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Rita L. Hummel and Peter R. Bristow

In Spring 1996, `Meeker' red raspberry root cuttings were planted into a sandy loam soil in 30 cm tall x 27 cm diameter black plastic containers. During Mar. 1997, a second bottomless container was placed over the overwintering canes of half of the plants. The second container was filled with the same sandy loam soil to simulate ridging of the plants. All plants were grown using standard cultural practices on an outdoor, gravel nursery bed. Freeze tolerance of potted whole plants and excised root sections was measured at 5 °C intervals between -5 and -20 °C in a series of laboratory freeze tests conducted during Jan. 1998. Electrolyte leakage data were used to calculate the index of injury for excised roots while whole-plant response to freezing was determined by measuring the subsequent growth of floricane lateral shoots and of primocanes. After 1 month in the greenhouse, results indicated the dry weight of primocanes harvested from plants that were exposed to -20 °C was 56% of the nonfrozen control primocane dry weight. Primocane dry weight from plants exposed to -5, -10 and -15 °C was not different from the controls. Similar results were obtained for the percent of floricanes that were alive and for the dry weight of laterals produced by these floricanes after 3 months in the greenhouse. The whole-plant freeze test results indicated plants at the lowest temperature, -20 °C, were injured but not killed. Root index of injury of single potted plants averaged 5%, 15%, 29%, and 58% at -5, -10, -15, and -20 °C, respectively.

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Charlotte Mundy, Nancy G. Creamer, L. George Wilson, Carl R. Crozier and Ronald D. Morse

Conservation tillage using residue from a cover crop grown before potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production has been infrequently and inconclusively studied. The objectives of this study were to 1) conduct a field study to evaluate soil physical properties, and potato growth and yield, in conventional-tillage (CT), no-tillage (NT), and subsurface-tillage (SST) systems and 2) conduct a greenhouse study to evaluate the effect of soil bulk density (ρb) on potato growth and yield. Potatoes (`Atlantic') were planted into residue of sorghum-sudangrass [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench × S. sudanense (Piper) Staph] at two sites in eastern North Carolina—Plymouth into Portsmouth fine sandy loam and Lewiston into Norfolk sandy loam. Potatoes in the NT and SST system emerged more slowly than potatoesplanted conventionally. There were no differences in plant population or size by 8 weeks after planting at Plymouth, but plant population and size were less in NT and SST systems at Lewiston. Reducing tillage also affected soil compaction, increased soil moisture early in the season at both sites, and increased ρb at Lewiston. Yield of U.S. No. 1 potatoes planted in NT and SST systems were comparable to potatoes planted in a CT system at Plymouth, but were less than potatoes planted in a CT system at Lewiston. There were no differences in yield between potatoes planted with NT and SST. In the greenhouse study, ρb did not affect leaf area or tuber yield or tuber grade. Specific sites and soils may allow for comparable potato production with no or SST, but further research, conducted on different soil types would promote further understanding of the impacts of reducing tillage in potato production.

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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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R.G. Linderman and E.A. Davis

Formation and function of arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) are affected by levels of fertility in soil or fertilizers applied to soilless container mixes. For AM fungi, phosphorus (P) is the main element influencing colonization of host plant roots. The question addressed in this study was whether inorganic or organic fertilizers were more compatible with the formation and function of AM. Several controlled-release inorganic (CRI) fertilizers were compared with several organic (OR) fertilizers at different rates (½× to 4× the recommended rate) to determine (1) threshold levels of tolerance by the AM fungus Glomus intraradices in relation to root colonization, and (2) growth responses of `Guardsman' bunching onion (Allium cepa) and `Orange Cupido' miniature rose (Rosa spp.) plants grown in a soilless potting mix or sandy loam soil. AM colonization in soil was greatly decreased or totally inhibited by CRI fertilizers with high P content at the 2× rate or greater, whereas colonization was decreased but never eliminated by low-P OR fertilizers at the 3× rate or greater. Shoot growth of onions was similar with or without AM inoculation when fertilized with CRI, but in general was only enhanced by OR fertilizers if inoculated with AM fungi, compared to the noninoculated controls. Shoot and root growth of onions were significantly increased by AM inoculation when OR fertilizers were used at the 1× rate. In contrast, root growth was not increased by the combination of CRI fertilizers and AM fungal inoculation. Inoculation of miniature roses grown in sandy loam amended with 25% peat and perlite and fertilized with all the CRI or OR fertilizers resulted in high AM colonization, but without much AM-induced growth increase except where OR fertilizers or CRI fertilizers with low P were used. In a soilless potting mix, growth of miniature roses was less with OR fertilizers at the rates used than CRI fertilizers, but mycorrhiza formation was greater in the former unless P was low in the latter. These results indicate that release of nutrients from organic fertilizers, as a result of microbial activity, favors AM establishment and function more than most inorganic fertilizers unless P levels of the latter are low.

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Carl J. Rosen and Cindy B.S. Tongn

Two on-farm field studies were conducted in 1996 and repeated in 1997 to determine the effects of soil amendments and scape (flower stalk) removal on yield, dry matter partitioning, and storage quality of hardneck garlic (Allium sativum L.). One study site was on a loamy sand soil with low organic matter and fertility and the other site was on a sandy loam soil with high organic matter and fertility. Soil amendment treatments tested at both sites were: 1) no amendment, 2) composted manure, and 3) inorganic fertilizer according to soil test recommendations. A fourth treatment, dried, composted turkey-manure-based fertilizer, was included at the low organic matter site. Scapes were removed at the curled stage from plants in half of the harvest rows. Scapes from the remainder of the harvest row plants were allowed to mature until harvest. In 1997, bulbs from each treatment were stored at 0 to 3 °C or 19 to 21 °C for 6 months. Soil amendment treatments had no effect on total garlic bulb yield, dry mass partitioning, or stored bulb weight loss at the sandy loam, high organic matter site. Manure compost, fertilizer, and composted turkey manure soil amendments reduced the yield of smaller bulbs compared with the control at the loamy sand, low organic matter site. The proportion of bulbs >5 cm was highest with the manure compost treatment. At the low organic matter site, scape removal resulted in a 15% increase in bulb yield and an increase in bulb size compared with leaving scapes on until harvest (P = 0.05). At the high organic matter site, scape removal increased bulb yield by 5% (P = 0.10). Scape removal increased dry matter partitioning to the bulbs, but had no effect on total (scape + shoot + bulb) aboveground dry matter production. The increase in bulb dry mass when scapes were removed was offset by an increase in scape dry mass when scapes were left on. Bulb weight loss in storage was less at 0 to 3 °C than 19 to 21 °C. Soil amendments only affected bulb storage quality at the loamy sand, low soil organic matter site. The effect of scape removal on bulb weight loss was nonsignificant at either location.

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Katsumi Ohta, Mika Suzuki, Shingo Matsumoto, Takashi Hosoki and Nobuo Kobayashi

We previously reported that growth of lisianthus [Eustoma grandiflorum (Raf.) Shinn.] seedlings is accelerated by amending the growing medium with 1% (w/w) chitosan. This finding prompted us to search for organic nitrogenous other substances like chitosan which could accelerate seedling growth. Seeds of E. grandiflorum `Peter blue line 2'were sown in a sandy loam growing medium containing 1% (w/w) chitosan, tryptone, casein, collagen or gelatin. At eleven weeks after sowing, leaf length and width, fresh and dry weights of the shoots and roots of twelve plants were determined for each treatment. Eleven weeks after sowing, the leaves at the fifth node had expanded in the chitosan, tryptone and collagen treatments while the leaves of the third node had not yet expanded in control plants. Fresh and dry weights of shoots and roots were significantly greater for plants grown in media amended with chitosan or tryptone. Percent nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) in the shoots and roots and percent phosphorus (P) in the shoots was greater only in the N side dressing treatment. The nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration was significantly greater in media amended with tryptone or collagen compared to the other treatments.

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Harlene Hatterman-Valenti* and Paul Hendrickson

Field trials were initiated near Carrington and Absaraka, N.D., on a Heimdal clay loam and a Spottswood sandy loam, respectively to evaluate onion grade and yield in response to planting configuration, spring cover crop, and reservoir tillage. Results from the Carrington and Absaraka locations during 2002 and 2003 showed that colossal-sized onion was the largest grading size obtained (Carrington, 2003) and that the greatest number of colossal onion were from the bed configuration that had a reservoir tillage treatment. The coarser soil texture at Absaraka allowed for spring and fall formed raised bed comparison (2003) in which the fall formed raised bed tended to have greater yields and more marketable onion. Planting configuration resulting in the greatest total yield varied among locations and years but generally increased with reservoir tillage. Soil moisture and temperature monitoring during the early growing season did not differ greatly. However, differences in soil water potentials at the 6“ depth were observed during the last part of the growing season. Cover crop results indicated that a row of canola planted between onion rows for wind erosion protection will reduce onion yields even when ample water is available through routine irrigation. Herbicides for broadleaf control were not applied until onion had two true-leaves due to label restrictions. This delay enabled the canola to grow beyond the recommended stage for broadleaf control and to quickly outgrow the herbicide injury.

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Henriette Gotoèchan, Jean Coulombe, Serge Yelle and Hèlène Desilets

Two cultivars of carrot were sown in a sandy loam soil over two seasons with and without introduction of commercial inoculum of Glomus intraradices or Glomus etunicatum, which was spread with an experimental sowing machine. VAM fungi effects on the yield and the quality of carrot varied from season to season. In 1997, both of the VAM fungi enhanced the average saleable yield of the two cultivars from 66.21 t/ha to 69.85 t/ha and 80.81 t/ha, respectively, for the treatment without the introduction of VAM fungi, G. etunicatum, and G. intraradices. The slight difference (5.03%) that occured between G. intraradices and the non-inoculated treatment, although not significant, represented 20.38% of the total percentage of rejected carrots. For the last season, the amount of rejected carrots was in the same range for all the treatments (13% to 14%). Nevertheless, both of the cultivars responded differently to mycorrhization. In both of the seasons, mycorrhizal colonization was high in all plots, with an average of 70% in the treatment without inoculation and 75% in those that received G. intraradices or G. etunicatum. In our experimental conditions, reduction of phosphate fertilization to 50% of the recommanded quantity had no influence either on the mycorrhizal colonization or on the yields.

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Steven Vaughn*, Terry Isbell, David Weisleder and Mark Berhow

Field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) seedmeal was found to suppress seedling germination/emergence and biomass accumulation when added to a sandy loam soil containing wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), arugula [Eruca vesicaria (L.) Cav. subsp. sativa (Mill.) Thell.] and sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia (L.) H.S. Irwin & Barneby) seeds. Covering the pots with petri dishes containing the soil-seedmeal mixture increased phytotoxicity at the lowest application rate, suggesting that the some of the phytotoxins were volatile. Dichloromethane, methanol and water extracts of the wetted seedmeal were bioassayed against wheat and sicklepod radicle elongation. Only the dichloromethane extract was found to be strongly inhibitory to both species. Fractionation of the dichloromethane extract identified two major phytotoxins, identified by GC-MS and NMR analyses as 2-propen-1-yl (allyl) isothiocyanate (AITC) and allyl thiocyanate (ATC), which constituted 80.9 and 18.8%, respectively, of the active fraction. When seeds of wheat, arugula and sicklepod were exposed to volatilized AITC and ATC, the germination of all three species were completely inhibited by both compounds at concentrations of 5 ppm or less.

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Yan Xu and Bingru Huang

Summer decline in turf quality and growth of cool-season grass species is a major concern in turfgrass management. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether foliar application of trinexapac-ethyl (TE) and two biostimulants (TurfVigor and CPR) containing seaweed extracts would alleviate the decline in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) growth during summer months and to examine effects of TE and the biostimulants on leaf senescence and root growth. The study was performed on a ‘Penncross’ putting green built on a sandy loam soil at Hort Farm II, North Brunswick, NJ, in 2007 and 2008. Turf was foliar-sprayed with water (control), TE (0.05 kg a.i./ha), TurfVigor (47.75 L·ha−1), or CPR (19.10 L·ha−1) from late June to early September in a 2-week interval in both years. Turf quality, density, chlorophyll content, canopy photosynthetic rate (Pn), and root growth exhibited significant decline during July and August in both 2007 and 2008, to a greater extent in each parameter for the control treatment. Foliar application of TE resulted in significant improvement in turf quality, density, chlorophyll content, and Pn on certain sampling dates from July to September in both years compared with the control. Both TurfVigor and CPR significantly improved visual quality during July and August in both years by promoting both shoot and root growth. This study suggests that proper application of TE and selected biostimulants could be effective to improve summer performance of creeping bentgrass.