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David G. Himelrick and W.A. Dozier Jr.

A number of strawberry cultivars and breeding line selections have been tested in the annual plasticulture system. The only two cultivars currently recommended based on cultural and economic performance ate 'Chandler' and 'Oso Grande'. Plant type (fresh dug, plug, etc.) and nursery source have also been evaluated. Fresh dug plants with leaves intact generally perform better than those with leaves removed. Rooted runner tips in cell packs (plug plants) look very promising and outperform fresh dug plants in most situations. Plastic mulch treatments included clear (CLR), black (BLK), laminated white on black (W/B), laminated black on white (B/W), IRT-76 (IRT), AL-OR brown (ALOR), and a bare ground (BG) check. In the first season the highest yields for 'Chandler' were obtained on IRT, followed by CLR, ALOR, B/W, BLK, W/B, and BG. The highest yields for 'Selva' were on CLR followed by BLK, ALOR, IRT, B/W, W/B, and BG. In the second season the highest yields for 'Chandler' were on W/B followed by BLK. ALOR, IRT, B/W, CLR, and BG. In the case of 'Selva' ALOR was the top performing treatment followed by IRT, W/B, BLK, B/W, BG, and CLR.

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D.G. Himelrick and W.A. Dozier Jr.

Rooted rabbiteye blueberry cuttings were transplanted to 15 cm pots containing either builders sand or 80% sand 20 peatmoss v/v (1% OH). Five different herbicides were applied at the high and low recommended rates. Terbacil at 1.4 or 2.9 kg/ha a.i. caused a 72% mortality while 1.8 or 3.6 kg/ha a.i. application of norflurazon caused a 53% mortality. Root volume, weight, top weight, and leaf chlorophyll concentrations were reduced by terbacil treatment. Oryzalin at 2.7 kg/ha a.i. or norflurazon at 3.6 kg/ha a.i. reduced root and top weight and chlorophyll. Napropamide at 2.2 kg/ha a.i. reduced top weight and chlorophyll. Two good choices for young plants appear to be simazine at 1.8 kg/ha a.i. and napropamide.

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David G. Himelrick and W. A. Dozier Jr

`Chandler' strawberry plants were grown in a nutrient flow hydroponic systems with six solution N treatments (35, 70, 140, 210, 280, 350 ppm). Total N was determined in leaf blade and petiole samples using Kjeldahl procedure and by LECO CHN analyzer. Nitrate-N was extracted with KCl and analyzed using a LACHAT ion analyzer. Correlations for total N in leaf blades with hydroponic N levels were r7 = 0.79 for Kjeldahl, r2 = 0.25 for LECO, and r2 = 0.60 for LACHAT while petiole samples were r* = 0.57 for Kjeldahl, r2 = 0.55 for LECO and r2 = 0.41 for LACHAT. Vegetative characteristics of the plants were affected with the 210 ppm treatment producing both the most crowns and runners and 350 ppm the least.

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David G. Himelrick and W. A. Dozier Jr.

`Chandler' strawberry plants were grown in a nutrient flow hydroponic systems with six solution N treatments (35, 70, 140, 210, 280, 350 ppm). Plant architecture was influenced by solution N levels with 350 ppm producing small dark green leaves with short petioles while 35 ppm produced light green leaves with large leaf blades and long petioles. Other treatments were intermediate but similar to the 35 ppm with darker green foliage. The 210 ppm treatment produced the most runners per plant while the 350 ppm treatment produced the least. The 210 ppm treatment produced the most crowns per plant while the 35 ppm treatment produced the least. The highest seasonal fruit yield and largest berry size was produced in the 70 ppm treatment with the 350 treatment having the lowest yield and smallest berry size.

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A.W. Caylor, W.A. Dozier Jr. and J. Pitts

Latron AG-98 (formerly named Triton AG-98) was applied to 8-year-old `Surecrop' peach trees on Lovell rootstock at 0%, 2%, 4%, and 6% (v/v) on 13 Mar. 1990 and 1992 and 28 Mar. 1991. Our objective was to determine the effect Latron AG-98 had on percentage of blossoms removed, fruit set, total fruit count and yield, and marketable fruit weight. The percentage of blossoms removed increased with increasing rates of Latron AG-98. The 4% and 6% rates removed the greatest percentage of blooms in all 3 years. The number of fruit per 50 cm of shoot length, number of fruit removed by hand-thinning, percent fruit set, total fruit number, and total fruit yield decreased with increasing rates of Latron AG-98 in 1990 and 1992 but not in 1991. The marketable fruit weight increased with increasing rates of Latron AG-98 in 1990 and 1992 but not in 1991. Latron AG-98 was not effective in 1991 because of a 2-day delay in application. Latron AG-98 was effective in removing blossoms from `Surecrop' peach at all three rates. However, the 4% and 6% rates reduced the yields below a commercially acceptable level. The 2% rate of Latron AG-98 could be useful as a tool to reduce the labor required to hand-thin peaches.

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D.G. Himelrick, W.A. Dozier Jr. and A.W. Caylor

Own-rooted four-year-old kiwifruit plants (Actinidia deliciosa) protected by a Reese clip-on styrofoam insulation trunk wrap, or microsprinkler irrigation, sustained less freeze injury than unprotected plants under field conditions at temperatures as low as -17.8C. Trunk splitting occurred on the plants but no injury was detected on canes, buds, or shoots in the canopy of the plants. Unprotected plants had more trunk splitting and at greater heights than protected plants. New canes developed from suckers of cold-injured plants and developed a filled canopy the following season.

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J.L. Sibley, D.G. Himelrick and W.A. Dozier Jr.

Poultry and coal production are two major industries concentrated in north-central Alabama. Standard surface coal mine reclamation procedures were compared to procedures utilizing poultry litter in an 3.24-ha mine site. Three 0.4-ha plots amended with litter at rates of 25, 50, and 100 mt/ha, were compared to a plot with mineral fertilizer (13N–13–P13K) at standard reclamation rates of 672 kg/ha, and a plot receiving no fertilizer or litter. All plots were amended with ground limestone and disced in 31 cm. A mix of fescue, lespedeza, rye, and clover was broadcast over all plots uniformly. Eight tree species; northern red oak, nuttall oak, willow oak, red maple, yellow poplar, royal paulownia, loblolly pine, and eastern red cedar were planted in all plots at 1482 trees/ha. Forage yields (1995–96) in litter-amended plots were two to three times higher than statewide hay production averages. High litter rates have had no negative effects on ground cover, tree survival, or ground water nitrates (NO3). This project demonstrates broiler litter use as an organic-matter amendment in a self-sustaining reclamation success.

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David G. Himelrick, Floyd M. Woods and W.A. Dozier Jr.

The use of soil solarization on 20-cm raised beds 30, 60, and 90 days prior to fall planting of `Chandler' strawberries was compared with soil fumigation with 269 kg·ha–1 98/2 methylbromide/choropicrin and with 562 liters·ha–1 metam-sodium (Busan). The clear plastic mulch was painted with white latex paint prior to planting on 15 Oct. Methylbromide/choropicrin treatment gave the best yields, followed by the metam-sodium treatment. Soil solarization on raised beds was complicated by weed growth on the top edges and sides of the bed. Soil solarization is a useful alternative for flat bed culture, but is practically limited on raised beds due to insufficient weed control.

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A. Caylor, W. Dozier, D. Himelrick, J. Pitts and L. Chapman

Four year old `Loring' peach trees on `Lovell' rootstock were treated with single applications of 0, 50, and 100 ppm GA3 alone and in combination with 100 ppm ethephon on 15 November 1988, 1989, and 1990 to determine the effect on bloom delay the following spring. Flower bud number was not affected by any of the treatments the next spring. Ethephon had the greatest effect on bloom delay the following spring. The 50 and 100 ppm GA3 treatments resulted in a slight delay of bloom. The combination of 50 and 100 ppm GA3 and 100 ppm ethephon resulted in less of a bloom delay than ethephon alone but greater than the GA3 treatments alone. Fruit set was increased by ethephon treatments in 1989 and 1991 but not in 1990. Ethephon treatments delayed fruit maturity whereas GA3 did not. Total fruit yield for 1989, 1991, and the three year average was not effected by treatments. However, in 1990 50 ppm GA3 resulted in the highest yields. Ethephon treatments reduced the average fruit weight in 1990 and 1991 but not in 1989 or the three year average.

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W.A. Dozier Jr., A.A. Powell, A.W. Caylor, N.R. McDaniel, E.L. Carden and J.A. McGuire

Hydrogen cyanamide (Dormex) treatments were applied to 17 insufficiently chilled peach and nectarine cultivars ≈6 weeks after normal budbreak. Treatment effectively induced vegetative budbreak and reduced shoot dieback. The responses to Dormex treatments were linear, with the 2% rate being more effective than the 0 and 1% rates in most cases.