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David Picha* and Roger Hinson

Opportunities for marketing United States (U.S.) sweetpotatoes in the United Kingdom (U.K.) are expanding, particularly within the retail sector. The U.K. import volume has steadily increased in recent years. Trade statistics indicate the U.K. imported nearly 12 thousand metric tons of sweetpotatoes in 2002, with the U.S. providing slightly over half of the total import volume. Considerable competition exists among suppliers and countries of origin in their attempts to penetrate the U.K. market. Currently, over a dozen countries supply sweetpotatoes to the U.K., and additional countries are planning on sending product in the near future. An economic assessment of production and transport costs was made among the principal supplying nations to estimate their comparative market advantages. Price histories for sweetpotatoes in various U.K. market destinations were compiled to determine seasonality patterns. Comparisons of net profit (or loss) between U.S. and U.K. market destinations were made to determine appropriate marketing strategies for U.S. sweetpotato growers/shippers. Results indicated the U.K. to be a profitable and increasingly important potential market for U.S. sweetpotatoes.

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Carlos Carpio and D. Scott NeSmith

This study evaluates the effect of irrigation on the profitability of the muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifilia) operation. Data from a 3-year experiment in which muscadine grapes were grown under four irrigation regimes were used to establish the relationship between yields and irrigation. Assuming a muscadine fruit price of $0.50/lb, harvesting costs of $0.21/lb, and irrigation costs of $16.75/acre-inch, the profit-maximizing level of irrigation was estimated to be 13.1 acre-inches for a season, or 7 gal/day per plant. Water requirements for profit maximization are 9% lower than water requirements for yield maximizing. Moreover, it is concluded that the effect of an adequate use of irrigation in the profitability of the muscadine grape operation can be substantial.

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R. Dudley Williams and Nancy A. Reichert

Two types of ground kenaf core (fresh and aged) were used in concentrations from 70% to 100% (v/v) in combination with peat for use as greenhouse potting media and were compared to two commercial mixes in completely randomized block designs. Greenhouse crops of Boston fern (Nephrolepis), impatiens, and pansies (Viola) were grown in the different mixes. Irrigation was conducted regularly, based primarily on the average need of all the plants. Kenaf-based media did not retain water as well as the commercial mixes. Consequently, impatiens and pansies displayed slower growth rates. However, no differences were noted for fern growth in 70% kenaf compared to commercial mixes. A second study on plants that were grouped by media type and watered as needed provided different results. Ferns grew equally well in all media, but impatiens grew best in 70% fresh kenaf. Kenaf-based media were less costly than the commercial mixes, and the cost decreased steadily as the kenaf proportion increased. The lower cost of kenaf coupled with the decreasing availability of peat should make kenaf-based media an attractive alternative to conventional greenhouse potting media.

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R. Dudley Williams, Brian S. Baldwin, and Nancy A. Reichert

Two types of ground kenaf core (fresh and aged) were used in concentrations from 70% to 100% (v/v) in combination with peat for use as greenhouse potting media, and were compared to two commercial mixes in completely randomized-block designs. Greenhouse crops of Boston fern (Nephrolepis), Impatiens, and pansies (Viola) were grown in the different mixes. Irrigation was conducted regularly, based primarily on the average need of all the plants. Kenaf-based media did not retain water as well as the commercial mixes; consequently, impatiens and pansies displayed slower growth rates. However, no differences were noted for fern growth in 70% kenaf compared to commercial mixes. A second study on plants that were grouped by media type and watered as needed provided different results. Ferns grew equally well in all media, but Impatiens grew best in 70% fresh kenaf. Kenaf-based media were less costly than the commercial mixes, and the cost decreased steadily as the kenaf proportion increased. The lower cost of kenaf, coupled with the decreasing availability of peat, should make kenaf-based media an attractive alternative to conventional greenhouse potting media.

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Thomas H. Spreen, Jean-Paul Baldwin, and Stephen H. Futch

Huanglongbing (HLB) was first discovered in Florida in 2005. It can now be found in all counties in the state where commercial citrus production takes place. HLB is a bacterial disease that is transmitted by the Asiatic citrus psyllid. HLB negatively affects citrus producers in several ways, including reduced yield, increased grove maintenance costs, and increased tree mortality. The research presented in this article suggests that another consequence of HLB is its adverse effect on the willingness of producers to invest in new plantings. Reduced plantings imply reduced fruit production in the future.

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Lisa Wasko DeVetter, Suzette Galinato, Troy Kortus, and Jonathan Maberry

Floricane red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) produces biennial canes that are traditionally managed by annual selective removal of previously fruited floricanes and training of primocanes that will bear fruit in the next growing season. This process of pruning and training is labor intensive and costly, and growers would benefit from more economical methods of pruning and training. This 6-year project evaluated the economic viability of alternate-year (AY) production in a commercial floricane red raspberry field in northwest Washington and compared it to traditional, every-year (EY) production to assess whether the former could save costs. Despite savings from reduced chemicals, fertilizers, labor, general farm supplies, and other variable costs, the overall benefits of AY production were not enough to offset losses in revenue resulting from reduced yields under the conditions of this experiment in northwest Washington.

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Ramón A. Arancibia, Cody D. Smith, Don R. LaBonte, Jeffrey L. Main, Tara P. Smith, and Arthur Q. Villordon

irrigation at Chase, LA, in 2010 and 2011. Economic assessment. The cost-benefit analysis of changing plant density resulted in no changes in the net benefit because U.S. no.1, jumbo, and marketable yields were not different among row width and in-row plant

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David H. Suchoff, Jonathan R. Schultheis, Matthew D. Kleinhenz, Frank J. Louws, and Christopher C. Gunter

heteroscedasticity. Tukey’s honestly significant difference test was used to compare means when appropriate. Finally, we ran an economic assessment to compare the financial feasibility of grafting using production values from the grower and those published by Rysin

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Kathy Davis, Ed Stover, and Ferdinand Wirth

Hundreds of fruit thinning experiments have been reported for various fruits including apple (Malus × domestica) and citrus (Citrus spp.). Unfortunately, very few of these reports attempt to evaluate the economic implications of thinning. Researchers routinely report significant cropload reduction accompanied by an increase in fruit size. Although these are crucial responses to thinning, they are not always associated with an increase in crop value, which is the commercial justification for thinning. The few economic studies summarized in this review illustrate that the economic effects of fruit thinning vary widely, and successful thinning often reduces returns to the grower, at least in the year of treatment. It is important to quantify the economic benefits of thinning and identify croploads that balance the trade-off between yield and fruit size to provide optimal crop value. Future thinning research should report total yields and fruit size distributions to permit economic assessments and comparisons of treatments.

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trends have been to determine irrigation levels that maximize profitability. Carpio and NeSmith (p. 478 ) present an economic assessment of irrigation usage in muscadine grape grown in Georgia. The level of irrigation for maximizing profits was less