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Vincent A. Fritz, Harold A. Cloud, Robert F. Deef, and Alicia M. Borowski

An experimental research seed dryer based on the heat pump principle was built to dry sweet corn (Zea mays var. rugosa L.) seed on husked ears. The dryer is not susceptible to environmentally induced drying rate fluctuations that are common with a conventional open-system forced-air oven. The dryer operates as a closed system and, as a result, provides a more constant drying environment. The ability to control air flow, temperature, and humidity makes the dryer a valuable tool for seed production research.

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Richard L. Hassell, Robert J. Dufault, and Tyron L. Phillips

Early spring sweet corn (Zea mays var. rugosa) is usually planted in cold soils at sub-optimal temperatures for seed germination. It is important for growers to understand the relationships among temperature, germination, and vigor of sweet corn in order to plan the earliest planting dates that will not significantly reduce plant stand. The objectives of this research were 1) to determine the minimum temperatures to germinate to 75%, (the minimum germination percent for interstate commerce) for 27 new sweet corn su (sugary), se (sugar enhancer), and sh2 (shrunken-2) cultivars; 2) to determine vigor differences among the phenotypes; and 3) to select the most promising se, su, and sh2 cultivars for cold tolerance and vigor for early spring planting. Seeds of each cultivar were placed along a temperature gradient on a thermogradient table, Type 5001 (Seed Processing Holland, Enkhuizen, The Netherlands), and allowed to germinate over a 7-day period. The gradient treatments were [±2 °F (1.1 °C)] 52, 56, 60, 64, 68, 72, 76, 80, 84, and 86 °F (11.1, 13.3, 15.6, 17.8, 20.0, 22.2, 24.4, 26.7, 28.9, and 30.0 °C). Germination data from thermogradient testing were used to determine the minimum temperatures and time required for su, se, and sh2 cultivars to germinate at ≥75%, defined as minimum acceptable germination percent (MAGP); and the minimum temperature to reach the maximum germination rate (MGR) for a cultivar, defined as the ability to germinate to MAGP at the same rate equally at low and high temperatures. Generally, su phenotypes germinated to MAGP within 4 days, with sh2 requiring 6 days, but with se requiring 5 days. We found that within each phenotype, however, cultivars reacted uniquely to temperature. The most vigorous and cold tolerant su cultivars were `NK 199' and `Merit' which germinated to MAGP at 52 °F with `NK 199' more vigorous than `Merit'. The su cultivar `Sweet G-90' was vigorous at warm temperatures, but the least cold tolerant and desirable for planting under cold conditions. Within the se cultivars, `Precious Gem', `July Gold', and `Imaculata' germinated to MAGP at 52 °F with `Precious Gem' requiring 6 days and `July Gold' and `Imaculata' requiring 7 days. `Accord' was the least cold tolerant se cultivar, requiring at least 60 °F for MAGP with a slow MGR, even at warm temperatures. None of the sh2 cultivars reached MAGP within 7 d at 52 °F, as was also observed for certain su and se cultivars.

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Vincent M. Russo and Merritt Taylor

amendments) requirements but has not been certified. In the fall of 2004, the plant residue from bell pepper ( Capsicum annuum L.), cucumber ( Cucumis sativus L.), and sweet corn ( Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf.) was mowed, left for 2 weeks, and soil

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Vincent M. Russo and Wayne W. Fish

( Cucumis sativus L.), cv. Earli Pik, and sweet corn ( Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf.), cv. Incredible, were sown in single rows in the middle of beds on 14 Apr. 2010. Cucumber was spaced 0.45 m between plants and sweet corn spaced 11.5 cm between plants

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Lisha He and J.S. Burris

Sweet corn (Zea mays var. rugosa L.) seed with the endosperm mutant shrunken-2 (sh2) often exhibit low seed vigor and poor field emergence. Seed respiration and carbohydrate metabolism during germination of supersweet `Jubilee' (sh2) and sugary sweet `Jubilee' (Sh2) were studied. There were no significant vigor differences expressed by isolated embryos from sh2 and sugary (Sh2) seeds, indicating similar embryo physiology. Respiration rates were higher in the sh2 genotype during early stages of germination (24 hours) while they declined later. The available sucrose originating from the endosperm reserves was depleted by day 4. This insufficiency of a sustained energy source due to rapid consumption and minimal stored reserves may limit subsequent seedling growth in the sh2 genotype.

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Vincent Russo and Aristotel Pappelis

Fungi can colonize senescent sweet corn (Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf.) tissue. Senescence levels of tissues can be rated. Effects of four planting dates on senescence of standard (su, cv. Merit), and supersweet (sh2, cv. Florida Staysweet) corn at fresh market and seed harvest were determined. Stalk senescence was affected by cultivar (sh2 < su) and planting date (earliest was lowest). Shank senescence was affected by cultivar (fresh market < seed harvest) and planting date (lowest for plants of the earliest and latest plantings). Cob senescence was not affected by cultivar, slightly lower at fresh market than seed harvest, and lower for plants of the later than earlier planting dates. In a second experiment senescence was rated during development of sh2 cultivars. Formation of reproductive structures increased senescence rate. Cultivar had little effect on stalk and cob senescence at fresh market harvest. The cv. `Honey'n Pearl' had the lowest shank senescence rating. Delayed senescence should be incorporated in to corn genotypes.

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Richard L. Parish, Regina P. Bracy, and Hershel F. Morris Jr.,

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of banding or broadcasting fertilizer on yield and quality of turnip (Brassica rapa L. Rapifera group), sweetcorn (Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf), and cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group). Preplant fertilizer was applied broadcast prior to bedding, broadcast after bedding, or banded after bedding. Sidedress applications were broadcast or banded on the beds. Strong visual differences were noticed early in the season in the spring turnip crop with the growth in the broadcast-then-bed treatment appearing superior. The yield at first harvest and total yield were lower for turnip growth with the bed-and-broadcast treatments. No differences in yield of cabbage and sweetcorn resulted from the treatments. Few differences in turnip stem to leaf ratio were noted due to fertilizer treatment. Few differences in yield due to sidedress method were noted with any of the crops. Since broadcasting can be done with a faster, wider applicator, growers could reduce costs by broadcasting fertilizer and obtain yields that are at least equivalent to the yields from banding.

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Clydette M. Alsup, Brian A. Kahn, and Mark E. Payton

Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) cover crops were grown in a rotation with sweet corn (Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf.) and muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. Reticulatus group) to evaluate the legume's ability to remove excess P from soils when poultry litter was used as a fertilizer. Fertilizer treatments were: 1) litter to meet each crop's recommended preplant N requirements (1×); 2) litter at twice the recommended rate (2×); and 3) urea at the 1× rate as the control. Following the vegetable crops, hairy vetch was planted on half of each replication, while the other half was fallowed. The vetch was removed from the field in a simulated haying operation in the spring. Soil samples were taken at 0-15 cm and 15-30 cm depths at the onset of the study and after each crop to monitor plant nutrient concentrations. The vetch sometimes raised soil test N concentrations at the 0-15 cm depth. Soil test P concentrations at the 0-15 cm sampling depth in the vetch system were consistently lower numerically, but not statistically, relative to comparable plots in the fallow system. Soil test P at the 0-15 cm depth was usually increased by litter at the 2× rate relative to the urea control, regardless of cropping system. Yields of both vegetable crops were similar among all cover crop and fertilizer treatments.

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R.L. Parish, R.P. Bracy, and H.F. Morris Jr.

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of banding or broadcasting fertilizer on yield and quality of turnip (Brassica rapa L. Rapifera group), sweetcorn (Zea mays var. rugosa Bonaf.), and cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata group). Preplant fertilizer was applied broadcast before bedding, broadcast after bedding, or banded after bedding. Sidedress applications were broadcast or banded on the beds. Differences in plant size and vigor were noticed early in the season in the spring turnip crop, with the growth in the broadcast-and-bed treatment appearing superior. The yield at first harvest and total yield were lower for turnip grown with the bed-and-broadcast treatment. No differences in yield of cabbage or sweetcorn resulted from the treatments. Few differences in turnip stem-to-leaf ratio were noted due to fertilizer treatment. Few differences in yield due to sidedress method were noted with any of the crops. Analysis of soil samples in a grid pattern across the beds showed that the location of the fertilizer after the broadcast-and-bed treatment was similar to the placement of the banded fertilizer. Since broadcasting can be done with a faster, wider applicator, growers could reduce costs by broadcasting fertilizer and obtain yields that are at least equivalent to the yields obtained by banding the fertilizer.