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Dianna L. Liu and Nick E. Christians

financial support and supply of corn gluten hydrolysate sample by the Grain Processing Corp., Muscatine, Iowa. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be

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Charles L. Webber III, James W. Shrefler, and Merritt J. Taylor

erosion. Preventing soil, nutrient, and organic matter losses due to tillage are a fundamental tenant of certified organic production [ U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Standards Board, 2010 ]. Corn gluten meal (CGM) is an organic

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Charles L. Webber III and James W. Shrefler

Corn gluten meal (CGM) has been identified as a potential organic preemergence and preplant-incorporated herbicide. It is an environmentally friendly material that has demonstrated ability to decrease seedling development and plant survival by inhibiting root and shoot development. Unfortunately, CGM can also decrease the development and plant survival of direct-seeded vegetable crops. As a result, the use of CGM is not recommended in conjunction with direct-seeded vegetables. The development of equipment to apply CGM in banded configurations has created an opportunity to investigate whether banded CGM applications will provide significant crop safety for direct-seeded vegetables. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of banded CGM applications on squash plant survival and yields. A factorial field study was conducted during the summer of 2004 on 81-cm-wide raised beds at Lane, Okla., with two application configurations (banded and solid), two CGM formulations (powdered and granulated), two incorporation treatments (incorporated and non-incorporated), and three application rates (250, 500, and 750 g·m–2). The two CGM formulations at three application rates were uniformly applied in both banded and solid patterns on 18 Aug. The banded application created a 7.6-cm-wide CGM-free planting zone in the middle of the raised bed. The CGM applications were then either incorporated into the top 2.5 to 5.0 cm of the soil surface with a rolling cultivator or left undisturbed on the soil surface. `Lemondrop' summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was then direct-seeded into the center of the raised beds. When averaged across the other factors, there was not a significant difference between powdered and granulated CGM formulations or incorporating and non-incorporating the CGM for either squash plant survival or yields. CGM application rates made a significant difference for both squash survival and yields, when averaged across all other factors. As the CGM application rate increased, the plant survival and yields decreased. When averaged across all other factors, the banded application resulted in significantly greater crop safety (59% plant survival) and yields (228 cartons/ha) than the solid applications (25% plant survival and 118 cartons/ha). The research demonstrated the potential usefulness of CGM in direct-seeded squash production, if used in a banded application configuration. Additional research should further investigate the interaction of CGM application rates and the width of the CGM-free zone on crop safety for various vegetables.

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James W. Shrefler, Charles L. Webber III, and Otis L. Faulkenberry III

Producers of organic vegetables often report that weeds are a troublesome production problem. It has been documented that corn gluten meal (CGM), a by-product of the wet-milling process of corn, is phytotoxic. As a preemergence or preplant-incorporated herbicide, CGM inhibits root development, decreases shoot length, and reduces plant survival of weed or crop seedlings. The development of a mechanized application method for CGM and the ability to apply the material in a banded pattern would increase its potential use in organic vegetable production, especially in direct-seeded vegetables. Therefore, the objective of this research was to develop a mechanized method to uniformly apply CGM to the soil surface in either a broadcast or banded pattern. An applicator was assembled using various machinery components (fertilizer box, rotating agitator blades, 12-volt motor, and fan shaped gravity-fed row banding applicators). The equipment was evaluated for the application of two CGM formulations (powdered and granulated), three application rates (250, 500, and 750 g·m–2), and two application configurations (solid and banded). Field evaluations were conducted during Summer 2004 on 81-cm-wide raised beds at Lane, Okla. Differences between CGM formulations affected the flow rate within and between application configurations. The granulated formulation flowed at a faster rate, without clumping, compared to the powdered formulation. While the CGM in the banded configuration flowed faster than the solid application. It was determined that the CGM powder used with the solid application configuration was inconsistent, unreliable, and thus not feasible for use with this equipment without further modifications. These evaluations demonstrated the feasibility of using equipment, rather than manual applications, to apply CGM to raised beds for organic weed control purposes. Several design alterations may increase the efficiency and potential usefulness of this equipment. If research determines equivalent weed control efficacy between the two CGM formulations, the granulated formulation would be the preferred formulation for use in this equipment. This equipment would be useful for evaluating the benefits of banded applications of CGM for weed control efficacy and crop safety for direct seeded vegetables.

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Nick E. Christians and Dianna L. Liu

Field and greenhouse studies on the use of a byproduct of the corn (Zea mays L.) wet-milling process, corn gluten meal, have shown that this high-protein fraction of corn grain contains an organic compound that inhibits root formation of a variety of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous species. Seeds that germinate in a soil media to which corn gluten meal has been added form normal shoots, but no roots. The seedling quickly dies as the media drys. This inhibition of root formation can be timed to prevent the establishment of weeds in turf areas and other plant systems. Corn gluten meal also contains approximately 10% nitrogen and can be used as a natural fertilizer material. Repeated field trials have shown no detrimental effect of the corn gluten meal on mature grass plants. This combination of a natural fertilizer with a natural weed inhibiting compound may result in a `weed and feed' product for those who do not wish to use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. A patent on the use of corn gluten meal as a weed control was issued in 1991.

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Craig A. Dilley, Gail R. Nonnecke, and Nick E. Christians

Corn gluten meal (CGM), a by-product of corn wet-milling, has weed control properties and is a N source. The weed control properties of CGM have been identified in previous studies. The hydrolysate is a water soluble, concentrated extract of CGM that contains between 10% to 14% N. Our objective was to investigate corn gluten hydrolysate as a weed control product and N source in `Jewel' strawberry production. The field experiment was a randomized complete block with a factorial arrangement of treatments with four replications. Treatments included application of granular CGM, CGM hydrolysate, urea, urea and DCPA (Dacthal), and a control (no application). Granular CGM and urea were incorporated into the soil at a depth of 2.5 cm with N at 0, 29, 59, and 88 g/plot. Plot size was 1 × 3 m. Percent weed cover data on 12 Aug. showed plots receiving the 29 g N from CGM hydrolysate had 48% less weed cover than the control (0 g). Plant growth variables showed similar numbers of runners and runner plants among all nitrogen sources.

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Craig A. Dilley, Gail R. Nonnecke, and Nick E. Christians

Alternative approaches to strawberry production that rely on cultural practices, biological controls, or natural products to reduce or replace off-farm chemical inputs are needed. Driving this growing interest are environmental concerns and rising production costs. Corn gluten meal (CGM), a byproduct of corn wet-milling, has weed-control properties and is a N source. The weed control properties of CGM have been identified in previous studies. The hydrolysate is a water-soluble, concentrated extract of CGM that contains between 10% to 14% N. Our objective was to investigate corn gluten hydrolysate as a weed control product and N source in `Jewel' strawberry production. The field experiment was a randomized complete block with a factorial arrangement of treatments and four replications. Treatments included application of granular CGM, CGM hydrolysate, urea, urea, and DCPA (Dacthal), and a control (no application). Granular CGM and urea were incorporated into the soil at a depth of 2.5 cm at rates of 0, 29, 59, and 88 g N/plot. Plot size was 1 × 3 m. The field experiment was conducted from 1995-1998. The source of nitrogen showed few effects for all variables measuring yield and weed control for all years. In general, the rate of nitrogen had little or no effect on total yield. However, the rate of nitrogen at 88 g N/plot showed an increase in average berry weight, leaf area, leaf dry weight, and weed control.

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Barbara R. Bingaman and Nick E. Christians

Corn (Zea mays L.) gluten meal (CGM) was evaluated under greenhouse conditions for efficacy on 22 selected monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous weed species. Corn gluten meal was applied at 0, 324, 649, and 973 g·m–2 and as a soil-surface preemergence (PRE) and preplant-incorporated (PPI) weed control product. CGM reduced plant survival, shoot length, and root development of all tested species. Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum L.), common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.), creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.), curly dock (Rumex crispus L.), purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.), and redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) were the most susceptible species. Plant survival and root development for these species were reduced by ≥75%, and shoot length was decreased by >50% when treated PRE and PPI with 324 g CGM/m2. Catchweed bedstraw (Galium aparine L.), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Weber), giant foxtail (Setaria faberi Herrm.), and smooth crabgrass [Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb.) Schreb. ex Muhl] exhibited survival and shoot length reductions >50% and an 80% reduction in root development when treated with PPI CGM at 324 g·m–2. Barnyardgrass [Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv.] and velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medic.) were the least susceptible species showing survival reductions ≤31% when treated with 324 g CGM/m2.

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Derek M. Law, A. Brent Rowell, John C. Snyder, and Mark A. Williams

A 2-year field study in Lexington, Ky., evaluated weed control efficacy and influence on yields of several organic mulches in two organically managed bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) production systems. Five weed control treatments [straw, compost, wood chips, undersown white dutch clover (Trifolium repens) “living mulch,” and the organically approved herbicide corn gluten] were applied to two production systems consisting of peppers planted in double rows in either flat, bare ground or on black polyethylene-covered raised beds. In the first year, treatments were applied at transplanting and no treatment was found to provide acceptable season-long weed control. As a result, bell pepper yields in both production systems were very low due to extensive weed competition. First year failures in weed control required a modification of the experimental protocol in the second year such that treatment application was delayed for 6 weeks, during which time three shallow cultivations were used to reduce early weed pressure and extend the control provided by the mulches. This approach increased the average weed control rating provided by the mulches from 45% in 2003 to 86% in 2004, and resulted in greatly improved yields. In both years, polyethylene-covered raised beds produced higher yields than the flat, bare ground system (8310 lb/acre compared to 1012 lb/acre in 2003 and 42,900 lb/acre compared to 29,700 lb/acre in 2004). In the second year, the polyethylene-covered bed system coupled with mulching in-between beds with compost or wood chips provided excellent weed control and yields. When using the wood chip mulch, which was obtained at no cost, net returns were $5587/acre, which is similar to typical returns for conventionally grown peppers in Kentucky. Net returns were substantially decreased when using compost due to the purchase cost. Results from this study indicate that shallow cultivation following transplanting, combined with midseason mulch application, resulted in high yields in an organically managed bell pepper system that were comparable to yields of most varieties grown conventionally in a variety trial conducted on the same farm.

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Allen V. Barker and Randall G. Prostak

for their herbicidal activities ( Duke, 1990 ; Tworkoski, 2002 ). Corn gluten meal (CGM) has been evaluated in recent years as a plant by-product with herbicidal effects ( Christians, 2007 ). The by-product is the proteinaceous fraction of corn ( Zea