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The proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between U.S. and Mexico may open opportunities for a new economic relationship with our nearest international trading partner. Understanding Mexico's vegetable exports will become important for estimating the economic impact of the FTA on the U.S. vegetable business. In the 1989-90 season, Mexico farmed approximately 20 million ha of which 3.5% or 700,000 ha were dedicated to vegetables including 246,000 ha for export. National vegetable production was 8 million tons with 1.5 million tons or 17.6% exported. Of the 100 different vegetables produced in Mexico many are major crops in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. About 72% of the vegetables exported to the U.S. were produced in three states: Sinaloa, Sonora and Baja California. Nearly 83% of the vegetable imports into the U.S. occurred during the winter and spring months. Based on importation figures at seven main points of entry, Reynosa was the second, most important entry point after Nogales. If the FTA is signed, all ports of entry will most likely experience increased activity.

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There is an amazing variety of Asian vegetables that, even today, are largely unknown in the United States. However, as Asian populations increase in numbers and diversity, local demand has increased and opened up opportunities to identify suitable crops for successful cultivation and possible export of these vegetables back to Asian countries. Production strategies for successful cultivation of Asian vegetable crops include the identification of suitable species; access to genetic material and germplasm collections; evaluation of imported genotypes; development of technologies, skills, and resources to collect production data; monitoring of the risks from pests and diseases; identification of new pests and pest management techniques; and organization of research on postharvest handling, packaging, and transport for a wide range of products to meet the consumer demands.

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34 POSTER SESSION 7 (Abstr. 530-551) Vegetables: Culture and Management

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Measurements of the respiratory heat production of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, celery, onions, parsnips and rutabagas at 0°C (32°F), 5°C (41°F) and 16°C (61°F) after 1 to 2 and 4 to 6 months of refrigerated storage showed that heat of respiration generally increased with temp (Q10 values generally between 2 and 4), except for some cultivars of potatoes early during storage. Heat of respiration generally decreased with storage time for carrots and parsnips at all temp and for potatoes at 5°C; for the other vegetables it tended to increase with storage time, particularly at 16°C. The rates of heat production were in many instances substantially lower than often used published values for several kinds of vegetables.

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For centuries horticulturists have attempted to modify the environment in which vegetable crops are grown. A wide variety of techniques, such as glass cloches, hotcaps, cold frames, hotbeds, and various types of glass greenhouses, have been used to extend the production season. The discovery and development of the polyethylene polymer in the late 1930s, and its subsequent introduction in the early 1950s in the form of plastic films, mulches, and drip-irrigation tubing and tape, revolutionized the commercial production of selected vegetable crops and gave rise to a system of production known as plasticulture. Simply defined, plasticulture is a system of growing vegetable crops where significant benefit is derived from using products derived from polyethylene (plastic) polymers. The later discovery of other polymers, such as polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, and polyesters, and their use in microirrigation systems, pipes, fertigation equipment, filters, fittings and connectors, containers for growing transplants, picking and packaging containers, and row covers further extended the use of plastic components in this production system. The complete plasticulture system consists of plastic and non-plastic components: plastic mulches, drip-irrigation, fertigation/chemigation, soil sanitation (fumigation and solarization), windbreaks, stand establishment technology, season-extension technology, integrated pest management, cropping strategies, and postharvest handling and marketing. In the plasticulture system, plastic-covered greenhouses, plastic mulches, row covers, high tunnels, and windbreaks both permanent and annual are the major contributors to modifying the cropping environment of vegetable crops, thus enhancing crop growth, yield, and quality. In addition to modifying the soil and air temperatures, there are also the benefits of protection from the wind and in some instances rain, insects, diseases, and vertebrate pests.

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Abstract

Cropping systems were compared among vegetable crops which are commonly grown for profit on a 5–10 ha farm. Tomato [Lycopersicon esculentum (Mill.) ‘Jet Star’], cabbage [Brassica oleracea (L.) var. capitata ‘Sunup’], collards [Brassica oleracea (L.) var. acephala ‘Vates’], and muskmelon [Cucumis melo (L.) ‘Gold Star’] were monocropped; cabbage was intercropped with tomatoes; and collards were intercropped with muskmelon. Crop yield, production cost, and economic returns of the intercrop system were comparable to those of the crops produced alone.

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Contribution No. 2188 of the Atlantic Food & Horticulture Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. We thank Charles Thompson, Extension Vegetable Specialist, and Pansy Brydon for supplying freshly harvested vegetables for this

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107 POSTER SESSION (Abstr. 599–611) Culture and Management–Vegetables

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161 ORAL SESSION 30 (Abstr. 635–642) Vegetable Crops: Sustainable Agriculture Wednesday, 26 July, 4:00–6:00 p.m

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This study identified the diversity and distribution of tree species and which vegetable crops are grown beneath them, uses of different plants, to identify the problem faced by the farmer, and to recommend a suitable small scale mixed production system. The study was conducted in three sub districts of the Gazipur district in Bangladesh. Respondents for the survey were selected based on five different farm categories, i.e., tenant, marginal, small, medium, and large farm. The most common species in the study area was jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus, 26.3) and mango (Mangifera indica, 22.5) followed by mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni, 10.3), coconut (Cocos nucifera, 10.0), while low prevalence species was gora neem (Melia azadirch, 0.18) and tamarind (Tamarindus indica, 0.19). A total number of 43 plant species were identified in the homestead of the study area of which 28 were horticultural, and 15 were timber and fuelwood producing species. Total income was found to increase with increase of farm size. A large number of vegetables (32 species) are cultivated in the study area, largely for local consumption. The study showed that stem amaranthus, indian spinach, aroids, sweet gourd, chili, turmeric, eggplant, and radish were grown under shade of jackfruit, mango, date palm, litchi, mahogany, and drumstick trees. Country bean, bitter gourd, sponge gourd, and cowpea were found to grow as creeper on jackfruit, mango, litchi, mahogany, and drumstick trees. Farmers earned cash income by selling trees and vegetables produced in the homestead. Among different tree species, jackfruit was identified as an important cash generating crop in the study area. Scopes for improvement of tree management practices were prevalent in the study area.

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