Sweetpotatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are nutritious, easily stored, and well adapted to a variety of organic farming operations. This widely consumed root crop is propagated through the use of cuttings, known as slips. Slips are commercially grown primarily in the southeastern United States, and growers in the central United States still have limited access to sweetpotato planting material. Production of organic slips in high tunnels (HTs) could be a profitable enterprise for growers in the central United States given the season extension afforded by controlled-environment agriculture, which could allow growers to diversify their operations and facilitate crop rotation. In trials conducted in 2016 and 2017 at two research stations in northeast and south central Kansas, a systems comparison was used to evaluate the yield and performance of organic sweetpotato slips grown in HT as compared with the open field (OF), with four to six replications at each location. Propagation beds planted with ‘Beauregard’ seed roots in 2016 and ‘Orleans’ in 2017 were established in HT and OF under similar cultural methods and planting schedules. Slips were harvested from both treatment groups and transplanted to field plots to investigate the impact of production system on transplant establishment and storage root production. Slip yield from HT was greater than OF at both locations in 2016 (P ≤ 0.001), but this trend was inconsistent in 2017. Slips grown in HT were on average 12% less compact (slip dry weight per centimeter length) with fewer nodes than their OF counterparts in 2016. Nonetheless, mean comparisons for vine length, stem diameter, and total marketable storage root yield were not significant between HT and OF treatments (1.7 and 2.1 lb/plant, respectively). Similarly, the number of marketable storage roots for HT and OF groups was comparable (3.4 and 3.8 storage roots/plant, respectively). Although more research is needed to evaluate the feasibility of slips grown in HT and to determine recommendations for seed root planting densities, results from this study suggest that HT organic sweetpotato slip production could be a viable alternative to OF production as it relates to slip performance. According to this study, HT production could be a useful mechanism for growing sweetpotato slips, which could provide regional growers more control over planting material. Furthermore, HT slip production could promote the adoption of an underused vegetable crop that can be grown throughout many parts of the United States.
Zachary N. Hoppenstedt, Jason J. Griffin, Eleni D. Pliakoni and Cary L. Rivard
Donald J. Merhaut, Lea Corkidi, Maren Mochizuki, Toan Khuong, Julie Newman, Ben Faber, Oleg Daugovish and Sonya Webb
growers in meeting the regional water quality objectives. The cooperators in this project addressed three main goals: increase farmer and landowner understanding of local agricultural water quality issues; identify gaps or deficiencies in current
Kim E. Hummer
N.I. Vavilov’s theories direct present-day global activities in plant science, breeding, and conservation. His expeditions around the world located centers of diversity of crop evolution. Vavilov was one of the earliest scientists to realize that wild genetic diversity could be lost, through genetic erosion, reducing the possibilities for future crop improvement. To measure genetic erosion, Gary Nabhan and colleagues traveled in 11 countries following routes that Vavilov had taken more than half a century before. The detailed notes concerning the vegetation and flora that Vavilov observed could be used as a baseline in contrast with Nabhan’s plant and cultivar inventories to observe changes in plant diversity at specific sites. The objective of this manuscript is to summarize potential genetic erosion at three case study locations, the Pamiri Highlands of Tajikistan, the Ethiopian Highlands, and the Colorado Plateau of Southwestern North America. At these localities Vavilov’s notes can be compared with the agricultural activities of the modern day. In each case, significant climatic, environmental, and human-caused changes have affected the local agriculture during the intervening years. Localities that have retained diversity have suffered the least. Reduction of diversity is associated with decreased agricultural stability and productivity. Programs encouraging farmers to manage diversity and promote involvement of local youth in agriculture may reduce or moderate the effect of genetic erosion.
Glenn C. Wright and Stephen E. Poe
Arizona Farm Safety Day has been held annually since 2000 as an attempt to educate students and farm workers (pesticide applicators, tractor and equipment operators, irrigators, and field workers) in farm safety. Our programs have emphasized tractor safety, pesticide safety, ATV safety, electrical safety, and firearms safety. The all-day events have been held in Yuma and in Safford, Ariz., and most of the attendees are high school students. Agriculture students from six to eight high schools typically participate. The agenda is determined by consulting with local agriculture leaders. Attendees have the opportunity to attend a 4-hour training session in the morning. Subjects taught at these sessions might include reading a pesticide label, sprayer calibration, wearing proper protection, avoiding spray drift, tractor safety, and farm safety. At least one of these sessions is an outdoors “hands-on” session. Individual participants receive up-to-date information and literature, a certificate of completion, CEUs, CCA credits, a hat, and a lunch. Spanish translation is available at each session. In the afternoon, a tractor driver safety course and equipment demonstration is typically held. In the course, selected representatives from local farms or local youth get a chance to demonstrate their tractor and ATV driving and safety skills for recognition and awards. Plaques and trophies are awarded to the winners. Additionally, there is an equipment demonstration. Attendees are tested before and after the event.
Philipp W. Simon
of new, high-value convenience products, and alternative vegetable and fruit products may potentially increase intake. Local agriculture, local food, and organic agriculture. Some of the promotional targets proposed by the Centers for Disease Control
Fu Cheng, Qingxi Chen, Mengmeng Gu and Donghui Peng
extension outreach to stakeholders and less research requirements, compared with their peers in provincial academies. At the township level, agencies involved with agricultural extension include local Agricultural Extension offices and Forestry Extension
James F. Hancock and Charles Stuber
that it will be important to more fully integrate food and health professionals into breeding efforts. Plant breeders also need to engage consumer groups and local agricultural communities much earlier in the research and development pathway. The number
Joseph Monson and Denise Mainville
, as well as food with intangible attributes such as environmental sustainability, support for local agriculture and economic development, and animal welfare, all of which are often assumed to be inherent in locally produced foods. One possible
Erin M. Silva and Geraldine Muller
increasing the number of students entering the local agriculture industry; and through the students, to bring organic agriculture principles to the broader community. This article details the development of the Farm Links program over a 4-year period and its
Kwanjai Pipatchartlearnwong, Akarapong Swatdipong, Supachai Vuttipongchaikij and Somsak Apisitwanich
Asian Palmyra palm (2 n = 36), found widespread in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, is a monocotyledonous dioecious woody perennial tree in the Arecaceae family. This palm tree is important for local agriculture and economies as its