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Eliott Gloeb, Sibel Irmak, Loren Isom, John L. Lindquist, and Sam E. Wortman

Biobased sprayable mulch (BSM) films are a potential alternative to herbicides, polyethylene plastic mulch film, and hand weeding for specialty crops. We developed a series of BSM films using locally available biomaterials [including corn (Zea mays) starch, glycerol, keratin hydrolysate, corn gluten meal, corn zein, eggshells, and isolated soy (Glycine max) protein] and tested their effects on weeds and crop yield during a total of seven greenhouse or field trials between 2017 and 2019 in Nebraska, USA. Application rates of BSM films applied in pots (greenhouse), planting holes in plastic film (field), or bed tops (field) ranged from 0.9 to 18.2 L⋅m−2; they were applied before and after the emergence of weeds. Weed control efficacy was variable, and results of greenhouse pots were rarely replicated under field conditions. Increasing the viscosity of the final suspension tested [BSM7; a mix of corn starch (72.8 g⋅L−1), glycerol (184.7 mL⋅L−1), keratin hydrolysate (733.3 mL⋅L−1), corn zein (19.8 g⋅L−1), and isolated soy protein (19.8 g⋅L−1)] reduced weed biomass by more than 96% in field-grown kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica) when applied to bare soil bed tops before or after weed emergence, but kale yield in treated plots was not different from the weedy control. The results demonstrated the potential for postemergence applications of BSM films, which increase application timing flexibility for growers. Further research is needed to explore the effects of BSM films on soil properties and crop physiology and yield.

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Rodomiro Ortiz, Piers D. Austin, and Dirk Vuylsteke

soil properties. IITA High Rainfall Station and plantain and banana research at Onne have benefited from grants from several donors, particularly the Belgian Administration for Development Cooperation (ABOS/BADC). The cost of publishing this paper was

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Panayiotis A. Nektarios, Georgios Tsoggarakis, Aimilia-Eleni Nikolopoulou, and Dimitrios Gourlias

Two field studies (winter and summer) were performed to evaluate the effect of three different fertilizer programs and a urea formaldehyde resin foam (UFRF) soil amendment on sod establishment and anchorage. Fertilizer treatments involved were 1) a quick release (QR) granular fertilizer (12-12-17); 2) a slow release (SR) fertilizer (27-5-7); and 3) a foliar (FL) fertilizer (20-20-20). The application rate was 50, 30, 0.35 g·m-2 for QR, SR, and FL, respectively. The substrate consisted of sandy loam soil, and in half of the plots UFRF flakes were incorporated in the upper 100 mm at a rate of 20% v/v. The effects of the fertilizer and soil amendment on sod establishment were evaluated through measurements of the dry weight of clippings and roots and the visual quality of the turf. Sod anchorage was measured by determination of the vertical force required to detach a piece of sod. For each treatment the initial and final pH, EC, available P, exchangeable K, Ca, Mg, and Fe were also determined. It was found that FL reduced clipping yield but retained turf visual quality similar to the other fertilizer treatments except in winter, when it resulted in the worst quality ratings. However, FL fertilizer promoted root growth and provided high vertical detachment force values and therefore enhanced sod establishment. Slow release fertilizer resulted in moderate top growth and visual quality of the turf during winter, but delayed sod establishment. Quick release fertilizer increased top growth and improved turfgrass visual quality during the winter, but root growth and vertical detachment force were reduced, indicating poorer sod establishment. UFRF did not enhance sod establishment since there was a negative effect on root growth when temperatures were below 10 °C, without however affecting vertical detachment force. Differences in soil P, K, Ca, Mg and Fe between treatments were inconsistent between the two studies, except for final K concentration, which was higher for QR fertilization than SR and FL. Foliar fertilization can enhance sod establishment compared to QR and SR, by accelerating sod anchorage and root growth. QR can be used in late autumn to improve winter green up of the sod. UFRF does not improve or accelerate sod establishment and possesses a minimal capacity to improve soil properties of sandy loam soils.

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Stefania De Pascale, Celestino Ruggiero, Giancarlo Barbieri, and Albino Maggio

Production of vegetable crops can be limited by saline irrigation water. The variability of crop salt tolerance under different environmental conditions requires species-specific and environment-specific field evaluations of salt tolerance. Data on field performances of vegetable crops grown on soils that have been irrigated with saline water for many years are lacking. In this study we analyzed the long-term effect of irrigation with saline water on soil properties and on responses of field-grown pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) plants in these soils. Yield, gas exchanges, water relations, and solute accumulation were measured in plants grown under three different irrigation treatments: a nonsalinized control (ECw = 0.5 dS·m-1) and two concentrations of commercial sea salt, corresponding to ECw of 4.4 and 8.5 dS·m-1, respectively. In addition, a nonwatered drought stress treatment was included. Irrigation water with an EC of 4.4 dS·m-1 resulted in 46% reduction in plant dry weight (leaves plus stem) and 25% reduction in marketable yield. Increasing the electrical conductivity of the irrigation water to 8.5 dS·m-1 caused a 34% reduction in plant dry weight and a 58% reduction in marketable yield. Leaf and root cellular turgor and net CO2 assimilation rates of leaves in salt-stressed plants decreased along with a reduction in leaf area and dry matter accumulation. High concentrations of Na+ and Cl- in the irrigation water did not significantly alter the level of K+ in leaves and fruit. In contrast, drought stressed plants had higher concentrations of leaf K+ compared to well watered control plants. These results indicate that Na+ and K+ may play similar roles in maintaining cellular turgor under salinity and drought stress, respectively. The regulation of ion loading to the shoots was most likely functionally associated with physiological modifications of the root/shoot ratio that was substantially smaller in salinized vs. drought stressed plants. From an agronomic perspective, irrigation with moderately saline water (4.4 dS·m-1) it is recommendable, compared to no irrigation, to obtain an acceptable marketable yield in the specific environment considered.

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Kent D. Kobayashi

they affect soil properties, nutrients, and microbial biomass. When considered as part of nutrient sources in a fertility program, their nutrient contributions should be considered. The papers from this workshop highlight some leading research and

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Mehdi Sharifi, Julia Reekie, Andrew Hammermeister, Mohammed Zahidul Alam, and Taylor MacKey

crops on organic apple yields. We hypothesized that cover crops will improve soil properties and will have no effect or positive effect on the organic orchard yield under the condition of the experiment. This study examined the impacts of different cover

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N. Mays, K.R. Brye, Curt R. Rom, M. Savin, and M.E. Garcia

for the organic orchard. Analysis of variance was used to evaluate the effects of groundcover management system, nutrient source, time, and their interactions on measured and calculated soil properties (i.e., SOM, TC, and TN concentrations; TC and TN

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James A. Taylor, John-Paul Praat, and A. Frank Bollen

derived for soil properties. The MCD includes the range of the data, as well as the ratio between the nugget and sill, to provide an estimate of the distance over which these data are autocorrelated. The greater the MCD, the greater the spatial structure

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. Tree-based Mulches Influence Soil Properties and Plant Growth Maggard et al. (p. 353) determined the responses of soil properties and plant growth to the application of various tree-based mulches and provided specific information regarding the

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R.S. Mylavarapu

-the-go measurement of soil properties with the potential to provide benefits from the increased density of measurements at a relatively low cost ( Adamchuk et al., 2004 ). Fig. 1. The sequence of steps that should be followed for implementing the near