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Hagai Yasuor, Alon Ben-Gal, Uri Yermiyahu, Elie Beit-Yannai and Shabtai Cohen

As a result of a rising demand for year-long supply of fresh produce and the necessity of plant protection, the use of protective housing (insect-proof net houses and greenhouses) for cropping systems has gained global importance. Protected

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H.C. Passam, A.B. Sideridis and C.P. Yialouris

Vegetable production in low-technology (low-tech) plastic-covered greenhouses depends on low investment and cheap production methods that prohibit the adoption of expensive technologies. Nevertheless, advanced technology can be developed for this low-tech situation provided that a personal computer (PC) is available and the software is of low cost and specially designed to function without the need for additional expensive hardware. This will encourage the adoption of computer technology in an industry where computer illiteracy is still high. In the present paper, a decision support system for irrigation and fertilizer management of tomatoes [Lycopersicon esculentum (L.) Mill.] is described. The system is comprised of two modules: 1) an irrigation-fertilization consultation module for the management of water and fertilizer supply and 2) a diagnostic expert system module for the identification and rectification of nutritional disorders. Irrigation requirements are defined on the basis of daily evaporimeter readings. Fertilizer schedules are derived from the literature, but modified on the basis of experience gained during previous cultivations. The urgent need for such a management system is indicated by the relatively low quality of vegetable produce currently grown in low-tech greenhouses and the waste of precious water and fertilizer due to over-application by growers, with concomitant damage to the environment. During tests, irrigation was reduced by as much as 30% in comparison with empirical methods. To enable more widespread assessment and to increase its range of application, the software of this system is offered free of charge for evaluation by interested users.

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Melvin P. Garber, William G. Hudson, Jeffrey G. Norcini, Ronald K. Jones, Ann R. Chase and Kane Bondari

A national survey of the greenhouse and nursery industries was conducted to determine the current status of pest management practices. This study covers the trends in chemical and nonchemical pest control measures and factors that affect adoption of nonchemical control measures. For the 5-year period 1988-93, there appeared to be a decrease in chemical use for disease and insect control and for plant growth regulators. During the same period there was an increase in chemical weed control. The adoption of nonchemical pest control measures was concentrated in the area of insect control. The primary factors limiting use of nonchemical pest control measures were 1) availability of effective materials/biological agents, 2)availability of information, and 3) management complexity. The primary information sources on nonchemical pest control used by growers varied by size of firm and region of the country. For all respondents the primary sources were 1) industry trade journals, 2) other growers in the industry, 3) cooperative extension service, and 4) industry-sponsored seminars.

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Heather S. Costa, Julie Newman and Karen L. Robb

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A.P. Papadopoulos, J.L Shipp, W.R. Jarvis, T.J. Jewett and N.D. Clarke

82 POSTER SESSION 12 Greenhouse Management/Cross-Commodity

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Burhan Ozkan, Robin G. Brumfield and Osman Karaguzel

Turkish cut-flower exports grew from about $100,000 in 1985 to $11 million in 1995 (not adjusted for inflation). Since this is a growing industry in Turkey, we wanted to examine the production structure and main problems of export-oriented contract growers. We surveyed 33 cut-flower export growers and 30 contract growers between May and July 1997. We conducted the survey in the Antalya province, which is the center of the export-oriented cut-flower production in Turkey. The results indicate that cut-flower companies were not highly mechanized, but did use computerized accounting systems. Transportation of cut flowers to foreign markets was the largest expense item in the cut-flower industry. Despite a high rate of unemployment, cut-flower companies face difficulties in obtaining and keeping qualified employees. Managers tended not to use specific performance indicators such as sales per employee or sales per square foot relevant to the cut-flower industry. The most common method for arranging cut-flower export sales was personal contact with the importers. Contracts between firms which grew and exported flowers and smaller contract growers were common, but some problems existed concerning quality and financial obligations. Growers are using fewer commission contracts and are instead opting to sell on a fixed-price basis. The main concerns raised by managers were related to increased competition, price-cutting, transportation expenses for export, training, and labor supply.

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L-Y. Li and J.H. Lieth

148 POSTER SESSION 5G (Abstr. 304–315) Greenhouse Management–Cross-commodity