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H. Brent Pembcrton, George L. Philley, and William E. Roberson

Plants of field grown rose cultivars Blaze, Gold Glow, Queen Elizabeth, Mr. Lincoln, Montezuma, Don Juan, Chicago Peace, and Pink Peace endured two major freezes. Temperatures fell to -13°C on 16 December 1989 and as low as -20°C during an extended period from 17 to 28 December 1989 when the highest temperature reached was 5°. Grade 1 plants of each cultivar were harvested on 5 January 1990. At harvest, discoloration of the pith, xylem ray parenchyma and bud union tissue was assessed. Additional plants were then potted and forced in a glasshouse at 15° night temperalure with venting at 21° during the day. At the end of the initial flush of growth, which was defined as either the opening of the first flower or the determination that all new shoots were blind, new growth was rated and measured. Blaze exhibited minimal damage with only slight pith discoloration. The total number of flowering shoots (TNFS) for Blaze was 5.5 per plant which is an expected number from a grade 1 plant. Of the other cultivars. Gold Glow and Pink Peace exhibited pith, xylem, and bud union damage with up to 50% cane dieback, but produced flowering shoots from the graft union. However, only half the expected TNFS per plant were produced. The remaining cultivars also exhibited higher damage levels than Blaze which resulted in reduced shoot numbers and flowering. Only Blaze plants received an acceptable plant marketability rating.

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Nawab Ali, Robert Skirvin, Walter E. Splittstoesser, and William L. George

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seeds of `Marketer', `Marketmore', `Wisconsin SMR-18', `Tablegreen', `Spotfree', and `China' were stored at 3C and 38% relative humidity for up to 26 years. Seed older than 13 years did not germinate. Cultivars stored 10 years gave 80% germination, except Wisconsin SMR-18' (40%). Ten-year-old seeds were separated from their seedcoats, and cotyledons were excised into six segments. Explants were placed on Murashige and Skoog medium with all combinations of BAP (0, 1,2, and 3 mg·liter-1) and NAA (0, 0.1,0.2, and 0.3 mg·liter-1). Plants were obtained from culture for all cultivars grown on medium containing NAA and 1 mg BAP/liter. No plants were regenerated when BAP or NAA was lacking. Chemical names used: benzylaminopurine (BAP), 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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William E. Roberson, H. Brent Pemberton, and George L. Philley

To determine the efficacy of cyproconazole for control of black spot [Marssonina rosae (Lib.) Lind] when applied as a drench, treatments of 0, 32.5, 65, 97.5 and 130 g a.i./ha were initiated 9 May 1994 on individual Rosa `Peace' plants in a randomized complete-block design. Treatments were applied once per month until 18 Oct. 1994. Data were taken in July, Sept., and Nov. 1994 when separate disease and defoliation ratings were assigned. By July, the controls were heavily infected; the higher treatment rates resulted in significant control. By September, the disease and defoliation ratings exhibited a linear response with cyproconazole rate, with the highest treatment rate giving the best control. The relationship between disease and defoliation ratings and treatment rate remained the same in November, although there was increased disease incidence overall. No phytotoxicity was observed. These results indicate that soil applied treatments of cyproconazole can control black spot effectively on roses.

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Nawab Ali, Robert M. Skirvin, Walter E. Splittstoesser, David E. Harry, and William L. George

Seed lots with the genetic background of `Baroda' and `Marketer' cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) containing all possible combinations (DF Df, Dfdf, dfdf) of df (which increases dormancy) and Df (wild type) were used. Dormancy was not solely due to the genotype dfdf and clear effects of genetic background were apparent. The df allele in the homozygous state induced a strong dormancy in `Baroda', but the Df gene could not restore normal germination. However, Df did reduce the dormancy period to 85 days. In `Marketer', df did not delay germination. Any treatment (puncturing, removal, cutting) that damaged the inner integument allowed `Baroda' dfdf to germinate, indicating an intact integument was essential for maintaining dormancy in this cultivar. All `Baroda' dfdf embryonic axes without the cotyledons germinated in 5 days. `Baroda' dfdf seeds with intact integuments imbibed adequate water to germinate but remained dormant, suggesting that the effect of the integument on dormancy was not related to imbibition.

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George E. Boyhan, Albert C. Purvis, William C. Hurst, Reid L. Torrance, and J. Thad Paulk

This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of harvest date on yield and storage of short-day onions in controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage conditions. In general, harvest yields increased with later harvest dates. Yields of jumbo (>7.6 cm) onions primarily showed a quadratic or cubic response to harvest date, first increasing and then showing diminished or reduced marginal yields. Medium (>5.1 to ≤7.6 cm) onions generally showed diminished yield with later harvests as jumbos increased. Neither days from transplanting to harvest nor calculated degree days were reliable at predicting harvest date for a particular cultivar. Cultivars (early, midseason, and late maturing) performed consistently within their harvest class compared to other cultivars for a specific year, but could not be used to accurately predict a specific number of days to harvest over all years. Only three of the eight statistical assessments of percent marketable onions after CA storage were significant with two showing a linear increase with later harvest date and one showing a cubic trend, first increasing, then decreasing, and finally increasing again based on harvest date.

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John D. Lea-Cox, William L. Bauerle, Marc W. van Iersel, George F. Kantor, Taryn L. Bauerle, Erik Lichtenberg, Dennis M. King, and Lauren Crawford

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) transmit sensor data and control signals over long distances without the need for expensive infrastructure, allowing WSNs to add value to existing irrigation systems since they provide the grower with direct feedback on the water needs of the crop. We implemented WSNs in nine commercial horticulture operations. We provide an overview of the integration of sensors with hardware and software to form WSNs that can monitor and control irrigation water applications based on one of two approaches: 1) “set-point control” based on substrate moisture measurements or 2) “model-based control” that applied species-specific irrigation in response to transpiration estimates. We summarize the economic benefits, current and future challenges, and support issues we currently face for scaling WSNs to entire production sites. The series of papers that follow either directly describe or refer the reader to descriptions of the findings we have made to date. Together, they illustrate that WSNs have been successfully implemented in horticultural operations to greatly reduce water use, with direct economic benefits to growers.

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George E. Boyhan, William M. Randle, Albert C. Purvis, Pamela M. Lewis, Donna O. Linton, Reid L. Torrance, and David E. Curry

A 3-year study on the effects of growth stimulants on yield, bulb size, bulb quality, and storability of short-day onions (Allium cepa L.) was conducted at three locations. Treatments included 2-hydroxypropanoic acid, humic acids, humic acids in conjunction with micronutrients, and two formulations of cytokinin applied as a transplant dip and/or plant spray. There were no differences between 2-hydroxypropanoic acid and an untreated check at two different farm locations for onion yield, equatorial bulb diameter, or percent jumbos [≥3 inches (≥7.6 cm)] in 1997. Comparisons between untreated checks, 2-hydroxypropanoic acid, humic acids as a transplant dip or plant spray, and humic acids with micronutrients, all applied as transplant dip or plant spray, indicated there were no differences among treatments for yield, pungency, soluble solids, equatorial bulb diameter, or percent marketable bulbs after 6 months in controlled atmosphere storage in 1997-98. In a final experiment, these treatments were evaluated in a factorial arrangement using the short-day onion cultivar Pegasus and a mixture of cultivars WI-609 and WI-3115, which are referred to as Wannamaker cultivar mix. `Pegasus' displayed higher yield and lower soluble solids than the Wannamaker cultivar mix. Treatment with humic acids and micronutrients, or cytokinins resulted in greater percent marketable bulbs after 4.5 months of controlled atmosphere storage compared to the untreated check. No differences were observed among the treatments for pungency or bulb size. In addition, there was no treatment by cultivar interaction.

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George E. Boyhan, Albert C. Purvis, William M. Randle, Reid L. Torrance, M. Jefferson Cook IV, Greg Hardison, Ronald H. Blackley, Heath Paradice, C. Randy Hill, and J. Thad Paulk

Short-day onion (Allium cepa) variety trials were conducted in southeastern Georgia from 2000–03. Data collected and evaluated included total yield, graded yield, harvest date, number of seedstems, number of doubles, number of onion centers, bulb shape, disease incidence, bulb pungency, and storability in controlled atmosphere (CA) storage. Fifty-eight varieties were evaluated in the trials with 10 varieties appearing in all 4 years. Twenty-nine varieties appeared only once in the trials. Eight varieties had jumbo yields (≥3-inch diameter) that were not significantly different from the greatest jumbo yielding variety in 2 of the 4 years of testing and included `Century', `EX 19013', `Georgia Boy', `Mr. Buck', `Sapelo Sweet', `Savannah Sweet', `Sweet Vidalia', and `WI-609'. Early season varieties were strongly daylength dependent with foliar lodging occuring early and uniformly. Late season varieties were more prone to bacterial infection particularly if postharvest heat curing was employed. Although significant differences between varieties for seedstems (flower formation) and bulb doubling occurred almost every year, environmental conditions were an important part of their development. Five varieties had seedstems in 2 of the 3 years seedstems were prevalent that did not differ from the greatest number of seedstems for that year and included `Cyclops', `Georgia Boy', `Mr. Buck', `Pegasus', and `SSC 6372 F1'. `Sapelo Sweet' and `Sweet Advantage' had more than 5% bulb doubling in 3 years of the trials. Pungency as measured by pyruvate analysis ranged from 1.1 to 5.4 μmol·g–1 fresh weight (FW) over the 4 years of trials. There were nine varieties that were, for 2 years or more, among the greatest in percent marketable onions after 4.5 months of CA storage: `Georgia Boy', `Granex 1035', `Granex 33', `Ohoopee Sweet', `Sapelo Sweet', `Savannah Sweet', `Sweet Melissa', `Sweet Melody', and `SRO 1000'.

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Jose E. Sanchez, Charles E. Edson, George W. Bird, Mark E. Whalon, Thomas C. Willson, Richard R. Harwood, Kadir Kizilkaya, James E. Nugent, William Klein, Alan Middleton, Theodore L. Loudon, Dale R. Mutch, and Joseph Scrimger

Designing and implementing more productive, nutrient-efficient, and environmentally sound orchard management systems requires a better understanding of plant and soil responses to more biologically driven management practices. This study explored the effect of orchard floor and N management on soil organic C and N, populations of nematodes, NO3 leaching, and yields in tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L. `Montmorency') production. A baseline conventional orchard system consisting of an herbicide-treated tree row and a full rate of N fertilizer was compared to two modified-conventional and ten alternative orchard floor and N management systems. Living ground cover and the use of mulch with or without composted manure increased total C and the active C and N pools in the soil. For instance, supplemental mulch or mulch applied using a side-delivery mower increased soil C by >20% above the conventional baseline. The size of the active C pool increased 45% and 60% with the use of the species mix 2 ground cover and compost, respectively. Increases in the active N pool ranged from a low of 25% in the soils using mulch or a ground cover mix to a high of 60% when compost was used. As a result, the ability of these soils to provide N to growing plants was enhanced. Total soil N increased in the treatment using natural weeds as ground cover and the full rate of N fertilizer. It is likely that weeds were able to convert significant amounts of fertilizer N into organic forms. Increasing the active C and N pools stimulates microbial activity, and may favor populations of nonplant parasitic nematodes over plant parasitic species. Using a trunk-to-trunk cover crop mix under the cherry trees reduced NO3 leaching by >90% compared to a conventional, herbicide treated soil, even when N fertilizer was used at full rate. Nitrate leaching also dramatically diminished when N fertilizer was fertigated at a reduced rate or when compost was used as N source. Alternative orchard floor and N management did not reduce yields when compared to the baseline conventional treatment.