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Marvin D. Butler and Robert E. Rush

Early maturity is of major importance to table grape producers in the Sonoran Desert. Prices are historically high at the beginning of the season, declining substantially over the first few days or weeks of harvest. Research was conducted in 1990 and 1991 at a commercial vineyard in southwest Arizona to determine the effect of bunch count per vine on yield and early maturity of fifth and sixth year flame seedless grapes. Vines were thinned to 15, 25 and 35 bunches in 1990, and 20, 30, 40, and 40 short bunches in 1991. The two-row, 0.2 acre plots were replicated four times using a randomized complete block design. Despite the large variation in crop load, there were no significant differences in total yield. There was an increase in percent soluble solids as bunch counts decreased. Berry weight followed the same trend. Small to moderate bunch counts produced a larger number of boxes and a greater percentage of the crop early in the season. By maintaining small to moderate bunch counts, early maturity is attainable without significantly reducing total yield.

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L. Brandenberger, R. Wiedenfeld, R. Mercado, J. Lopez and T.E. Morelock

Southern peas for the processing market are an important crop for producers in South Texas, but little testing of new varieties or breeding lines has been carried out. Grower field trials during three different years and an on station trial provided an opportunity to evaluate >30 different pea cultivars or breeding lines. Cultivars and breeding lines were evaluated for earliness, maturity, yield, and performance in high-pH soils. Yields varied significantly each season, with Arkansas Blackeye # 1 providing consistently high yields in the three grower trials. Both Arkansas 87-435-68 and Texas Pinkeye produced significantly higher yields in the high soil pH trial at Weslaco. Yields for Arkansas 87-435-68 and Texas Pinkeye in the Weslaco trial were 1428 and 1231 lb of dry peas per acre, respectively.

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Min-Li Liu, Ching-Hsiang Hsieh and Yun-Yang Chao

new cucumber variety, Kaohsiung No. 3. Description The Kaohsiung No. 3 cucumber is a monoecious sex type F1 hybrid, with vigorous growth in the hot season and early maturity ( Fig. 2 ). The skin color is emerald green with light-colored stripes. At the

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Charles S. Vavrina, Stephen M. Olson, Phyllis R. Gilreath and Mary L. Lamberts

`Agriset', `All Star', and `Colonial' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants set to a depth of the first true leaf and `Cobia' transplants set to a depth of the cotyledon leaves yielded more fruit at first harvest than plants set to the top of the rootball (root–shoot interface). The increase in fruit count was predominantly in the extra-large category. More red fruit at first harvest suggested that deeper planting hastens tomato maturity. The impact of planting depth diminished with successive harvests, indicating the response to be primarily a first-harvest phenomenon in tomato.

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Silvana Nicola and Daniel J. Cantliffe

`South Bay' lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seedlings were grown in a greenhouse during winter, spring, and fall to investigate the effect of cell size and medium compression on transplant quality and yield. Four Speedling planter flats (1.9-, 10.9-, 19.3-, 39.7-cm3 cells) and two medium compression levels [noncompressed and compressed (1.5 times in weight)] were tested. The two larger cell sizes and compression of the medium led to increased plant shoot growth. Conversely, root weight ratio [RWR = (final root dry weight ÷ final total dry weight + initial root dry weight ÷ initial total dry weight) ÷ 2] was highest with the smaller cells without medium compression. Lettuce transplants were field-grown on sand and muck soils. The larger cells delayed harvest by >2 weeks for plants grown on muck soil, but yield was unaffected. When grown on sandy soil, earliness was enhanced from plants grown in 19- and 40-cm3 cells, but head weights were not affected in the spring planting. In fall, heads were heavier for plants grown in 11-, 19-, or 40-cm3 cells compared with those from 2-cm3 cells. On sandy soil, harvest was delayed 13 days in spring and 16 days in fall for plants grown in the smallest cell size. Using the two smaller cell sizes saved medium and space in the greenhouse and increased the root growth ratio, but it led to reduced plant growth compared to using the bigger cells. Yield and earliness were more related to season and soil type than to transplant quality. On sandy soil, plants grown in 2- and 11-cm3 cells matured later, and yield was significantly decreased (8.6%) in fall by using plants from the 2-cm3 cells compared to the other sizes. From our results, compressing the medium in the cells was not justified because it is more costly and did not benefit yield in the field.

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Dermot P. Coyne, James M. Reiser, Durward Smith, Lisa Sutton, Aly M. Ibrahim and Dale Lindgren

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Chad E. Finn, Bernadine C. Strik, Brian M. Yorgey, Theodore A. Mackey, Patrick P. Moore, Michael Dossett, Chaim Kempler, Robert R. Martin, Andrew R. Jamieson and Gene J. Galletta

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S.Z. Berry, K.L. Wiese and W.A. Gould