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  • Author or Editor: William H. Tietjen x
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Fruit of blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.), precooled to 2°C, had 60–80% less decay than non-precooled berries when held for 24 hours at 21° following a 3-day simulated transit period at 10°. When precooled berries were held 48 hours at 21° following a 10-day simulated transit period at 2°, they had 37–46% less decay than non-precooled berries similarly handled.

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Spring-planted `Pilgrim' tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) were grown under slitted clear polyethylene rowcovers on beds prepared in the fall with black plastic mulch and trickle irrigation. Fall beds allowed for earlier planting and a corresponding earlier harvest. Plastic mulch and trickle irrigation remained intact during the winter. There was no significant advantage to leaving covers on past the time of the traditional planting date for the area. It was estimated that the additional cost for this system would be about $1000 per acre. The profitability of this system will be determined by the price growers receive for their earliest fruit. An early season price of $0.60/1b is the approximate break-even figure. Higher early season prices will lead to much greater profits. For heatsensitive crops like tomatoes, using rowcovers on fall beds may effectively maximize early yield and profitability.

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The effect of disease forecasting systems and stake or ground culture on foliar and postharvest disease control for tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) was evaluated during two growing seasons in northern New Jersey. Foliar disease was reduced and marketable yield increased by stake culture. Percent of postharvest losses, including loss due to anthracnose, was significantly reduced by stake culture. Effectiveness of disease control schedules, weekly or forecaster-generated, was not affected by cultural system. Disease forecasting was shown to have potential for optimizing fungicide use in tomato production by controlling foliar disease and fruit anthracnose with fewer applications than a weekly schedule.

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