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  • Author or Editor: W.B. Evans x
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The influences of preplant, broadcast P and K fertilizer on long-day yellow onion yield, quality, and storage characteristics were evaluated in 1995 and 1996 on a low-pH muck soil in north-central Ohio. Recommendations based on preseason soil tests indicated the crops would benefit from supplemental K, but not P, in 1995 and also in 1996. In both seasons, broadcast P rates were 0, 67, and 138 kg·ha–1 P2O5; K rates were 0, 168 and 336 kg·ha of K2O. The 3 × 3 factorial of P and K treatments was replicated four times. Phosphorus rate did not significantly influence yield or quality in either 1995 or 1996. Total yield, percent marketable yield, and the concentration of K in the bulbs increased linearly with K in 1995, even though the highest K application rate exceeded the rate recommended by soil testing by more than 100 kg·ha–1. Mean bulb size did not differ significantly among K rates. Potassium rate did not affect yield or quality in 1996, a drier year than 1995. After 5 months of commercial storage, onions from all nine treatments harvested in 1995 had similar amounts of rotten or sprouted bulbs, and weight loss. These results support the idea that P applications can be reduced or eliminated on high-P muck soils without reducing yield or quality. Onion response to applied K requires additional study before firm recommendations can be made.

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Single-plant microplots of `Russet Norkotah' potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) were grown outdoors in a 5 × 5 factorial RCBD of indigenous phosphorous level (200, 325, 450, 575, 700 kg·ha-1 Bray-Kurtz Pl extractable; McBride sandy loam) and banded triple super phosphate (0, 50, 100, 150, 200 kg P2O5/ha). Disease in the low P soil that was used to create the four lower P soil blends completely confounds response of the plants across indigenous P levels and might have accentuated responses within levels. Plants responded to fertilizer P with tuber yield increases of 100, 70, 40, and 10 percent within the 200, 325, 450, and 575 indigenous P levels, respectively. Fertilizer P also increased marketable yield and tuber P concentration. Neither indigenous nor fertilizer P altered tuber specific gravity.

Companion studies compare the responses of corn (Zea mays L.) and potato to indigenous soil P levels and quantify P uptake among potato cultivars in solution culture.

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Mississippi is one of the nation's largest broiler litter producing states. Interest in using litter and other organic waste products, such as compost, in horticultural systems is increasing in the state and region. The objective of this research was to determine the influences of composted broiler litter (CBL) on three aspects of vegetable crop productivity: growth and yield, microbiological safety, and mineral nutrition. This report focuses on the first two objectives. Compost was made in a covered, turned windrow for a blend of broiler litter and hardwood sawdust. Responses to CBL were tested in two vegetables: collard (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). Rates of CBL ranged from 0 to 5 tons/acre, preplant incorporated in a randomized complete block design with four replicates for each species in two separate experiments in 2004. Testing of the CBL, the soil after application, leaves, and harvested organs found no significant influence of CBL on pathogenic microbe concentrations. At each of five sampling dates through commercial crop maturity, collard (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala) fresh and dry weight per plant increased linearly with CBL applications up to 5 tons/acre. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) shoot fresh weight increased with increasing CBL applications at each sampling date. Marketable fruit yield increased linearly with increasing CBL applications. Total fruit yield response to CBL was best described by a quadratic equation.

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Twenty southernpea (Vigna unguiculata) entries were evaluated for fresh market potential in a hand-harvested trial at Crystal Springs, Miss. Ten entries in the pinkeye or black-eye categories were evaluated in an experiment with four replicates and randomized complete block design. Another ten entries in the cream or crowder category were evaluated in an adjacent observational trial with one plot per entry. In both experiments, rows were 40 inches apart and 20 ft long. Peas were seeded in May 2004. Plots were harvested on three dates in July. Pods were weighed after harvesting ten feet of row in each plot. After resting overnight in bins, the peas were shelled and weighed. Quick Pick matured earlier than other entries in the replicated trial. Lady Pea was very late in the observational trial, to the point it was not harvested. In-shell fresh weight was greatest for CT Pinkeye, Quick Pick, Mississippi Pinkeye, Knucklehull, and Top Pick. Shelled weight was greatest for CT Pinkeye, Quick Pick, and Mississippi Pinkeye in the replicated trial. Yields of the cream and crowder peas tested in a adjacent observational trial were less than those of the pink-eye and black-eyed peas.

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This report presents preliminary data and arguments supporting the investigation and possible adoption of a low-cost method of cherry and grape tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) production. Cherry and grape tomato crops are currently grown using indeterminate or relatively large determinate plants requiring trellising and significant hand labor at harvest. In contrast, processing tomato crops are usually determinate cultivars raised without supporting systems, and they are harvested mechanically. In Summer 2009, a Mississippi trial of home garden tomato cultivars included a compact, mounding yellow-fruited cherry tomato that produced more than 2 kg of fruit per plant in the first harvest. The architecture of the plant, high yield potential, and concentrated set indicate that there is potential to grow commercial cherry and grape tomato crops in much the same way commercial processing tomatoes are grown: unsupported on bare or mulched beds, with once-over harvest. Such a system could reduce the monetary and labor costs of production of cherry and grape tomatoes. Seed companies, tomato growers, and supporting agencies should work together to further investigate the potential of this system of cherry and grape tomato production.

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Abstract

Marketable tomato yields were influenced more by applied N than by irrigation. Irrigation increased total marketable tomato yields only at the intermediate level. Average yields for the 3-year period by soil water regimes were about 58,300, 70,000, and 68,900 kg/ha for no, intermediate, and high irrigation, respectively. Applied N increased yields, but the increase was limited mainly to the lowest application rate (65 kg/ha) in 1971 and 1972, and to the 2 lowest rates (65 and 130 kg/ha) in 1973. Average yields for the test period by N application rates were about 53,500, 67,100, 69,900, 70,600 and 67,600 kg/ha for 0, 65, 130, 195, and 260 kg/ha rates, respectively. These data indicate that the best combination of N rate and soil water regime was 65 to 130 kg/ha of applied N and supplemental irrigation as needed to maintain 30% or more available water in 0 to 60 cm soil depth.

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Yield and economics of vegetable crops are being evaluated in non-adjacent organic (OG) and nonorganic (NOG) vegetable production field areas in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. Each production area has six sections in which crops are rotated over several seasons and years. Production techniques and management are as similar in timing and methodology as possible between the systems without compromising either system. Production methods, timing, and costs are recorded for each operation. These are combined with yield data to create budgets and estimated returns for each production system/crop combination. When possible, harvested produce is marketed by a cooperating grower-retailer at a local mid- to up-scale farmers market. Three years into the study, positive returns have been found for several crops including potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), lettuce (Latuca sativa L.), summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.), cucumber (Cucumis sativa L.), and others. Marketable new potato yields in 2005 were under 10,000 lb/acre for Yukon Gold and Red Lasoda in either production system. Estimated net returns, based on an actual $2.00/lb market price, were positive for all system/cultivar combinations although final budget numbers are not firm. Significant differences in yield among cultivars were seen in potato, lettuce, summer squash, and cucumber. Organic production budgets for other crops in the study are also being developed.

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Yield, input, and economic data from research plots in central Mississippi are being used to test the economic potential of organic vegetable crop production. A six-part, multi-year rotation, including winter and summer cover crops, has been set up to generate yield, cost, and economic return data from vegetables produced in Mississippi using methods allowed by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture National Organic Standards and accepted by local growers employing pesticide-free and other similar management methods. Data being collected include labor and input costs, yields, and market prices for harvested crops. Marketable produce is being sold through a grower-retailer at a farmer's market. During 2004, the first full year of the rotation, 10 vegetable species were included in the plots. Pest pressure has generally been minimal. With one exception [one of two potato (Solanum tuberosum) cultivars failed to produce a good stand], all crops planted have produced fair to excellent yields. Crops generating high retail prices in this study include potatoes, snap beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), and leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa). In the future, the yield and price data being generated will be combined with new and existing cost data to create enterprise and production budgets for use by perspective and existing organic vegetable growers.

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Mississippi's two largest tomato-growing areas are in Smith and George Counties. The Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs is the closest vegetable research site to Smith County but does not share the same soil type. Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) reduces fruit yield and marketability, and its incidence appears to be increasing in the state. The objectives of this trial were 1) to determine fruit yield and TSWV incidence in tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) grown in central Mississippi, and 2) compare yield and relative yield among cultivars and between locations. Tomato seedlings were transplanted to the field in April 2004 in Smith and Copiah County plots. Production practices included raised beds, black plastic mulch, drip irrigation, and fertilizer applied pre-plant and as side-dressings based on soil test and regionally recommended practices. TSWV incidence was recorded in each plot in Smith Co. in June 2004. In both locations, `Amelia' and `Mountain Spring' were among the top yielding entries. In Smith, the top entries also included `BHN 543' and two commercial experimental entries. In Copiah, `Florida 47 R', `Biltmore', `Mountain Fresh', and `BHN 543' also produced high marketable yields. `Florida 47R', `Bush Celebrity', and `Mountain Fresh' were among the poorest yielding varieties in Smith County. Incidence of TSWV was not formally rated in Copiah. In Smith, percent symptomatic plants per plot were negatively correlated with yield. Symptoms were found on entries reportedly resistant or tolerant to TSWV.

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Prohexadione-Ca (BAS 125 W) is currently developed as an inhibitor of excessive vegetative growth in apple. In addition to the control of shoot growth, pronounced effects on the incidence of scab (Venturia inaequalis) and fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) are observed that are not due to any fungicidal or bactericidal effect of the compound. Prohexadione-Ca induces marked changes in the metabolism of phenylpropanoids most likely by inhibiting distinct dioxygenases, such as flavanone 3-hydroxylase, which require 2-oxoglutarate as a co-substrate. The content of flavonoids such as luteoliflavan (which does not normally occur in apple tissue) and eriodyctiol is drastically increased reaching levels in the range of 50 mg per gram of dried young shoot tissue. Simple phenols, the identity of which is still unknown, also undergo intense changes. Since phenylpropanoids have often been found to be involved in defense mechanisms of higher plants, further studies on their role in pathogen resistance in apple are justified from these results.

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