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The impact of a single hail storm injury in combination with bacterial spot caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria was assessed on three commercial pepper (Capsicum annuum) cultivars—King Arthur, Jupiter, and Rebell. In addition, the effectiveness of copper plus maneb sprays on hail-damaged plants to suppress bacterial spot was evaluated. A hail storm of ≈5-min duration severely damaged and defoliated the pepper plants. Severe bacterial spot was observed 10 days later on all plants. Disease ratings taken 2 weeks after the hail storm were significantly greater than ratings before the storm. Unsprayed plots of all three cultivars had the greatest disease and the least yield. Plots sprayed weekly (7-day schedule) had a significantly greater yield and less disease compared to unsprayed and biweekly sprayed (14-day schedule) plots for all three cultivars. The combination of hail damage and bacterial spot resulted in a 6-fold reduction in yield in the absence of copper plus maneb sprays and a 2-fold reduction with weekly sprays when compared to the previous season with no hail injury, but similar levels of bacterial spot disease. Disease ratings were less and yields were greater for `King Arthur', than for `Jupiter' and `Rebell'. A judicious copper plus maneb spray program can suppress bacterial spot and help recovery of a young pepper crop when hail damage occurs.

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Field trials were conducted at Hermiston, Ore., from 1995 through 1998, to determine impact of stand loss and plant damage at different growth stages on yield of onions (Allium cepa) grown for dehydration. Stand reduction (0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%) and foliage damage (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) treatments were applied at three-, six-, nine-, and twelve-leaf onion growth stages. Although average bulb weight increased as stand was reduced, marketable, cull, and total yields decreased as stand reduction increased (plant population decreased) at all plant growth stages. Bulb weight was not changed by up to 100% foliage removal at the three-leaf stage. At the six- and twelve-leaf stages, weight was reduced when ≥50% of the foliage was removed. The most severe response occurred at the nine-leaf stage. At the three-leaf stage, yield was not affected by foliage damage. At the six-leaf growth stage, yield was reduced by 75% or more foliage loss, but at the nine- and twelve-leaf stages, ≥50% foliage removal reduced expected yields. As with bulb weight, the impact of foliage removal on yield was most severe at the nine-leaf growth stage.

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U.S. crop loss from hail damage amounted to $246,443,391 in 1991. Premiums paid for hail insurance was $403,742,507. Despite the magnitude of this industry, the effects of varying levels of hail injury at different stages of plant growth is largely unknown for many vegetable crops. To further evaluate the effects of hail on strawberries, watermelons, and sweet corn, several studies were established in 1991 and 1992. Simulated hail applications were made at different rates and stages of crop growth. Total yields and marketable yields of strawberries were reduced by hail applications. All hail treatments reduced the number of marketable watermelons, except for the vegetative size light hail treatment in 1991. In 1992, the early treatments caused the most total yield reduction. All hail treatments reduced the percentage of marketable ears of sweet corn, except for the light application in the 13th leaf stage (early vegetative) in 1991. In 1992, additional treatments consisting of clipping all leaves were conducted. Clipping leaves at the early silking stage reduced marketable ears, indicating the loss of foliage adversely affected the growth of the ear. Clipping leaves just prior to harvest reduced the yield of Jubilee, but not Silver Queen.

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