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A research and extension program for increasing vegetable production in southeastern Virginia was launched by Virginia Cooperative Extension in 1997. The launch was triggered by the construction of a shipping point market in Southampton County. First, a market window study identified target crops and the harvest period when they could be most profitably marketed. Target crops were watermelon, sweet corn, snap beans, muskmelon, bell pepper, and pumpkin. Second, a technology transfer program was formulated that emphasized demonstrations, field days, classes, and workshops. On-farm demonstrations of intensive vegetable production techniques formed the foundations of the extension effort and focused on drip irrigation, plastic mulch on raised beds, water and nutrient monitoring, honey bee pollination, and integrated pest management (IPM). “Growing Vegetables for the Commercial Market” was the title of a short course offered in partnership with the local community college. Sixty-five graduates completed the course in 1999. Workshops were offered on farm labor, marketing, irrigation, and production techniques. On-farm research was conducted in support of the emerging vegetable industry. The focus was on sweet corn IPM, variety trials for watermelon and pumpkin, and soil and plant analysis. Information was made available to growers through a bimonthly newsletter, an annual bulletin entitled Commercial Production Recommendations, and VCE postings on the World Wide Web.

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There was a remarkable growth in China's greenhouse horticulture during the past decade. In 1989, the greenhouse area in China was 22,000 ha, but this figure reached up to 350,000 ha in 1999, about 16 times as large as that in 1989. Currently, the main greenhouse design used for commercial production is the energy conservation type—solar greenhouse—and many growers use eco-organic soilless culture for production. The substrates used for vegetable production are perlite, vermiculite, peat, coal cinder, sand, coir, sunflower stem, and sugar cane stem. Dry solid organic manure is mixed into the substrates before conducting cultivation, and then only water is for irrigation. Growing vegetables in this way improved quality, increased market value, and decreased environmental pollution.

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Abstract

Horticulturists have, from antiquity, attempted to circumvent climate-imposed limitations to crop production. The challenge has been to modify effectively both the predictive and nonpredictive elements of weather to take advantage of out-of-season production. Although there has been little, if any, success in actually controlling the weather, the progress in compensating for low temperatures has been phenomenal. One such compensatory factor has been the use of row covers for temperature modification. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to review the recent advances in using row covers for vegetable production, and to speculate on their potential uses in horticulture.

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At present, global agriculture, especially vegetable production, is being challenged to meet the food and nutritional demands of the ever-increasing population. The growing food demand is placing pressure on natural resources such as land and water

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and cover cropping would fit into their diverse production systems, particularly without the use of herbicides. The objective of this study was to evaluate three reduced tillage and cover crop strategies in an intensive mixed vegetable system. Methods

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In the southeastern United States as in many parts of the world, a large percentage of modern commercial vegetable production relies on the use of raised-bed, plasticulture production systems, especially for warm-season crops ( Lamont, 1996

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soil quality has not been conclusively demonstrated. The goal of this study was to determine how soil quality and vegetable productivity are impacted by organic and inorganic fertility amendments in high tunnel and open field production systems. We

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150 POSTER SESSION 19 (Abstr. 278-306) Crop Production Wednesday, 26 July, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

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Fruit and vegetable production continue to dominate the organic market in the United States, constituting over 37% of the nearly $25 billion in total sales ( ERS-USDA. C. Greene, 2009 ). With continued increases in the percent growth of the organic

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Cover crops have been used in agricultural systems for thousands of years and are still an important part of vegetable production in the Northeast. Winter rye (Secale cereale) is by far the dominant cover crop species on conventional vegetable farms in the New England states. It is use is primarily for erosion control. Winter rye is popular since it is cheap, easy to establish, can overwinter in the harsh winters of northern New England, is efficient in “capturing” excess nitrogen at the end of the cash crop season, and it can produce substantial amounts of organic matter in the spring. As many positive attributes that winter rye has, it is important to be aware of many of the other potential cover crop species that are available to us. For example, many conventional growers are exploring the use of leguminous cover crops as an alternative to chemical nitrogen fertilizers which are more readily leached and are only going to get more expensive. Cover crops can also be seeded and managed in innovative ways to suppress weeds and other pests, add organic matter and conserve soil moisture.

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