Many strawberry growers in Florida relay crop vegetables with strawberries or grow multiple crops on the same plastic mulch. The practice can reduce the overall input costs per crop but weed management can be problematic. Field experiments designed as a split plot were conducted in Balm and Dover, FL over two successive strawberry-growing seasons from Oct. 2014 to Mar. 2015 (year 1) and Oct. 2015 to Mar. 2016 (year 2) and two successive muskmelon-growing seasons from March to July 2015 (year 1) and March to July 2016 (year 2). The objectives were to examine the effect of summer fallow programs and the presence or absence of a relay-crop on weed density and strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duchesne) and muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) yields. Summer fallow programs included leaving the plastic mulch in place and reusing it in year 2, a sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) cover crop, or a conventional chemical fallow. Relay cropping muskmelon with strawberries had no effect on strawberry yield. Summer fallow programs had no effect on muskmelon growth and yield in Balm and Dover, as well as strawberry growth and yield in Balm. In Dover, the plastic mulch summer fallow had 22% to 34% lower berry yield in year 2 compared with cover crop and chemical fallow, respectively. In year 2, relay-cropping was more effective in reducing total weed density compared with strawberry monoculture in Dover but not in Balm. In year 2 in Dover, averaged overall summer fallow programs, the total weed density was ≈3-fold less in relay-cropping than strawberry monoculture. Of all the summer fallow programs evaluated, leaving the plastic mulch in place combined with glyphosate was the most effective summer fallow program, whereas the conventional chemical fallow was the least effective at weed suppression. We conclude that relay cropping or double use of plastic mulch for successive strawberry crops are viable options for Florida strawberry growers.
Jialin Yu, Nathan S. Boyd and Zhengfei Guan
Sheng Li, Feng Wu, Yongping Duan, Ariel Singerman and Zhengfei Guan
Citrus huanglongbing (HLB), or greening, is the most destructive citrus disease worldwide and is threatening the sustainability of the industry in major citrus-growing regions. Various treatments have been proposed in the literature to manage the disease. We review such literature and conduct an economic analysis based on the reported treatment effects on fruit yield and quality to identify cost-effective management strategies. Our results suggest that, among the treatments we reviewed, broad-spectrum insecticides provide the only cost-effective strategy for mitigating the impact of the disease. Our findings and discussion should help growers, policymakers, and other stakeholders make informed decisions in the search for effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly treatments and policies against HLB.