Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 3 of 3 items for

  • Author or Editor: T.S. Prather x
Clear All Modify Search

Observations that tomato transplants died or were severely stunted when set into unincorporated sorghum-sudan hybrid surface mulch led us to further investigate the potential allelopathic impacts of this warm-season cover crop in a series of field experiments. Survival and dry weights of tomato, lettuce, and broccoli transplants were determined in fallow, incorporated sorghum-sudan-, and unincorporated sorghum-sudan-mulched soils. All three species transplanted into plots in which the sorghum-sudan had been cut and left on the soil surface had a significantly lower dry weight than plants transplanted into fallow soil or into soil where the sorghum-sudan had been incorporated. Additionally, fewer transplants survived in the mulch treatment. The surface mulch plots also significantly reduced weed biomass nearly 10-fold. We believe that a water-soluble compound that is leached out of the sorghum-sudan hybrid is toxic to all three of the plants tested. Further laboratory and greenhouse tests are under way to determine the exact nature of the toxic substance.

Free access

A participatory, on-farm research and extension program has been established around 16 demonstration comparisons of biologically integrated soil building–pest management systems and conventionally managed systems within the West Side row crop area of California's San Joaquin Valley. In each of the biologically integrated parcels, cover crops and composted organic materials are integrated into rotations wherever appropriate, whereas in the conventionally managed parcels, mineral fertilizer applications are made. Pest management practices are evaluated and biologically and informationally intensive alternatives are developed through a participatory process. Indices of soil quality including nutrient status, water stable aggregates, organic matter content, and phospholipid fatty acids are routinely monitored. Information related to the objectives, structure and monitoring activities of this project during the establishment phase will be discussed.

Free access

In Fall 1995, 12 row crop farmers in conjunction with Univ. of California, NRCS and private agency advisors established the West Side On-Farm Demonstration Project to conduct demonstrations of soil and pest management options aimed at sustained profitability and environmental stewardship in the western San Joaquin Valley of California. Monitoring of soil physical, chemical, and biological properties is done in side-by-side on-farm comparisons of plots amended with organic inputs and unamended plots. Intensive monitoring of beneficial and pest insects is carried out within each comparison block, and the data generated is used to guide pest management decision-making at each site. Yields and soil characteristics of the amended plots did not differ from those of unamended plots after the first year. The on-farm context and the cooperative farmer–scientist interactions of this project facilitate the development of timely and relevant research directions to be pursued beyond the core set of monitoring activities.

Free access