Tomato cv. 'Show Me' were grown in the greenhouse for six weeks in a 50%;50% (v:v) soil:sand mixture and provided weekly with a quarter-strength Hoagland solution with nitrogen provided as 100%:0% 50%;50% 0%:100% nitrate:ammonium ratios at rates of 0, 10, 20, 40, 80 mg N/kg medium with and without 5 mg/kg nitrapyrin. Nitrapyrin induced plant phytotoxic symptoms of stunted growth, curled leaves and deformed terminal buds. These effects were reduced with increasing amount of applied nitrogen and greater percent of nitrate. A second similar experiment using 0, 80, 160, 240, 320 mg N/kg medium and 1 mg/kg nitrapyrin showed no phytotoxic effects and also induced no significant changes in dry weight, tissue nitrogen content or residual medium nitrogen content regardless of nitrogen treatment. N concentration and N form effects were similar to previously reported research with an accumulation of nitrates in tissues with higher nitrate nutrition.
David N. Sasseville and Rufus Jones
Wesseh J. Wollo and Rufus Jones
The impacts of unloaded quantity, disposable personal income, retail price index of fresh potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.), and seasonal monthly variables on sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] price in the St. Louis and Chicago terminal markets were estimated using a regression analysis technique. These markets can absorb a modest increase in sweetpotato quantity without a decrease in wholesale price, but a significant increase in quantity would decrease wholesale price. Sweetpotato price is higher during October, November, and December than in September; therefore, producers must give attention to marketing sweetpotatoes during these months. Also, increased shipments of sweetpotatoes to these markets should not be considered in anticipation of an increase in disposable income.
Wesseh J. Wollo*, Lurline Marsh and Rufus Jones
Specialty crop production has the potential to diversify traditional crop agriculture and improve profits. The primary purpose of this research was to determine the number of small farmers in Missouri who grow crops other than the traditional crops (soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton), and to identify issues they face in their production. A survey questionnaire consisting of fifteen questions was sent to 401 small farmers in Missouri in Fall 2002. The response was a 27% return rate. Most (77%) of the respondents grew tomato and many (50%) used irrigations. Among those who did not grow the nontraditional crops, 46% cited lack of interest as the reason while 32% cited lack of labor. The reasons given by 80% of respondents who at one time grew nontraditional crops but stopped, were lost interest, profit, and insufficient labor. Many respondents also grew herbs and other specialty vegetables in addition to the nontraditional crops. Garlic and chives were grown by 19% of respondents. Most (80%) respondents who grew specialty crops were interested in seminars, workshops or field days on their production, marketing or financing. Among respondents who grew nontraditional crops but stopped, 39% cited drought as the reason while 25% cited insects. These results indicate that small farmers of specialty crops in Missouri need training and information, to profitably produce the nontraditional crops.
Lurline Marsh, Rufus Jones and Mark Ellersieck
Growth and fruiting pattern of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench) cv. Clemson Spineless as affected by the growth regulators Alar (N -dimethylaminosuccinamic acid) and ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphoric acid) were evaluated in field studies. Eight treatments consisting of Alar at 600, 1200, 2400, and 3600 μl·liter-1 and ethephon at 200, 400, 600, and 800 μl·liter-1 and water control were applied as foliar sprays at the three- to four-true-leaf stage. Both growth regulators depressed shoot growth and leaf production. Ethephon reduced shoot length. Total fruit yield was not significantly affected by the treatments. However, ethephon-treated plants tended to produce fewer fruits and lagged behind Alar-treated plants and the control plants in Fruit production during the early harvests.