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Wesley Kline and Peter Nitzsche

A 3-year study was established to evaluate a large number of heirloom tomato cultivars for horticultural characteristics and yield. The initial 2001 screening included 110 cultivars with fruit types from currant to beefsteak. The 110 cultivars were reduced to 12 (`Arkansas Traveler', `Box Car Willie', `Brandywine Red', `Carmello', `Cherokee Purple', `Costoluto Genovese', `Eva Purple Ball', `Hawaiian Pineapple', `Mortgage Lifter', `Prudens Purple', `Ramapo', and `Santa Clara Canner') based on yield, consumer preference and fruit characteristics and evaluated in 2004. The cultivars were arranged in a complete-block design with plots of eight plants replicated four times. Fruits were harvested 10 times from 15 July to 16 Sept., graded into marketable and cull, counted, and weighed. Internal and external fruit characteristics were evaluated at the seventh harvest from 10 randomly selected marketable fruit from three replications. Days to harvest from transplanting ranged from 61 to 82 days. For the early harvest (1–4), `Mortgage Lifter' (20.18 t·ha-1) and `Cherokee Purple' (19.23 t·ha-1) had significantly more marketable fruit than the other cultivars. By mid-season harvests (5–7), the cultivar Carmello (43.38 t·ha-1) yielded statistically more marketable fruit than all other cultivars. There were few differences among the cultivars for the late harvest (8-10) period. When all harvests were combined, `Carmello' (76.59 t·ha-1) had significantly higher yields than the other cultivars except `Mortgage Lifter' (74.72 t·ha-1). External and internal fruit characteristics varied among the various cultivars. All 12 cultivars would be acceptable in different market segments.

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Wesley L. Kline and Shirley T. Kline

Obtaining equipment for research in developing countries can be difficult, but it is possible to build some simple equipment with local materials. Onion varietal testing for the export market from Central America has been a major emphasis for the Honduran Agricultural Research Foundation. They have been carrying out evaluations since their inception in 1985, but did not have a good way to consistently grade large quantities of onions. To evaluate the yields, simple low-cost, and easily transportable grading equipment was constructed from materials readily available in the domestic market. Grading equipment must give uniform and repeatable results. Two grading systems were designed to provide that consistency. The first was the use of PVC (polyvinylchloride) tubing to construct 3and 4-inch grading rings. Yellow and sweet onions for export are divided into two classes—jumbo (3-4 inches with 65% 3-1/2 or larger in diameter) and colossal (larger than 4 inches in diameter). Rings were constructed by cutting 1-inch cross-sections of tubing and putting one inside the other until the desired diameter was reached. The rings were functional for small plots, but were not appropriate for large trials. A compact, collapsible grader, easily carried in the back of a small truck or van, was constructed for use on large trials. Local wood and steel bars were used for the section table and sizers. At the same time, growers were looking for a grading system that could be used in areas where there was no electricity. The grader was redesigned for commercial use, but was still portable. The designs for and cost effectiveness of the grading equipment will be discussed.

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Wesley Kline, Scott Haag, and Gerald Ghidiu

Onion maggots have reduced green onion and leek production in southern New Jersey for at least the last 80 years. Growers routinely apply soil insecticides at planting and spray for larvae and adult flies during the season. Two monitoring methods are available for determining adult fly activity. New York researchers have demonstrated that cone traps can be used. Two traps are placed near onion fields and checked for adult flies twice per week to determine peak fly emergence. Ontario researchers use yellow sticky cards for monitoring onion maggot flies in the onion fields. Three 10 × 15-cm cards are placed on each side of the field and are checked twice per week. An experiment was conducted in New Jersey to determine which system is more reliable and easier for consultants and growers to use. Two cone traps were placed at the edge of one onion field and yellow cards were placed in another field on four farms. The traps were checked twice per week from 29 Mar. to 22 Oct. Both monitoring methods tracked the adult flights, but the average number of flies captured was higher on the sticky cards. Ease of use is important if either system will be used as a monitoring tool. Sticky cards are more difficult to maintain since they must be replaced at least every 2 weeks. Since fields are irrigated or cultivated every week in southern New Jersey, the cards become covered with soil, reducing effectiveness. Also, it is more difficult to determine male and female flies on sticky cards.

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C. Andrew Wyenandt and Wesley L. Kline

Twenty-eight bell pepper cultivars and breeding lines were evaluated for resistance to the crown and stem rot phase of Phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capsici) and for silvering of fruit at two sites in southern New Jersey in 2005. A randomized complete block design with four replications was setup at Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center (RAREC), Bridgeton, New Jersey and at an on-farm site in Vineland, NJ. Number and weight of fruit with silvering varied significantly depending on pepper line, harvest date, and location. Percentage of phytophthora-infected plants ranged from 0% to 26% at RAREC and 0% to 78% at the on-farm site depending on pepper line. In some cases, new breeding lines exhibited levels of Phytophthora-resistance comparable to the resistant cultivar Paladin. Depending on pepper line, percentage of harvested fruit with silvering decreased with later harvest dates. The percentage of fruit with silvering ranged from 0% to 92% during first harvest, 1% to 56% during second harvest and from 5% to 35% during third harvest at RAREC, and from 0% to 22% during second and 0% to 15% during third harvest at the on-farm site depending on pepper line. Less fruit silvering developed in lines with no resistance or tolerance to P. capsici. Reports have suggested that phytophthora-resistance is linked to increased silvering in fruit. Silvering in Paladin was 66%, 56%, and 35% compared to only 0%, 1%, and 5% in Camelot (susceptible cultivar) during each harvest at RAREC and was 22% and 15% in Paladin compared to 0% in Camelot at the on-farm site. Interestingly, silvering was lower when pepper lines were grown on high-ridged bare soil beds with overhead irrigation (on-farm site) compared to same pepper lines grown on black plastic mulch with drip irrigation (RAREC).

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Wesley L. Kline, Stephen A. Garrison, and June F. Sudal

Heirloom tomato production is increasing in the Eastern United states as consumer demand increases. Pruning and suckering heirloom tomatoes have not been studied to see if there is any need for this labor-intensive activity. A 2-year study was undertaken to evaluate whether pruning or suckering would affect yield or fruit size for two heirloom cultivars (`Mortgage Lifter' and `Prudens Purple'). The treatments imposed on the cultivars were 1) removing all suckers from the second or third stem down after the flower cluster; 2) removing the bottom two suckers, or 3) removing no suckers. Pruning had no effect on early yield or fruit size (harvests 1–4). Mid-season (harvests 5–7) total and marketable yields were significantly higher for removing two suckers or not suckering over the other two treatments for year 1, but not year 2. The tomato fruit size was only reduced for the non-suckering treatment. There were no statistical differences among the pruning treatments for yield or fruit size for late season harvests (8-10) for both years. Marketable yields were statistically higher for no suckering over the two- and three-stem treatments, but not different from two suckers when all harvests were combined for the season for year 1. No statistical differences were observed in year 2. However, fruit size was reduced when not suckering compared to the other treatments. The cultivar `Prudens Purple' did have higher total and marketable yield than `Mortgage Lifter' for both early and total combined harvests, but not for mid- or late-season harvests in year 1. There were no statistical differences between the two cultivars for year 2.

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William J Sciarappa, Michelle Infante-Casella, and Wesley Kline*

Eggplant cultivars comprise one of the most diverse botanical groups in world foodcrop agriculture. Their dietary origins are in China, Japan, Thailand, Africa and Europe. Over the last 60 years in the United States, eggplant has transitioned from a minor ethnic crop into a major vegetable commodity. Four years of horticultural studies in New Jersey have compared 33 worldwide cultivars. Eggplant cultivars included: Asian types—Long Purple, Millionaire, Machiaw, Orient Charm, Bride, Pingtung Long, Ichiban, Thai Round Green, Thai Long Green, and Thai Hard Skin; Indian types—Kermit, Bharta, and Pushpa; African types—Bitterballs, Kinalia, Kinalia XL, and Gangan; European types—Megal, Red Egg, Bambino, Cloud Nine, Rosa Bianca, Comprido Verde Claro; and New York; and several Russian types. These studies utilized raised beds and black plastic with drip irrigation at 30' spacing between plants and five to six feet between single row beds. Two replications were used in initial screening surveys and with four replications for in-depth studies of superior candidates. Over 4 years, the sites were planted from June 5 to 20 June. Harvests began in mid-July and ended in mid-October. The selected eggplant cultivars all exhibited typical bi-modal bearing throughout the season in growth zones 7 and 8. Individual fruit weights ranged from 2.6 to 13.4 oz per fruit. Fruit length ranged from 2.3 to 10.7 inches. Basic fruit colors were white, red, green, purple, and black with several types having variegation and striping. Yields differed significantly among varieties and ranged from 10,000 to 40,000 pounds per acre over the course of the season with multiple harvests. Marketable yields ranged from 2,750 to 8,750 boxes per acre (30 pound boxes).

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Wesley L. Kline, Stephen A. Garrison, and June F. Sudal

The cultivar `Mortgage Lifter' was planted in a 2-year trial to evaluate staking systems. All plots were established with black plastic and drip in a randomized complete block design with three or four replications. In year 1, treatments consisted of straw mulch and plants grown on 4 and 8 ft tomato stakes without straw mulch. In year 2, treatments were added to include topping plants at 4 and 6 ft, when plants grew to the top of the stake and down to touch the plastic or not topping. All were grown on 4-ft stakes. Additionally, plants were grown on 8-ft stakes, but topped at 5, 6, 7, and 8 ft. The first year there were no statistical marketable yield differences between plants grown on 4 or 8-ft stakes, but the yields were significantly higher than the straw mulch treatment after the seventh harvest. The straw mulch treatment did have significantly more cull fruit, lower percentage marketable fruit and a smaller marketable fruit size for all harvests compared to the staking treatments. In year two, there were no statistical differences for marketable yield among the treatments until the late harvests (9–12). For the late harvest, all treatments grown on 8-ft stakes had higher marketable yields than all other treatments. When all harvests were combined, the 6- and 7-ft treatments had higher marketable yields with the exception of the 5- and 8-ft treatments and the 6-ft treatment on 4-ft stakes. Cull fruit yields were only significant among treatments for the mid season harvest (5–8) with the straw mulch treatment having more cull fruit than all other treatments. There were no statistical differences for percentage marketable fruit for any harvest.

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Christian A. Wyenandt, Wesley L. Kline, Daniel L. Ward, and Nancy L. Brill

From 2006 to 2008, four different production systems and five bell pepper cultivars (Capsicum annuum) with either no resistance (Alliance and Camelot), tolerance (Revolution), or resistance (Paladin and Aristotle) to the crown rot phase of phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capsici) were evaluated for the development of skin separation or “silvering” in fruit at a research facility and four commercial vegetable farms in southern New Jersey. Cultivar, production system, and year, each had a significant effect on the total percentage of fruit with skin separation and marketable yield. The percentage of bell pepper fruit with skin separation was higher in both phytophthora-resistant cultivars compared with the phytophthora-susceptible cultivars across all four production systems. Marketable yield was highest when bell peppers were grown in double rows on raised beds with black plastic mulch and drip irrigation compared with bell peppers grown on single rows on raised beds with black plastic mulch and drip irrigation and bell peppers grown on single rows on raised, bare ground beds with buried drip irrigation. Marketable yields were lowest when bell peppers were grown in single rows on high, ridged beds with overhead irrigation. Results of this study suggest that the development of skin separation or “silvering” in fruit is more closely associated with genotype than type of production system.

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Charles S. Krasnow, Andrew A. Wyenandt, Wesley L. Kline, J. Boyd Carey, and Mary K. Hausbeck

Phytophthora crown and root rot, incited by Phytophthora capsici, is an important and limiting disease in bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) production in many vegetable-producing areas of the United States. Soilborne oospores initiate disease when conditions are favorable, and polycyclic production of sporangia and zoospores occurs on infected plant tissue during the production season. Raised-bed plant culture, resistant cultivars, and oomycete-specific fungicides are commonly used to manage P. capsici. The objective of this study was to evaluate four bell pepper cultivars and four experimental breeding entries (collectively termed entries) for resistance to P. capsici in Michigan (MI) and New Jersey (NJ) and to determine the effect of a fungicide program on plant health and yield. The pepper cultivars included Camelot X3R (susceptible), Aristotle (intermediately resistant), and Paladin and Archimedes (resistant) for comparison. Disease symptoms included plant wilting and sunken necrotic stem lesions. In NJ, blighting of stems and foliage was also observed. In MI, >90% of the susceptible ‘Camelot X3R’ plants in the untreated plot wilted and died in both years of the study. All other entries had <10% plant wilting and death in 2014. In 2015, ‘Archimedes’ and ‘Paladin’ had <10% wilt and plant death; ‘Aristotle’, AP4835, 13SE12671, and AP4841 had 10% to 30% symptomatic plants. The fungicide program reduced disease to <10% for all entries except ‘Camelot X3R’ in 2014 and ‘Aristotle’ and ‘Camelot X3R’ in 2015. In NJ, ‘Paladin’, ‘Aristotle’, and ‘Camelot X3R’ (2014) and ‘Archimedes’, ‘Aristotle’, and ‘Camelot X3R’ (2015) had >30% plant wilting and death in the untreated plot. In the fungicide-treated plot, AP4841, AP4835, and AP4839 (2014), and AP4839 (2015) had <10% of plants with disease symptoms; ‘Camelot X3R’ and ‘Aristotle’ had >40% plant wilting and death in both years. In MI, marketable yield for ‘Paladin’ in fungicide-treated and untreated plots was significantly higher than the other entries in both years (P < 0.05). AP4839 was the highest yielding entry in NJ in the untreated plot, and AP4839 and ‘Archimedes’ were highest yielding in the fungicide-treated plot in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Fruit size for 13SE12671 was the largest among entries in both locations. There was no entry × fungicide program interaction in MI.

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Kristian E. Holmstrom, Marilyn G. Hughes, Wesley L. Kline, Sarah D. Walker, and Joseph Ingerson-Mahar

In 1998, Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) and the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA) at Rutgers University began a joint program to use global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) technologies to map the spatial distribution of corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea Boddie (Lepidoptera:Noctuidae)) and European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae)). In 1999 the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Vegetable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program operated a network of 81 blacklight insect survey traps in New Jersey. These 15 W blacklight traps were used to monitor adult populations of vegetable crop pests including corn earworm and European corn borer. All blacklight trap sites were mapped using a hand held GPS unit. Average daily corn borer population data were imported into a GIS software package, and then linked to corresponding mapped locations throughout New Jersey. State wide spatial distributions of adult corn earworm and European corn borer population data were imported into a GIS software package, and then linked to corresponding mapped locations throughout New Jersey. State wide spatial distributions of adult corn earworm and European corn borer populations were produced weekly, and distributed via extension newsletters and web sites to augment the current RCE IPM outreach program.