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Megan E. O’Rourke and Jessica Petersen

agronomic cropping systems to reduce soil erosion and improve sustainability ( Derpsch et al., 2010 ). In contrast, no-till vegetable production is relatively rare due to challenges with delayed soil warming, reduced germination and root growth, and weed

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Matthew D. Stevens, Brent L. Black, John D. Lea-Cox, Ali M. Sadeghi, Jennifer Harman-Fetcho, Emy Pfeil, Peter Downey, Randy Rowland, and Cathleen J. Hapeman

erosion (greater than 75 kg·ha −1 ): 22 July (34.5 mm over 3 h), 11 Aug. (19.6 mm over 0.5 h), and 18 Sept. The last of these was the result of Tropical Storm Isabel (29 mm over 13 h). Although the precipitation intensity during the tropical storm was much

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G.K. Panicker, G.A. Weesies, A.H. Al-Humadi, C. Sims, L.C. Huam, J. Harness, J. Bunch, and T.E. Collins

Even though research and education systems have transformed agriculture from a traditional to a high-technology sector, soil erosion still remains as a major universal problem to agricultural productivity. The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and its replacement, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) are the most widely used of all soil erosion prediction models. Of the five factors in RUSLE, the cover and management (C) factor is the most important one from the standpoint of conservation planning because land use changes meant to reduce erosion are represented here. Even though the RUSLE is based on the USLE, this modern erosion prediction model is highly improved and updated. Alcorn State Univ. entered into a cooperative agreement with the NRCS of the USDA in 1988 to conduct C-factor research on vegetable and fruit crops. The main objective of this research is to collect plant growth and residue data that are used to populated databases needed to develop C-factors in RUSLE, and used in databases for other erosion prediction and natural resource models. The enormous data collected on leaf area index (LAI), canopy cover, lower and upper biomass, rate of residue decomposition, C:N ratio of samples of residues and destructive harvest and other gorwth parameters of canopy and rhizosphere made the project the largest data bank on horticultural crops. The philosophy and methodology of data collection will be presented.

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Iris Cole-Crosby, Liang Huam, Jesse Harness, Patrick Igbokwe, Suresh Tiwari, and Om P. Vadhwa

Plant growth and residue decomposition values are needed by the Soil Conservation Service for developing data bases for selected fruit and vegetable crops. These data bases will be used for predicting soil loss using improved erosion prediction technology. The plant growth parameters under investigation are canopy cover leaf area index, plant height plant weight, root weight, stem diameter and vegetative dry matter. The climatic parameter are daily base temperature rainfall and growing degree days. The following is a list of the residue decomposition parameter: 1. Residue weight and harvest 2. Initial carbon-nitrogen ratio, and 3. Percent residue cover at harvest. The results are being used in the WEPP model to predict soil erosion. Data collection afor these parameters start 15 days after planting for vegetables and continue at 7 day intervals through maturity.

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Michelle L. Infante-Casella and Steven A. Garrison

Many squash varieties are large-seeded and may be well-suited for planting under no-till production systems. A study was done at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Bridgeton, N.J., to evaluate the yield and loss of soil when butternut squash (BS) (Cucurbita moschata `Waltham') was grown using no-till (NT), strip-till (ST), and bare ground (BG) tillage systems. The soil was a Sassafrass gravely sand loam and the field had a 3% slope. A cover crop mixture of hairy vetch and winter rye planted on 23 Sept. 1998 using a Brillion seeder at a rate of 136.2 kg/ha and 610.2 kg/ha, respectively, was used to create the NT and ST plots. NT and ST plots containing the cover crop mixture were killed with Glyphosate and chopped using a Buffalo stalk chopper on 27 May. BG plots were tilled clean before planting and ST plots were rototilled to a 30.48 cm band to establish a seedbed. BS seeds were hand-planted on 7 July with a spacing of 38.1 cm between plants and 182.9 cm between rows. Irrigation was applied overhead at a rate of 6.28 cm/ha weekly. Erosion was measured using inverted pans over the soil area to be measured. Harvest took place on 21Oct. and yields included only marketable fruit with the following results: NT = 8.65 t/ha; ST = 8.99 t/ha; BG = 4.06 t/ha. Yields in the NT and ST plots were significantly higher than yields in the BG plots. Soil erosion measurements were taken on 21 Oct. Soil loss results from the plots were 0.08 cm (NT), 0.84 cm (ST), and 3.33 cm (BG). Soil loss, mainly due to water erosion, was significantly higher in the BG plots. BS yields can be significantly higher when using alternative tillage systems like NT and ST. When using NT and ST systems for the production of BS, soil erosion is reduced

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Aaron J. Patton, Jon M. Trappe, and Michael D. Richardson

Covers, mulches, and erosion-control blankets are often used to establish turf. These technologies can be used to modify soil temperature ( Barkley et al., 1965 ; Portz et al., 1993 ) and retain soil moisture ( Dudeck et al., 1970 ; McGinnies

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Michael S. Harrell and Grady L. Miller

The benefits of composted yard waste applied as a mulch were demonstrated in a field study at two locations and supporting greenhouse research. Compost was applied to eroded roadside slopes of about 12° and 27° to determine the influence on soil displacement and establishment and/or enhancement of permanent roadside vegetation. Treatments consisted of compost rates of 5 cm and planted with asiastic jasmine (Trachelopermum asiaticum), 5 and 10 cm, seeded with 110 or 220 kg·ha–1 80:20 bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge): bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) seed mix by weight, straw erosion control mats, and bahiagrass sod. Compost treatments effectively controlled soil displacement regardless of compost rate or seeding with turfgrass at both locations. Effects on roadside vegetation and visual quality varied with location. Asiatic jasmine did not establish at either site. Compost mulch applications increased total vegetation, turfgrass density, and quality at the site with 27° slope and 4% initial soil organic matter content, but resulted in a decline in cover at the site with a 12° slope and <1% organic matter content. Compost mulch can effectively prevent soil displacement from roadside slopes, but may not promote establishment or enhancement of permanent vegetative cover.

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Julia Whitworth

In September of 1991, 1.1 m × 20 cm raised beds were built near Lane, OK. The beds were covered with straw or woven plastic mulch, or were left uncovered. Heavy rains in October left the uncovered beds about 20 cm wide × 13 cm tall. A gully was formed at the end of this field, and soil was deposited across several beds. Strawberry plants were set into all beds in mid-February 1992. At this time, the straw-mulched beds, although settled into an inverted “V” shape, were still about 1 m wide and about 18 cm tall. A very intense hail and rain storm struck the fields on May 13. Most of the hail was about 1.3 cm in diameter. The hail fell for about 30 minutes in early afternoon. The hail was accompanied by about 12.7 cm of rain. The strawberry plants on the woven plastic mulch were almost completely destroyed. The strawberry plants on bare ground were severely damaged by the hail, and their roots were often washed out of the ground. About 85 to 90 percent of these plants died. Strawberry plants on the straw-mulched beds appeared to be less damaged by the hail than other plants, and were not washed out of the ground. About 95% of these plants survived.

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Warren Roberts and Bob Cartwright

Raised beds (0.9 m wide, 1.8 m centers, 6.1 m long) were formed in Oct. 1988. Beds were either left bare or seeded with rye (Secale cereale) or hairy vetch (Vicia villosa). Plots were sprayed with glyphosate in April, 1989. Rye was completely killed, but hairy vetch was not. Bed height was maintained best with beds covered with rye. In a 3 by 4 factorial, four rates of nitrogen (45, 90, 134, and 179 kg/ha) were applied to each soil cover treatment. On April 17, cabbage (Brassica oleracea cv. Solid Blue 760) was transplanted two rows per bed, with 30 cm spacing in rows and between rows. There was no mowing or cultivating prior to transplanting. A linear increase in yield was observed with increasing applications of nitrogen. The cabbage yield was less in rye than in vetch orbare soil. The yield difference between rye and bare soil was more pronounced at the low rates of nitrogen than at the high rates of nitrogen. Cabbage grown in rye had significantly fewer aphids, thrips, and cabbage loopers than did cabbage grown in bare soil.

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G. D. Bubenzer and G. G. Weis


Wind and the abrasive action of sand particles had a detrimental effect on the production of snap beans, Phaseolus vulgaris L., and peas, Pisum sativum L. Plants were subjected to winds of 15.5 m/sec for a duration of 20 min. Snap bean yields were reduced approximately 8% due to wind during the seedling stage and 14% when flowering plants were treated. An average reduction of 16% was observed for peas exposed to the same wind conditions, but losses for peas were not significantly influenced by the growth stage at treatment.

Yields of snap beans and peas were inversely related to the soil loss when plants were exposed to wind at the seedling stage. Losses in production from treatment at the latter stages of growth were attributed to the loss of buds and blossoms due to the wind.