Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 15 items for

  • Author or Editor: W.P. Cowgill Jr. x
Clear All Modify Search

The rapid evolution of electronic technologies is providing researchers, educators, and consumers increasingly fast access to information. On the Internet (Net), electronic mail is a rapid, efficient, and economical medium for communication. Mail list management software (Listserv, Almanac, Majordomo, and Liststar) now allows users with interests in specific topics to address production and marketing issues across state and international boundaries by posting messages to a discussion group (DG) at one electronic address. Replies from anyone interested in responding may be sent to the entire DG, constituting a discussion, or returned directly to the originator of the message. Three commodity-oriented, horticultural DGs—Apple-Crop, Veg-Prod and Direct-Mkt—established over the last 30 months now provide on-line forums for >600 subscribers from 46 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 21 other countries. Twenty-seven percent to 31% of these DGs' subscribers responded to a survey evaluating the effectiveness of DGs as communication tools. Reponses showed that DGs were a valuable communication tool for reaching a broad resource pool rapidly and economically. Information requests, meeting announcements, and resource listings have dominated the activity of these DGs. Cooperative extension specialists and county agricultural agents represent most users (69%), followed by researchers (14%), farmers, and those with unlisted job descriptions (7% each). Ease of use, quickness (often within 24 hours), quality and quantity of replies, and the ability to glean timely information for files and newsletters were cited as the most important reasons for using these DGs.

Full access

Environmental concerns about nitrate contamination of groundwater have prompted renewed interest in optimizing fertilizer rates. A field study was initiated to study the influence of preplant and drip fertigation rates of nitrogen on the yield of hell peppers grown on Quakertown (QkB) silt loam soil. Preplant nitrogen rates of 0, 56.7, and 113.5 kgha were incorporated into the plots before transplanting. The three fertigation rates (0, 17 and 34 Kg/mulched hectare) were injected through the drip irrigation starting one week after transplanting and repeated at three week intervals.

Proplant nitrogen applications variably influenced early pepper yield. and did not significantly influence total yield. Early pepper yield was not influenced by drip fertigation rate, however, total yield increased as the fertigation rate increased. The dry weather conditions of the 1993 growing season may have influenced the responsc of pepper yield to the fertilizer treatments. Further studies are required to determine the optimum fertilization program for bell peppers grown under Northern New Jersey's edaphic conditions.

Free access

A research trial evaluation of fungicides and fungicide combinations in conjunction with weekly or TOM-CAST (an early blight forecast system) spray schedules was conducted in 1998. Fungicide regimens were: Quadris (alternating with Bravo Weatherstik); Bravo Weatherstik; Manzate followed by Bravo Weatherstik; Champ; Champ and Bravo; Nu-Cop; NuCop and Bravo The weekly schedule resulted in 15 fungicide applications; the TOM-CAST schedule required five applications. Foliar disease was rated weekly. Mature fruit were harvested weekly to obtain total and marketable yields. All fungicide treatments reduced foliar disease compared to the untreated control. Quadris alternating with Bravo Weatherstik on a weekly or TOM-CAST schedule provided better disease control than any other material on either schedule. There were no significant differences in disease control among the other materials applied weekly. Disease control achieved with the TOM-CAST schedule was somewhat less than with the weekly schedule for all materials. Quadris/Bravo or Bravo provided the best control and Champ or Nu-Cop alone provided the least control on the TOM-CAST schedule. Total yield was not affected by fungicide or schedule. Marketable yield was reduced by weekly applications of copper fungicides compared to most other treatments. Chemical names used: tetrachloroisophtalonitrile (chlorothalonil); [methyl (E)-2-{2-[6-(2-cyanophenoxy) pyrimidin-4-yloxy]phenyl}-3-methoxyacrylate (asoxystrobin); copper hydroxide; manganese ethylene bisdithiocarbamate and zinc.

Free access

Two disease forecasting systems - FAST, Pennsylvania State University and CUFAST, Cornell University - were used to generate spray schedules for controlling Alternaria solani Ell. and Mart. on `Celebrity' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) at The Rutgers Snyder Research and Extension Farm in Northwest New Jersey. Disease control was compared to that obtained following standard weekly spray schedules. Chlorothalonil, 1.5 lb/A, was used for disease control for all treatments. Disease ratings of the FAST and CUFAST plots were significantly lower than that of the unsprayed control and were not significantly different from the plots sprayed according to standard spray schedules. A total of 10 fungicide applications were made following FAST recommendations; 7 applications were made following CUFAST recommendations; 13-15 applications were made following standard recommended schedules. Using CUFAST resulted in an estimated $200 per acre savings in spray costs. Chemical name used: tetrachloroisophtalonitrile (chlorothalonil).

Free access

An accurate and efficient system for measuring and recording fruit quality data was developed. Utilizing this procedure and custom made instrumentation. two individuals can efficiently collect, measure and record the following data: apple fruit size (weight and diameter), % red skin color, length/diameter ratio, flesh firmness, soluble solids. seed count. and starch-iodine index at a rate exceeding 60 fruit/hour. If starch iodine and seed counts are eliminated, 100 fruit/hour rates can he achieved. One individual can test 40-50 fruit/hour.

Testing equipment/materials consist of a mechanical weight scale; custom made length/diameter ratio gauge; custom made flesh firmness instrumentation; refractometer; starch-iodine solution and pie pans; and an electronic data-logger. All data is manually entered. The use of custom equipment constructed from readily available parts combined with the UVM Fruit Testing Protocol, has greatly enhanced the speed and accuracy of testing, measuring and quantifying apple fruit quality data.

Free access

Three disease forecasting systems, FAST, CUFAST and TOM-CAST, were statistically evaluated at The Rutgers Snyder Research and Extension Farm in northwestern New Jersey for efficacy in the control of early blight (Alternarina solani) on tomato. All three forecasting systems have generated reduced fungicide application schedules that significantly reduced fungicide input and provided adequate control for early blight. In 1991, using FAST and CUFAST, and in 1992, using all three disease forecasting systems, six fungicide applications were eliminated from the standard weekly spray schedule. Eliminating six fungicide applications resulted in an average reduction of 9 lbs a.i./A of fungicide with a calculated average cost savings of $200/A. In 1992, a demonstration trial with the CUFAST disease forecasting system in a commercial tomato planting eliminated six fungicide applications, provided commercially acceptable disease control and resulted in a $552/A reduction in production costs calculated with actual production records.

Free access

Weather information has many applications in crop production practices, including disease forecasting. A variety of weather instruments are available for on-farm use, but associated costs and need for regular calibration and maintenance can limit actual use, especially by smaller growers. Subscription to an electronic meteorological service may be a viable alternative to on-site weather stations. In 1997 and 1998, hourly temperature, relative humidity and leaf wetness were monitored at six sites in a 400-m2 area of New Jersey with Field Monitor™ data loggers (Sensor Instruments, Inc.) and by subscription to SkyBit, Inc., an electronic meteorological service. There was close correspondence in temperature data from the two sources at all sites, the average seasonal difference ranging from 0 to 2 °F. Relative humidity data was variable between the two sources, the greatest variation occurring at low and high humidity, the ranges at which relative humidity sensors had been shown to be least accurate. Leaf wetness estimates from the two sources agreed at least two-thirds of the time. Data differences related to source were attributed to both systematic and random error. The usefulness of electronic weather data in crop production depends on how sensitive the particular weather-dependent applications (e.g., predictive disease and insect models) are to variation in the input data. The TOM-CAST early blight forecaster for tomatoes was not particularly sensitive to differences between SkyBit and Field Monitor leaf wetness estimates.

Free access

Five variations of TOM-CAST and two sources of weather data were used to schedule tomato early blight control for research trials at the Snyder Research and Extension Farm, Pittstown, N.J. TOM-CAST scheduled fungicide applications were initiated at 15, 25, or 35 disease severity values (DSV) and resprayed at 15 or 25 DSV. Weather data for generating the DSVs was obtained on-site with a Sensor Instruments Field Monitor™ or through subscription to the electronic meteorological service SkyBit, Inc. Bravo 720, 3 pints/acre, was used for disease control. Foliar disease, yields, and postharvest decays were evaluated. Daily DSVs, cumulative DSVs, and forecast spray schedule varied with weather data source. Because SkyBit data generated more DSVs during the season than Field Monitor data, the SkyBit-based forecasts called for one or two more sprays than the Field Monitor-based forecasts. However, the number of sprays actually applied was the same, one more or one less for each combination of initiation and respray thresholds. All treatment schedules reduced disease compared to the untreated control. Variation in initiation threshold did not affect disease control. All TOM-CAST schedules respraying at 15 to 20 DSV were as effective as the weekly schedule. All fungicide treatments increased total yields and reduced postharvest decays compared to the untreated control. Most treatments also increased marketable yields. The most efficient, effective Field Monitor-generated TOM-CAST schedule required nine sprays compared to 13 weekly sprays. The comparable SkyBit-generated schedule called for 10 applications. Chemical name used: tetrachloroisophtalonitrile (chlorothalonil).

Free access

Fourteen different fungicide schedules for early blight control, including eight variations of TOM-CAST, were evaluated at the Snyder Research and Extension Farm, Pittstown, N.J. Weather data was collected with Sensor Instruments Field Monitors. All calendar-based schedules—weekly, biweekly, grower simulation—reduced foliar disease compared to the untreated control. All forecast generated schedules—TOM-CAST variations, FAST and CUFAST—reduced foliar disease compared to the untreated control. Several of the forecast schedules resulted in disease ratings not significantly different from those following calendar based schedules or from each other. The fourteen different schedules required as many as sixteen to as few as four fungicide applications. Disease control schedule did not affect total yield, marketable yield and postharvest losses. Disease control with a TOM-CAST generated schedule based on weather data from an electronic meteorological service was not different from disease control obtained with a TOM-CAST schedule based on ground station weather data. Potential cost savings of as much as $295 per acre resulting from reduced fungicide schedules were estimated. Chemical name used: tetrachloroisophtalonitrile (chlorothalonil).

Free access

Since 1990, FAST - Pennsylvania State University, CUFAST - Cornell University. and TOM-CAST - Ridgetown College, Ontario, three systems for forecasting early blight, have been field tested at The Snyder Research and Extension Farm in northwestern New Jersey for their potential use in fresh market tomato production in that area of the state. In 1993, the number of fungicide applications for tomato early blight control required by the three forecast systems was less than the number required following a weekly schedule. FAST and CUFAST scheduled applications of chlorothalonil, 1.5 lb per acre, reduced disease severity, hut TOM-CAST scheduled applications did not reduce disease severiety compared to the untreated control. Culture did not affect disease control results hut did affect disease incidence and post-harvest losses. Total and marketable yields were not affected by fungicide application schedule. Potential cost savings of $270 or $465 per acre, resulting from reduced numbers of fungicide applications following CUFAST or FAST. were estimated. Chemical name used: tetrachloroisophtalonitrile (chlorothalonil).

Free access