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Robert W. Langhans and Mauricio Salamanca

With the primary objective of assuring food safety at the production level, a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plan was developed and implemented in an 8000-ft2 greenhouse producing 1000 heads of lettuce per day in Ithaca, N.Y. The plan was developed following the HACCP principles and application guidelines published by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (1997). The CEA glass greenhouse uses both artificial high-pressure sodium lamps and a shade curtain for light control. Temperature is controlled via evaporative cooling and water heating. Lettuce plants are grown in a hydroponic pond system and are harvested on day 35 from day of seeding. Known and reasonable risks from chemical, physical, and microbiological hazards were defined during the hazard analysis phase. Critical control points were identified in the maintenance of the pond water, the operation of evaporative coolers, shade curtains, and during harvesting and storage. Appropriate prerequisite programs were implemented before the HACCP plan as a baseline for achieving minimum working conditions. Proper critical limits for some potential hazards were established and monitoring programs set up to control them. Postharvest handling was setup in an adjacent head house that was adapted as a food manufacturing facility according to New York State Dept. of Agriculture and Markets standards. Potential applications will be discussed.

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Ramona A. Reiser and Robert W. Langhans

The release of latent buds (adaptive reiteration) and aerial shoot architecture of the rhizomatous calla lily plant has been researched for pot production. Rhizome mapping has explicitly shown vegetative and floral bud positioning in relation to tissue growth and expansion. Floral initiation normally occurred only on the mother portion of rhizomes. Gibberellic acid (GA3) application enhanced this phenomenon and caused initiation on daughter ramets. Bud excision performed at planting through Day 16 microscopically revealed lack of floral initiation in dissected meristems prior to planting, transition by Day 4, elongation beginning at Day 8 and `small to medium sized spadixes present by Day 12 and 16. Floral development was similar in treated and untreated primary buds, but delayed in secondary and tertiary buds with elongation occurring by Day 16. Pretreatment of GA3 prior to planting revealed spadix presence at Day 0. Floral development correlated with ramet size showed most flowers on largest ramets but formation on all sizes with GA3 treatment. GA3 also caused increased vegetative bud formation on rhizomes.

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William B. Miller and Robert W. Langhans

Easter liliy (Lilium longiflorum Thunb. `Nellie White') bulbs were stored in moist peatmoss for up to 85 days at – 1.0 or 4.5C. Bulbs were periodically removed from storage and analyzed to determine levels of soluble carbohydrates and starch. Storage at – 1.0C induced large accumulations of sucrose, mannose, fructose, and oligosaccharide in both mother and daughter scales. Starch concentration declined substantially during this period. Storage at 4.5C resulted in less dramatic alterations in bulb carbohydrates, although trends toward increased soluble carbohydrates and reduced starch levels were seen. The accumulation of mannose suggests that glucomannan, a secondary storage carbohydrate, was also degraded during – 1.0C storage.

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David S. de Villiers and Robert W. Langhans

Protein is an important and essential dietary component. Common bean, a major source of vegetable protein in the Americas, was chosen for study in controlled environments with a view to its potential for use in space colonies. Eighteen 0.58-m2 stands of the cranberry type of bean, `Etna', were grown in the greenhouse at plant densities of 7, 15, and 28 plants/m2 in a recirculating ebb-and-flow system. Duration of photoperiod and thermoperiod was 16 h. Day/night temperatures settings were 25/20 °C. Daily light integral was matched across greenhouse sections by means of supplemental lighting; it averaged 17 mol/m2 per day. Crop cycle was 70 days from seed to harvest. At harvest, plants were dismembered so that dry weights of leaf, branch, stem, pod, and bean yields could be separately measured by node of origin. Internode lengths were recorded, and all loose trash recovered. The relationship between yield and plant density followed the form expected. Yield of edible biomass at 7 plants/m2 (284 g/m2) was 88% of that at 28 plants/m2 (324 g/m2), a significant difference. At 15 plants/m2 it was 97%. The trend suggests that further gains (but only very small) in yield can be expected with increased density in this cultivar. Productivity and quantum yield at 28 plants/m2 were 4.69 g/m2 per day and 0.27 g/mol, respectively. The coefficient of variation for plants grown at 28 plants/m2 was three times that of plants grown at 7 plants/m2 (0.88 vs. 0.26). Yield component analysis, harvest index, and plant morphology at the different planting densities are discussed.

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David R. Dreesen and Robert W. Langhans

The objective of this study was to determine the dry weight, height, and leaf area growth responses of impatiens (Impatiens walerana Hook. f.) plug seedlings to air temperatures ranging from 18 to 29C. The conditions maintained in the controlled-environment growth rooms (CEGR) were ambient C02 levels, 24-h lighting, and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) ranging from ≈215; to 335 μmol·m-2·s-1. Mean daily temperatures of the plug medium ranged from 19.6 to 27.7C. At the higher PPF level, shoot dry weight decreased at plug medium temperatures (PMT) > 25C; at lower PPF levels (<300 μmol·m-2·s-1), shoot dry weight continued to increase with PMT > 25C. The mean relative growth rate (MRGR) of shoot dry weight was positively correlated with PMT during the initial growth period (up to 14 days from sowing) and was negatively correlated thereafter. The maximum MRGR was predicted to occur at 11.7 days from sowing for a PMT of 19.6C, at 10.8 days for a PMT of 21.6C, and at 9.7 days for a PMT of 23.6C. Linear regression coefficients of shoot height as a function of PMT were substantially higher for seedlings grown at lower PPF than those for seedlings from the highest PPF level. Seedling leaf area consistently increased with increasing temperature. Net assimilation rate (NAR) decreased with increasing seedling age NAR increased with increasing PPF. A decrease in NAR was apparent at 29C relative to values at the lower temperatures. Leaf area ratio (LAR) declined with increasing seedling age and PPF; a quadratic relationship of LAR as a function of PMT indicates a minimum LAR at 22.5C. The seedlings grown at 29C were excessively tall, had thin succulent leaves, and were judged unacceptable for shipping and transplanting. Maximum quality indices (i.e., dry weight per height) were found at PMT of 24.3 to 25.OC for 10- to 14-day-old seedlings and at PMT of 23.0 to 24.OC for 16- to 20-day-old seedlings.

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David R. Dreesen and Robert W. Langhans

Uniformity of growth response of impatiens (Impatiems wallerana Hook. f.) plug seedlings was examined in four identical growth rooms. Differences among growth rooms for dry weight, height, and leaf area of 10- to 24-day-old seedlings were generally not significant. During six experiments over 6 months, an individual growth room was maintained under contant baseline environmental conditions. Differences in growth response over time appear to be related to nutrition and irradiance levels. For three experiments with nearly identical irradiance, temperature, and nutrition levels, dry weight and height growth differences over time were only rarely significant. These results illustrate that rather unsophisticated growth rooms can provide consistent growth response over time among experimental units.

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Dawn M. Alleman, Robert W. Langhans, and Ellen Wells

Ability to predict daily leachate volumes in greenhouse production enables strategic planning for the remediation of waste water. A case study greenhouse site (1620ft2) on Cornell campus was chosen because of the tile drainage system installed beneath. Roses `Sonya', `Royalty', and `Mary DeVor' were grown in 1170ft2 of bench and fertigated at bench level with automated spray nozzles. Data collection occurred over a 1.5 year period. Factors considered in modeling included: leaf area, irrigation and leachate volumes, and atmospheric / greenhouse environmental conditions (solar radiation, precipitation, temperature). Separate day and night models resulted, the night model included a condensation factor. Correlation existed between environmental factors, irrigation volume and leachate volume in the day model. In the night model a relationship between environmental factors and condensation was evident.

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Leslie S. Katzman, Alan G. Taylor, and Robert W. Langhans

Rapid, synchronized, and high percentage of germination is required for commercial spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) production using hydroponic techniques. Seed treatments examined to improve seed germination were: 1) decoating; 2) leaching in water; and 3) soaking seeds for 4 hours in 0.5% NaOCl, leaching for 15 hours in water, and sowing in 0.3% H2O2 (this treatment will be referred to as NaOCl/H2O2). Germination studies were conducted on four cultivars at a constant 18 °C (optimal) or 30 °C (inhibitory). At 18 °C, germination rate (T50) was maximized by both hydration treatments, but uniformity of germination (Tsd) was greatest for decoated seeds; final germination was ≥89% for all treatments. At 30 °C, decoating resulted in greatest uniformity of germination. The NaOCl/H2O2 treatment resulted in highest germination (94%) at the high temperature, whereas decoating was least effective (69%). Reduced germination of decoated seeds was attributed to atypical germinants. Cultivars differed in response to the treatments at both temperatures. Component analysis of the NaOCl/H2O2 treatment was studied with two slow-to-germinate cultivars. Treatment with H2O2, with or without NaOCl, improved the rate, uniformity, and percentage of germination of seeds of both cultivars, but NaOCl alone did not. Pericarp removal or pericarp removal plus NaOCl/H2O2 treatments reduced variability in germination time and enhanced speed of germination at 30 °C, but decoating produced a higher percentage of atypical seedlings than did other treatments. Therefore, the NaOCl/H2O2 treatment is recommended for growers who are unable to maintain cool germination temperatures and/or cannot afford the costs associated with cooling. If growers can maintain a germination temperature of ≈18 °C, decoated seeds are preferable, based on the high uniformity of germination.

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Marvin P. Pritts, Robert W. Langhans, Thomas H. Whitlow, Mary Jo Kelly, and Aimee Roberts

Floricane-fruiting (summer-bearing) raspberries (Rubus idaeus L.) were grown outdoors in pots in upstate New York until mid-December when the chilling requirement was fulfilled. They were moved into a greenhouse and placed at a density that is three times higher than field planting. Bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) were introduced at flowering for pollination. Fruiting occurred from mid-February through mid-April, a time when the retail price for raspberries is between $3.00 and $6.00 for a half pint (180 g). Fruit quality was high, and individual 2-year-old plants averaged 11 half pints (2 kg) of marketable fruit. These yields and retail prices are equivalent to 19,000 lb and $142,000 per acre (21 t, $350,000 per ha). Raspberry production during winter allows growers to dramatically extend the harvest season and to produce a high-value crop at a time when greenhouses often are empty.

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David S. de Villiers, Robert W. Langhans, A.J. Both, Louis D. Albright, and Sue Sue Scholl

CO2 enrichment increases efficiency of light utilization and rate of growth, thereby reducing the need for supplemental lighting and potentially lowering cost of production. However, during warmer periods of the year, CO2 enrichment is only possible intermittently due to the need to vent for temperature control. Previous research investigated the separate and combined effects of daily light integral and continuous CO2 enrichment on biomass accumulation in lettuce. The current research was designed to look at the efficiency with which lettuce is able to utilize intermittent CO2 enrichment, test the accuracy with which growth can be predicted and controlled, and examine effects of varying CO2 enrichment and supplemental lighting on carbon assimilation and plant transpiration on a minute by minute basis. Experiments included application of various schedules of intermittent CO2 enrichment and gas exchange analysis to elucidate underlying physiological processes. Same-day and day-to-day adjustments in daily light integrals were made in response to occasional CO2 venting episodes, using an up-to-the-minute estimate of growth progress based on an integration of growth increments that were calculated from actual light levels and CO2 concentrations experienced by the plants. Results indicated lettuce integrates periods of intermittent CO2 enrichment well, achieving expected growth targets as measured by destructive sampling. The gas-exchange work quantified a pervasive impact of instantaneous light level and CO2 concentration on conductance and CO2 assimilation. Implications for when to apply supplemental lighting and CO2 enrichment to best advantage and methods for predicting and controlling growth under intermittent CO2 enrichment are discussed.