both years, while plant stands were lowest with NT and RT. Plant lodging was lowest with NT and highest with CT each year. Pod clustering and broken pods following machine harvest were lowest with NT both years, while rotten pods and percentage no. 2 to 4 sieve-size pods were lowest with NT in 1986. Incidence of broken pods was higher with the 0.46-m row spacing than with the 0.92-m row spacing in 1985 and the incidence of rotten pods was greatest with the 0.46-m row spacing in 1986. The 0.46-m row spacing improved yields over the 0.92-m spacing, with minimal difference in pod quality. Weed control was less effective with NT than with CT and RT methods.

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No-till (NT) culture has worked well with many agronomic crops; however, NT culture has been less successful with vegetable crops. `Mountain Pride' tomatoes were grown under (NT) and conventional-till (CT) culture at the Plateau Experiment Station. During the first two years of the study, both NT and CT plots were tilled in the fall and sowed in a winter wheat cover crop. In the third year of the study, a continuous NT culture was maintained. Tomato yields were identical from the two tillage practices in the first year. In the second year, yields were significantly higher from NT tomatoes than CT tomatoes. The trend reversed in the third year with CT producing significantly more yield than NT culture. In addition, NT tomato plants were stunted and roots were observed to grow laterally near the soil surface. Production of NT tomatoes following a winter wheat cover crop appears feasible; however, continuous NT was not promising.

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Six processing type sweet corn cultivars were evaluated for productivity and production problems at eight planting dates at the Plateau Experiment Station at Crossville, TN. Plant size and yields declined rapidly after the fourth planting date. During this period soil moisture was adequate and temperatures were relatively cool, therefore, plant growth responses may have been attributed to day length or light interception. Insect populations and insect damage increased as the harvest season progressed. `Reveille' had poor ear fill throughout the season, while percentage ear fill of all of the other cultivars, with the exception of `More', decreased rapidly after the fourth planting date. `More' plants were the most vigorous throughout the trial. `More' was one of the most productive cultivars throughout the season and especially at the later planting dates.

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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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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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`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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Small- and large-scale farmers must often decide when to begin application of fungicides, either before the onset of disease as a preventative treatment or after disease becomes evident in the field. Growers also must decide about products that claim to enhance fungicide efficacy when added to the spray mixture. A study was conducted during the summer of 2002 to investigate control of foliar diseases of vine crops (Cucurbita spp.) with low-input (LI) or high-input (HI) management approaches and six fungicide/spray combinations at four locations in southeastern United States. Fungicide applications began for LI when leaf disease first became evident and for HI about 20 days after seeding. Both approaches continued applications at 7- to 10-day intervals until harvest. Spray treatments consisted of a water-only control or one of six combinations of azoxystrobin/chlorothalonil alone or in combination with potassium bicarbonate, foliar phosphite (0N–12.2P–21.6K), or foliar nitrogen (25N–0P–0K). Azoxystrobin was applied in rotation with chlorothalonil for all treatments except the control. Seeds of ‘Lil’ Goblin’ pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) were planted July to August and fruit harvested October to November, depending on location. Plants were rated twice for powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca fuliginea and Erysiphe cichoracearum) and downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis). HI did not significantly increase yield compared with LI. All fungicide treatments significantly increased yield and reduced foliar diseases compared with the water-only control. The simplest of treatments, the azoxystrobin/chlorothalonil rotation without any other chemicals, can be recommended for general use where strobilurin resistance has not been documented.

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