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Stacy A. Adams, Ellen T. Paparozzi and W.W. Stroup

`Dark Red Annette Hegg' poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) were grown in a 1 peat : 1 perlite : 1 vermiculite medium using a pinched production schedule with varying N and S fertilizer application rates. Fifty-six treatments consisting of eight N levels (100 to 275 mg·L−1 in 25-mg·L−1 increments) and seven S levels (0 to 75 mg·L−1 in 12.5-mg·L−1 increments) were supplied. Other required nutrients were supplied at commercial recommendations for all treatments. Foliage of each plant was evaluated quantitatively by chromometer readings every 3 weeks. Marketability was determined by sensory evaluations from commercial producers, retailers, and consumers. Results indicated distinct color differences (hue, chroma, value) between S levels of 0 and 12.5 mg·L−1 and a slight difference between S at 12.5 and 25 mg·L−1. The foliage of plants receiving 0 S was lighter, more vivid, and more yellow-green in color. As N levels increased, there was a linear response; foliage became more green, darker, and more dull. Commerical and consumer evaluators rated plants that received S at 0 or 12.5 mg·L−1 at all N levels and plants receiving N at 100 mg L−1 as unmarketable. This research indicates that `Annette Hegg' poinsettia requires S at a minimum of 25 mg·L−1 and N at a minimum of 125 mg·L−1 for commercial acceptance, and commercial N application rates may be greatly reduced when adequate S is supplied.

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Jonathan R. Schultheis and C. Ray Campbell

In the last 3 years, ≤50% of the North Carolina sweetpotato crop has been produced with the variety Hernandez. A brown to black discoloration on the epidermis of the `Hernandez' sweetpotato may develop when maintained in storage for several months. The symptoms resemble blister—blister is caused by a boron deficiency. Preliminary studies in 1994 indicated that boron reduced the discoloration on `Hernandez' but did not eliminate the problem. To help confirm these findings and further define the role of boron in defining skin discoloration, boron was applied in 1995 at several rates (0 to 5.6 kg·ha–1) and stages of plant development using two application methods (foliar or soil). Yields and plant analysis data were obtained. Marketable yields ranged from 18.4 to 29.3 mt/ha. Leaf boron concentration ranged from 50 to 100 mg·kg–1 throughout the production season when 1.1 kg·ha–1 boron was soil applied shortly after planting. Excessive levels of boron (200+ mg·kg–1) were measured in plant tissue when application levels exceeded 2.2 kg·ha–1 regardless of timing. Soil application appeared to be an adequate method for boron application. Roots were examined for symptoms of discoloration after 5 months. Results indicated no affect of boron on incidence or severity of the symptoms.

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T.G. Boucounis, T. Whitwell and J.E. Toler

Ten crops were evaluated for potential use as field bioassay species for cinmethylin and chlorimuron application rates in two soil types. Cinmethylin injured sweet corn (Zea mays L.) and grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] at concentrations as low as 0.28 kg·ha-1 on either soil type, while broadleaf crops were tolerant. Chlorimuron injured sweet corn, grain sorghum, radish (Raphanus sativus L.), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and watermelon [Citrullis lanatus (Thunb.) Mansf.] at rates ≥ 2.5 g·ha-1, and squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) at rates ≥ 5.0 g·ha-1 on a Dothan sand. In a Congaree silt loam, chlorimuron injured cucumber at rates ≥ 5.0 g·ha-1, sweet corn, watermelon, and squash at rates ≥ 10 g·ha-1, and grain sorghum, radish, and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) at rates ≥ 20 g·ha-1. Soybean and snapbean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were tolerant to chlorimuron in both soil types. Cinmethylin activity was not altered by soil type, but with chlorimuron greater crop injury was observed in the Dothan sand than in the Congaree silt loam. Sweet corn and grain sorghum were the most sensitive indicator species to cinmethylin and cucumber was the most sensitive to chlorimuron in both soils. Plant emergence and population alone are not valid indicators for crop tolerance to herbicides. Quantitative measurements such as shoot dry weight were more indicative of crop susceptibility to chlorimuron than plant populations. Chemical names used: exo -1-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-2 -[(2-methylphenyl) methoxy]-7-oxabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane (cinmethylin); 2-[[[[(4-chloro-6-methoxy-2-pyrimidinyl)amino] carbonyl]amino] sulfonyl]benzoic acid (chlorimuron).

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B.J. Johnson

A field experiment was conducted for 2 years to determine the effects of rate and time interval for repeated applications of the plant growth regulators (PGR) flurprimidol and paclobutrazol on vegetative suppression of `Tifway' bermudagrass [Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy × C. dactylon (L.) Pers.]. Suppression of vegetative growth of this grass was generally the same when either flurprimidol or paclobutrazol was applied twice after a 2-, 3-, or 4-week interval. The duration of growth suppression was also similar after initial application with flurprimidol at 0.84 kg·ha-l and repeated at 0.28 to 0.84 kg·ha-1 or with paclobutrazol applied initially at 1.1 kg·ha-1 an d repeated at 0.56 to 1.1 kg·ha-1. Both PGRs caused slight to moderate turfgrass injury at these rates, but the injury was temporary and the grass had fully recovered by 10 weeks. Chemical names used: α -(1-methylethyl)- α -[4-(trifluoromethoxy)-phenyl]-5-pyrimidinemethanol (flurprimidol); (±)-(R*R*) β -[(4-chlorophenyl)-methyl]- α -(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-l-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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P.H. Demoeden, M.J. Mahoney and M.J. Carroll

Fenoxaprop (0.027, 0.036, and 0.045 kg·ha-1) was field-applied at either of 2-, 3-, or 4-week intervals to perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) naturally infested with smooth crabgrass [Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb.) Muhl.] in Maryland (Easton and Silver Spring) during 1989 and 1990. In 1989, fenoxaprop applied at 2- or 3-week intervals at 0.027 kg·ha-1 provided fair (>74%) to good (>80%) smooth crabgrass control. Fenoxaprop applied at 0.036 or 0.045 kg·ha-1 at 2- or 3week intervals provided good to excellent (> 90%) smooth crabgrass control. Four-week intervals generally provided control that was inferior to the shorter application intervals at Silver Spring but not at Easton. In 1990, all rates provided good to excellent smooth crabgrass control when applied at 2- or 3-week intervals in Easton. At Silver Spring, where smooth crabgrass levels were very high, >88% control was provided by 0.036 kg·ha-1 applied at a 2-week interval and by 0.045 kg·ha-1 applied at either a 2- or 3-week interval. Chemical name used: [±]-2-[4-[(6 chloro-2 benzoxazolyl)oxy]phenoxy] propanoic acid (fenoxaprop).

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Allen D. Owings and Edward W. Bush

A study was initiated at Bracy's Nursery, Amite, La., in Apr. 1997 to evaluate the influence of seven controlled-release fertilizer sources and three top-dressed application rates in production of 4-gal (15.7-L) containers of `LaFeliciana' peach and swamp red maple. The fertilizers tested were Osmocote Plus 15-9-11, Osmocote Plus 16-8-12, Woodace 20-5-10, Woodace 20-4-11, Customblen 24-4-6, Nutricote (Type 270) 17-7-8, and Nutricote (Type 360) 17-6-8. Application rates were 1.75, 2.25, and 2.75 lb N per cubic yard. The experiment was completely randomized within blocks (species) and each treatment was replicated five times. A control treatment was also included. For `LaFeliciana' peach, Nutricote and Osmocote yielded the superior results when shoot height and visual quality ratings were determined in October (6 months after initiation). Increases in application rate did not significantly increase shoot height or visual quality ratings in most cases. For swamp red maple, shoot height was not affected by fertilizer source or application rate. Caliper ranged from 19.2 to 23.0 mm but was only slightly influenced by fertilizer source and application rate. Visual quality ratings were significantly higher for Osmocote Plus 16-8-12 when compared to some of the other fertilizer sources.

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Wei Qiang Yang*

In a 2-year study, the decomposition rates (changes in carbon to nitrogen ratio) of two kinds of sawdust used for blueberry production were determined. The effects of sawdust age and nitrogen application rates on carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N ratio) of two sawdust types were evaluated. When nitrogen was not applied, the C:N ratio in fresh and aged sawdust decreased 30% and 10% respectively over a 1-year period, indicating fresh sawdust decomposed faster than aged sawdust when used as a surface mulch. However, the C:N ratios between soils amended with aged and fresh sawdust were similar when no nitrogen was added, suggesting the age of sawdust does not affect the decomposition rate once the sawdust is incorporated into the soil. It was found that two nitrogen application rates (150 kg·ha-1 vs. 50 kg·ha-1) had an equal affect on the C:N ratio of both sawdust types. Nitrogen application had no affect on the C:N ratio of both sawdust types when both sawdust were used as soil amendments. Clearly, the decomposition rates of the sawdust were influenced by sawdust age and nitrogen application rates.

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Sujatha Sankula, Mark J. VanGessel, Walter E. Kee and J.L. Glancey

Field studies were conducted in 1997 and 1998 to evaluate labeled (1×) or reduced (0.5×) rates of metolachlor plus imazethapyr preemergence either broadcast or band applications to lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) planted in 30-inch (76-cm) or 15-inch (38-cm) rows for weed control, yield, harvestability, and harvest recovery. Lima bean was planted in large plots simulating a commercial production system. All 30-inch rows were cultivated once 40 days after planting in 1997 and 21 days after planting in 1998. No differences were noted in weed densities between treatments both years. Marketable lima bean yield was greater from plots thatwere spaced 15 inches apart in 1997 only. However, total hand-harvested yield in both years, machine-harvested yield in 1998, and marketable yield in 1998 were not different between treatments. Measurements on harvest recovery revealed that a greater number of unstripped pods were left on plants after harvest in 15-inch row plots that were sprayed broadcast with 1× herbicide rate in 1997 only. Weight of beans lost per unit area and trash weight from 7-oz (200-g) bean sample was similar among treatments both years. Overall, weed control, yield, and harvest efficacy of lima bean was not impacted by row spacing, herbicide rate, or method of herbicide application in a commercial production system.

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Hannah G. Rempel, Bernadine C. Strik and Timothy L. Righetti

The effects of 15N-labeled fertilizer applied to mature summer-bearing red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. `Meeker') plants were measured over 2 years. Four nitrogen (N) treatments were applied: singularly at 0, 40, or 80 kg·ha-1 of N in early spring (budbreak), or split with 40 kg·ha-1 of N (unlabeled) applied at budbreak and 40 kg·ha-1 of N (15N-depleted) applied eight weeks later. Plants were sampled six times per year to determine N and 15N content in the plant components throughout the growing season. Soil also was sampled seven times per year to determine inorganic N concentrations within the four treatments as well as in a bare soil plot. There was a tendency for the unfertilized treatment to have the lowest and for the split-N treatment to have the highest yield in both years. N application had no significant effect on plant dry weight or total N content in either year. Dry weight accumulation was 5.5 t·ha-1 and total N accumulation was 88 to 96 kg·ha-1 for aboveground biomass in the fertilized plots in 2001. Of the total N present, averaged over 2 years, 17% was removed in prunings, 12% was lost through primocane leaf senescence, 13% was removed through fruit harvest, 30% remained in the over-wintering plant, and 28% was considered lost or transported to the roots. Peak fertilizer N-uptake occurred by July for the single N applications and by September for the last application in the split-N treatment. This uptake accounted for 36% to 37% (single applications) and 24% (last half of split application) of the 15N applied. Plants receiving the highest single rate of fertilizer took up more fertilizer N while plants receiving the lower rate took up more N from the soil and from storage tissues. By midharvest, fertilizer N was found primarily in the fruit, fruiting laterals, and primocanes (94%) for all fertilized treatments; however, the majority of the fertilizer N applied in the last half of the split application was located in the primocanes (60%). Stored fertilizer N distribution was similar in all fertilized treatments. By the end of the second year, 5% to 12% of the fertilizer acquired in 2001 remained in the fertilized plants. Soil nitrate concentrations increased after fertilization to 78.5 g·m-3, and declined to an average of 35.6 g·m-3 by fruit harvest. Seasonal soil N decline was partially attributed to plant uptake; however, leaching and immobilization into the organic fraction may also have contributed to the decline.

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Marc van Iersel

Uprooting and transplanting seedlings can cause root damage, which may reduce water and nutrient uptake. Initiation of new roots and rapid elongation of existing roots may help minimize the negative effects of transplant shock. In this study, seedlings with four true leaves were transplanted into diatomaceous earth and the plants were transferred to a growth chamber, where they were treated with NAA (0, 0.025, 0.25, and 2.5 mg·L-1; 36 mL/plant). The effects of drenches with various amounts of 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) on the posttransplant CO2 exchange rate of vinca [Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don] were quantified. Whole-plant CO2 exchange rate of the plants was measured once every 20 minutes for a 28 day period. Seedlings treated with 0.025 or 0.25 mg·L-1 recovered from transplant shock more quickly than plants in the 0 and 2.5 mg·L-1 treatments. Naphthaleneacetic acid drenches containing 0.025 or 0.25 mg·L-1 increased whole-plant net photosynthesis (Pnet) from 10 days, dark respiration (Rdark) from 12 days, and carbon use efficiency (CUE) from 11 days after transplanting until the end of the experiment. The increase in CUE seems to have been the result of the larger size of the plants in these two treatments, and thus an indirect effect of the NAA applications. These differences in CO2 metabolism among the treatments resulted in a 46% dry mass increase in the 0.025 mg·L-1 treatment compared to the control, but shoot-root ratio was not affected. The highest rate of NAA (2.5 mg·L-1) was slightly phytotoxic and reduced the growth rate of the plants.