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C.D. Stanley, A.A. Csizinszky, G.A. Clark, and J.W. Prevatt

Combinations ofvarious vegetable crop species grown in multiple-cropping sequences using microirrigation on a sandy soil were evaluated for production potential and changes in normal cultural management An initial fall-season fresh-market tomato crop was followed immediately by a winter-season crucifer crop (cauliflower, broccoli, or cabbage), which was followed by a spring-season cucurbit crop (cucumber, zucchini squash, or muskmelon). Studies were conducted over a 3-year period in southwestem Florida. Results showed that when cropping sequences were compared on a basis of a derived relative value index (RVI), the sequence of tomato-cauliflower-zucchini squash significantly outperformed other sequences. Several management concerns particular to the production system (crop residue removal and interference, plastic mulch deterioration and damage, and weed control) were identified and discussed. The potential savings when cropping sequences are compared to individual crop production resulted in net savings (dollar savings less additional production costs) that ranged from $565 to $1212/acre ($1396 to $2993/ha) and $614 to $1316/acre ($1516 to $3251/ha) for the 1986-87 and 1988-89 seasons, respectively.

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Steven J. Guldan, Charles A. Martin, and Constance L. Falk

`Sugar Snap' snap peas (Pisum sativum L.) were interseeded into a stand of `Española Improved' chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) in July or Aug. in 1995, 1996, and 1997. Peas were interseeded as one or two rows per bed, giving planting rates of about 92 or 184 kg·ha-1, respectively. Our objectives were to determine: 1) if intercropped pea would reduce chile yield and vice versa; 2) the effects of pea planting rates and dates on pea yield. Intercropped peas reduced chile yield by about 22% in 1995, but had no significant effects in other years. Pea plants from the August intercrops reached the flowering stage but did not produce pods in 1995 or 1996; some small pods were produced from August intercrops in 1997. Final plant densities were lower and less uniform in 1996 than in 1995 or 1997. Intercropped peas yielded less than monocropped peas in all years. Pea yields ranged from 1370 to 3960 kg·ha-1 when monocropped, 31 kg·ha-1 (1996 single-row) to 646 kg·ha-1 (1995 double-row) when intercropped. In 1995 only, the double-row intercrop yielded more peas than the single-row intercrop. Pod yield/plant was reduced 80%, 98%, and 96% in 1995, 1996, and 1997, respectively, by intercropping. Estimated gross revenues for the treatments indicate that, under the price assumptions used in the study, interseeding snap peas into stands of chile in north-central New Mexico is not economically advantageous compared with monocropped chile.

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Steven J. Guldan, Charles A. Martin, Jose Cueto-Wong, and Robert L. Steiner

Five legumes [hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaerth.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), black lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.), and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)] were interseeded into sweet corn (Zea mays L.) at last cultivation when sweet corn was at about the V9 (early) or blister (late) stage. The effect of legume interseeding on sweet corn yield, and late-season dry-matter and N yields of aboveground portions of the legumes was determined. Sweet corn yield was not affected by legume interseeding. In 1993, legume dry-matter yields were 1420 kg·ha–1 interseeded early and 852 kg·ha–1 interseeded late. Nitrogen yields were 49 kg·ha–1 interseeded early and 33 kg·ha–1 interseeded late. In 1994, dry-matter yields were 2760 kg·ha–1 interseeded early and 1600 kg·ha–1 interseeded late. Nitrogen yields were 83 kg·ha–1 interseeded early and 50 kg·ha–1 interseeded late. In 1993, barrel medic was the highest-yielding legume with dry matter at 2420 kg·ha–1 and N at 72 kg·ha–1 interseeded early, while red clover yielded the lowest with dry matter at 340 kg·ha–1 and N at 12 kg·ha–1 interseeded late. In 1994, dry-matter and N yields ranged from 4500 and 131 kg·ha–1, respectively, for early interseeded barrel medic to 594 kg·ha–1 and 16 kg·ha–1, respectively, for late interseeded red clover.

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Steven J. Guldan, Charles A. Martin, Jose Cueto-Wong, and Robert L. Steiner

Three legumes [hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaerth.), and black lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.)] were interseeded into `New Mexico 6-4' chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) when plants were 20–30 cm tall (3 Aug., “early” interseeding) or when plants were 30–40 cm tall (16–17 Aug., “late” interseeding) in 1993 and 1994. Our objectives were to determine the effect of legume interseeding on cumulative chile yield, and late-season dry-matter and nitrogen yields of aboveground portions of the legumes. Legumes were harvested on 8 Nov. 1993 and 15 Nov. 1994. Chile yield was not significantly affected by legume interseeding. In 1993, legumes accumulated 57% more dry matter and 55% more N when interseeded 3 Aug. vs. 16 Aug. In 1994, legumes accumulated 91% more dry matter and 86% more N when interseeded 3 Aug. vs. 17 Aug. Aboveground dry-matter yields in 1993 ranged from 1350 kg·ha–1 for black lentil interseeded late to 3370 kg·ha–1 for hairy vetch interseeded early. Nitrogen yields ranged from 52 kg·ha–1 for black lentil interseeded late to 136 kg·ha–1 for hairy vetch interseeded early. In 1994, hairy vetch was the highest yielding legume with dry matter at 1810 kg·ha–1 and N at 56 kg·ha–1 interseeded early, while black lentil yielded the lowest with dry matter at 504 kg·ha–1 and N at 17 kg·ha–1 interseeded late. In the spring following each interseeding year, we observed that hairy vetch had overwintered well, whereas barrel medic and black lentil had not, except when a few plants of barrel medic survived the winter of 1994–95. Results from this study indicate that legumes can be successfully interseeded into chile in the high-desert region of the southwestern United States without a significant decrease in chile yield.

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Steven J. Guldan, Charles A. Martin, William C. Lindemann, Jose Cueto-Wong, and Robert L. Steiner

Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaerth.), and black lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) were interseeded into `New Mexico 6-4' chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) when plants were 8 to 12 inches tall or 12 to 16 inches tall in 1993 and 1994. Hairy vetch overwintered well both years, whereas barrel medic and black lentil did not. Spring aboveground dry mass yields of hairy vetch averaged 2.11 and 2.57 tons per acre in 1994 and 1995, respectively, while N accumulation averaged 138 and 145 pounds per acre in 1994 and 1995, respectively. Forage sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] dry mass yield and N accumulation were significantly higher following hairy vetch than following the other legumes or no-legume control. There was no significant difference between forage sorghum yields following barrel medic, black lentil, or the no-legume control. Fertilizer replacement values (FRV) for the legumes were calculated from regression equations for forage sorghum dry mass yield as a function of N fertilizer rate. FRV for hairy vetch were at least 7-times higher than for either barrel medic or black lentil. Hairy vetch interseeded into chile pepper and managed as a winter annual can significantly increase the yield of a following crop compared to a nonfertilized control.

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Ravneet K. Sandhu, Nathan S. Boyd, Lincoln Zotarelli, Shinsuke Agehara, and Natalia Peres

of the same species (intraspecific) or plants of two or more species (interspecific). A meta-analysis of multiple cropping studies found that intraspecific competition tends to be much stronger than interspecific competition. In some cases

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Jialin Yu, Nathan S. Boyd, and Zhengfei Guan

). One way to reduce production costs is to grow more than one crop on the same plastic mulch before its disposal. This approach distributes the input costs over multiple crops ( Nyoike and Liburd, 2013 ; Santos et al., 2008 ) and may increase farm

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R.M. Coolman and G.D. Hoyt

Plant interactions are both competitive and cooperative. Farmers use intercropping to the mutual advantage of both main and secondary crops in a multiple-crop-production system. A vegetable crop has a competitive advantage over a younger secondary cover crop interseeded before vegetable maturity. Non-legume intercropped cover crops can use soil N, while a legume intercrop can increase N in agricultural systems by biological N fixation. Intercropping also may be more efficient than monocropping in exploiting limited resources. Relay-planting main crop and intercrop components so that resource demands (nutrients, water, sunlight, etc.) occur during different periods of the growing season can be an effective means of minimizing interspecific competition. Intercropping systems often exhibit less crop damage associated with insect and plant pathogen attacks, and they provide weed control.

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Mike Murray

The California processing tomato industry continues to utilize transplants as a primary method of obtaining final plant stands. About 75% of the anticipated 2006 acreage will be transpanted, up from 0% a scant 20 years ago. This trend is being driven by increasing hybrid seed costs, the desire to utilize the land for multiple crops per year, potential water savings, and enhanced weed management options. The history of this transition will be traced, identifying positive and negative impacts of reliance on transplants. An economic evaluation suggests that stand establishment using transplants costs at least $250 per acre more than direct-seeding. A cost-benefit analysis is considered. The movement to transplants has reduced seed sales and many hybrid seed variety prices are tripling in 2006, as seed companies attempt to recoup R&D costs with declining markets. This “differential seed pricing,” and its implications, are discussed in detail.

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Doug Waterer

Crop development rates, yields and production economics for muskmelon (Cucumis melo), pepper (Capsicum annuum) and tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum) grown in high tunnels [4.3 m wid × 2.5 m high × 29 m long (14 × 8 × 96 ft)] were compared to standard low tunnels over several cropping seasons in a temperate production area. The polyethylene-covered high tunnels protect several rows of crop for the duration of the cropping season. Air temperatures in the high tunnels were controlled by raising the sides of the tunnel. Low tunnels cover only a single row and must be removed soon after the crop is established to prevent overcrowding or overheating. When the low tunnels were in place, rates of accumulation of growing-degree days (GDDs) and early crop growth were comparable in the two tunnel systems. However, once the low tunnels were removed, the accumulation of GDDs in the high tunnels exceeded the standard system. The crops in the high tunnels matured 1 to 2 weeks earlier and produced substantially greater fruit yields before frost than in the low tunnel treatments. The high tunnels provided little frost protection and were of limited utility for extension of the growing season. The high tunnels were much more costly to purchase and construct than the low tunnels but were durable enough to be used for multiple cropping seasons. Based on wholesale commodity prices, it would take 2 to 5 years for the enhanced gross returns obtained with the high tunnels to cover their higher capital costs.