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Five fertilizer treatments, three of which included swine effluent alone or in combination with commercial fertilizers, were evaluated for plasticulture production of vegetables. Effluent and/or soluble fertilizers were delivered through drip irrigation tubing to their respective treatments. Four experiments were conducted at two locations: 1) spring tomatoes followed by pumpkin at Verona, Miss., 2) spring tomatoes followed by zucchini at Pontotoc, Miss., 3) fall tomato at Verona, and 4) fall tomato at Pontotoc. In all four experiments, representing six crops, yields from treatments receiving swine effluent were equal to or greater than yields from treatments receiving preplant fertilizers and/or commercially available soluble fertilizers. There were also no significant differences among treatments in relative number of marketable fruit. Leaf tissue analysis of the tomato crops showed no significant differences among treatments in N content. For some experiments, there were significant differences for other elements. These results showed that swine effluent was an effective nutrient source for plasticulture production of vegetable crops when compared to preplant and soluble fertilizers. These results also showed that the alkaline pH (about 7.8) and high level of ammonium nitrogen of swine effluent (>95 % of N content) did not adversely affect vegetable yield or marketability.

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Bacterial spot epidemics, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Doidge) Dye, continue to plague bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) growers in a number of southern and midwestern states. A 3-year study designed to compare cultivars and breeding lines under induced bacterial spot epidemic and bacterial spot-free conditions began soon after the first release of cultivars having the Bs2 gene for resistance to races 1 to 3 of the pathogen. Bacterial spot epidemics were created by transplanting `Merlin' plants (inoculated with races 1 to 3) into plots of each test cultivar at an isolated location in eastern Kentucky. Plots of the same trial entries at a second location were kept free of bacterial spot for 2 of the 3 years of trials; however, a moderate natural epidemic occurred at this location in 1996. Bacterial spot resistance had the greatest impact on yields and returns per acre in the inoculated trials. Cultivars with only Bs1 or a combination of Bs1 and Bs3 were highly susceptible in the inoculated trials. There were statistically significant and economically important differences in resistance among cultivars and breeding lines having the Bs2 gene; some were nearly as susceptible as susceptible checks. Although many Bs2-gene cultivars showed satisfactory levels of resistance, only a few were highly resistant, horticulturally acceptable, and comparable in yields to the best susceptible hybrids in a bacterial spot-free environment.

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The marketing of onions (Allium cepa L.) based on bulb pungency as a measure of overall flavor intensity is being considered by the onion industry. Pungency is highly variable within and among fields due to genetic and environmental factors. Therefore, a study was undertaken to develop a sampling procedure to estimate onion pungency means and variances from field-grown onions with predetermined degrees of accuracy and confidence. Two shortday onion cultivars, commonly grown in the Vidalia, Ga., area, were each randomly sampled from four different fields. The sampled bulbs were analyzed for enzymatically formed pyruvic acid (EPY) and soluble solids content (SSC) to assess pungency and sugars, respectively. EPY concentration and SSC varied between the two cultivars, among the four fields within cultivars, and among the fifty samples within each field. In a combined analysis of all eight fields, at least 1.3 ten-bulb samples would be needed per acre to come within ±0.5 μmol EPY of a field's true EPY mean with 95% confidence. If the accuracy of the estimation was lowered to ±1.0 μmol EPY of a field's true mean, then at least 0.4 ten-bulb samples would be needed per acre. Because SSC was less variable than EPY, the number of ten-bulb samples needed per acre to estimate a field's true mean was lower than the number required to estimate EPY. Establishing a sampling method to estimate an onion field's EPY and SSC will provide the mechanism to standardize onion flavor in the market place and instill greater consumer confidence in purchasing onions.

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Annual pruning was compared with nonpruning for 8 years and to two biennial pruning treatments for 4 years in a mature full-canopied `Ashley' walnut (Juglans regia L.) orchard. Light penetration and nut distribution through the canopy was improved by pruning. Nut size and percent edible kernel was consistently lower in nonpruned trees than in trees pruned annually or biennially. Yield from annually pruned trees was not significantly different from that of the nonpruned trees because of the removal of fruitful spurs. Yield of biennially pruned trees was similar to annually pruned or nonpruned trees in the year following pruning, but yield was usually greater during years in which trees were not pruned.

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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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Four different netting types were evaluated in the field for excluding Japanese beetles and green June beetles from `Dirksen' thornless blackberry plants. These nets were bird net, crop net, rack mesh, and Agryl P17. Observations were made in an unreplicated trial on `Reliance' grapes using OV3018 and OV7100 nets in addition to those listed. Plants were not sprayed with insecticides or fungicides after net application. Rack mesh appears to be the best net of those evaluated during a dry season for excluding Japanese beetles and green June beetles on thornless blackberries and grapes. Plants covered with rack mesh had minimal fruit and foliage damage due to insects and fruit rot. The use of rack mesh eliminated the need for insecticide sprays for 53 days on thornless blackberries and 41 days on grapes. Light intensity was reduced by the netting, but did not reduce (hornless blackberry yield or soluble solids; however it did unacceptably reduce `Reliance' grape fruit coloration.

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Internal brown spot (IBS) was found consistently in the `Atlantic' cultivar at Lexington in 1967, 1968 and 1989, and at Owensboro and Quicksand, KY in 1987, Treatments of foliar and soil applied CaSO4 in 1987, soil-applied CaSO4 in 1988, and straw mulching in 1989 did not reduce IBS. Irrigation increased IBS because of larger tubers and increased Ca content of plants as compared with non-irrigated plants. Tubers showing IBS had higher Ca content in affected tissue than in non-affected tissue. Both IBS and Ca content of leaves increased as the plants aged.

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Bacterial spot epidemics, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv), are still considered serious risks for commercial pepper (Capsicum annuum) growers in a number of eastern, southern and midwestern states. Newly released bell pepper cultivars with the Bs2 gene for resistance to Xcv races 1, 2, and 3 were compared in 2000 under bacterial spot-free and severe (natural) bacterial spot epidemic conditions in central and eastern Kentucky where similar trials had been conducted from 1995 to 1997. In addition to the replicated bell pepper trials, 49 hot and specialty pepper cultivars were grown for observation in single plots at the same two locations. As in previous trials, there were economically important differences in resistance and marketable yields among bell pepper cultivars having the Bs2 gene; some resistant cultivars were as susceptible as susceptible checks. Others were highly resistant in spite of the presence of Xcv races 3 and 6 in the eastern Kentucky trial. Only a few were highly resistant with excellent fruit quality. With a few notable exceptions, most of the hot and specialty cultivars were very susceptible to bacterial spot. Two of the three new jalapeño cultivars carrying Bs2 were highly resistant to bacterial spot and high yielding under severe epidemic conditions.

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Abstract

The wide variability in ripeness frequent in ‘Bartlett’ pears at processing can be reduced by prompt, rapid, and uniform warming. Fruits with an initial core temperature of 0.25°C were uniformly warmed to 20° ± 2°C in 30 minutes when air at a rate of 2079 cc/sec/Kg (2 cfm/lb) of product was pulled over them by a modified forced-air tunnel bin warmer operating in a room with an air temperature of 45°C. These fruits ripened in precisely 4 days, with firmness differing between individual fruits by no more than 1.13 Kg (2.5 lb). Conversely, pears warmed at slower rates simulating current cannery procedures varied by as much as a week in time to ripeness.

Open Access

Abstract

Cut carnation flowers shipped from California by air occasionally arrive at eastern markets in a senescent condition with losses greater in the warm autumn months. CO2 and C2H4 production by the flowers has a pattern similar to that of climacteric-class fruits, with senescence correlated with a rise in release of the gases.

Cut carnation flowers show an enormous increase in respiratory heat with increasing temperature: 89 BTU/ton/hour at 0°C versus 14,718 at 50°C. In C2H4-free air, the flowers tolerate elevated temperatures but their vase life is reduced. Their sensitivity to C2H4 increases dramatically with increasing temperature, with the threshold concentration partially depending on prior stresses on the flowers.

Flowers in containers exposed to direct sunlight developed temperatures as high as 49.5°C. Air temperatures inside containers shipped via jet aircraft were as high as 35°C. The C2H4 concentrations in the containers may reach 10.5 ppm.

The remarkable resistance of cut carnation flowers to mechanical injury, combined with their low metabolic rates at low temperatures, makes refrigerated surface shipments feasible and perhaps economically desirable. Their resistance to injury seems related to their light weight, the damping action of the petals, and the lack of phenolase or readily oxidizable phenolic compounds in the petals.

Open Access