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Khalid F. Almutairi, Rui M.A. Machado, David R. Bryla, and Bernadine C. Strik

micronized S o by chemigation through a drip irrigation system to quickly reduce soil pH in a new planting of northern highbush blueberry. Micronized S o was applied before planting, to evaluate its use as a preplant amendment, and after planting, to assess

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Mojdeh Bahar and Robert J. Griesbach

2018 ( Hale et al., 2014 ). The American Society for Horticultural Science also has held many workshops on the topic. There is still quite a bit of confusion on when and how to protect new plant cultivars ( Pardey et al., 2013 ). In addition, trade

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Bernadine C. Strik and Amanda J. Davis

majority of new plantings are now established using black woven polypropylene landscape groundcover (“weed mat”) in organic and conventional systems ( Strik, 2016 ) because it is the most economical method of weed control ( Strik and Vance, 2017 ) and can

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Bernadine C. Strik, Amanda J. Davis, David R. Bryla, and Scott T. Orr

evaluate the impact of different mulches, including sawdust, black or green weed mat, and sawdust covered with black or green weed mat, on crop development in a new planting of northern highbush blueberry. The influences of each mulch on soil and canopy

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Bernadine C. Strik, Amanda J. Davis, and David R. Bryla

-bearing strawberry J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 129 165 174 Strik, B.C. Davis, A.J. Bryla, D.R. Orr, S.T. 2020 Individual and combined use of sawdust and weed mat mulch in a new planting of northern highbush blueberry I. Impacts on plant growth and soil and canopy

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W. Rademacher and T. Bucci

Worldwide, plant growth regulators (PGRs) account for only 3% to 4% of the total sales of plant protection agents. This limited market potential, the rising costs of development and registration, and the demand for high profitability have created major constraints to the introduction of new PGRs. Conversely, PGRs have become an integral part of agricultural and horticultural practices and one might assume that the market is sufficiently lucrative to those companies active in this area. In the past decade, at least seven new PGR products have been introduced. In many cases, reduced requirements for registration have lowered the financial risks relative to expected profits.

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Duane W. Greene

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) play an important commercial role in horticulture. Although often expensive, they are generally used on high value crops where the costs can be retrieved through the increased value their usage creates in a given crop. The impetus for development of new PGRs is generally initiated by the agrochemical industry where they perceive a need that has a profit potential, whereas the motivation for the development of a PGR by researchers is largely to aid the industry they serve. University and government researchers initially follow a prescribed protocol early in the development process, but once they have gained personal experience with a PGR, further research is often guided by personal observations and keen technical insight. During the development and evaluation process, university and government researchers are optimistic, and negative effects are generally viewed as challenges, that can and will be overcome. Discussion and effective communication are critical components in the overall development of a new PGR. Researchers generally exchange information very freely, unless restricted from doing so by a nondisclosure or other contract agreement. The underlying goal for university and government researchers is to get approval of a new PGR product and/or use that will allow growers to produce a high quality product for consumers with an improved profit margin for growers. Development of new PGRs is undergoing major change that unfortunately will lead to the development and registration of fewer compounds. There are not as many agrochemical companies, there are a decreasing number of university and government researchers, and diminishing funds available to support the development of new PGRs.

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A.M. Armitage and Meg Green

The University of Georgia trial garden has been in existence since 1982, and the method of evaluation and distribution of taxa has evolved over the years. Annual and perennial taxa are evaluated systematically, over the entire season, providing season-long summaries for each one. Annuals are evaluated every 2 weeks, and scores are based on plant performance, including foliar health, flower numbers and the appearance of disease and insect damage. Perennials are evaluated similarly, however flowering time, flowering persistence and height in the landscape are also noted. Summaries for each taxon are presented in tabular and graphic form. Many new crops have been evaluated and introduced to the floriculture industry. New crops are placed in the horticulture gardens and evaluated by garden personnel and by commercial growers and landscapers. Plants have been distributed free of charge to propagators and growers, resulting in rapid market acceptance of successful taxa.

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Hilary A. Sandler

Four nitrogen (N) rates (0, 50, 100, and 150 lb/acre) were applied annually, and two spring vine-harvest methods (heavy pruning and mowing) were applied biennially in all combinations at one commercial ‘Stevens’ cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) farm in southeastern Massachusetts for six consecutive years. Vine weights generated from each treatment combination were collected in Years 1, 3, and 5 (vine-harvest years). Mean vine weight across N treatments from the biennial pruning and mowing events was 1.4 and 3.6 tons/acre, respectively. Vine-harvest method affected yield components (number and weight of reproductive uprights) since mowed plots had values near zero in the vine-harvest year, and pruned vines were always productive. Increasing N rate increased overall vine weight produced. Pruned vines produced more marketable fruit than mowed vines in Year 4 and Year 6. Net income declined with increasing N rate (except Year 1). Averaged over 6 years, increasing N rate decreased net income of and had no effect on pruned and mowed vines, respectively. Although an alternate-year mowing program provides minimal opportunity for sustained vine recovery and would not be recommended for use over an extended period, mowing provided similar net income as heavy pruning (assuming income and/or cost savings from both vines and fruit) when 50 lb/acre N was applied. The incorporation of mowing, in conjunction with other cultural practices that manage the cranberry canopy and generate fruit, can be a viable economic option.

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Hilary A. Sandler, Carolyn J. DeMoranville, and Wesley R. Autio

A 2-year field trial examined the interaction of nitrogen rate, vine density, and weed management options for establishing new cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) plantings. Utilizing the vigorous hybrid, `Stevens', the cost-efficiency of the treatment combinations was evaluated by combining cranberry and weed biomass data with various economic estimates. The most cost-effective production scheme for establishing new cranberry beds is to plant vines at a low density, use moderate rates of nitrogen, and apply an annual application of a preemergence herbicide. This combination produced substantial vine coverage at very low cost, reduced weed biomass by 85% compared to untreated plots, and gave the best weed control per dollar spent. Growers may opt for other reasonably successful combinations that involve higher labor costs if they can produce their own cuttings (reducing initial costs) or if they are farming with the intent to reduce overall synthetic inputs.