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Ronald D. Morse

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) yields in Virginia and other hot climates are considerably lower than in cooler areas, predominately because of high soil temperatures during set and bulking of the tubers. Although organic surface mulches conserve soil moisture and lower soil temperature, often resulting in increased tuber yields, applying organic mulches is commercially cost-prohibitive. Preliminary experiments were conducted in 1995 and 1996 at the VPI&SU Agricultural Research Farm to compare production of `Yukon Gold' potato in no-till (NT) raised-bed systems with standard conventionally tilled (CT) methods. No-till yields were higher than CT both years, although differences were not significant. Based on these data, the NT production system used in these experiments is a viable management option, at least in hot climates such as Virginia. Rainfall during tuber bulking in 1995 and 1996 was above average, even excessive at times, which possibly negated the beneficial soil-cooling and moisture-conserving effects of the in situ mulches on potato yield enhancement. Greater yield increases would be expected in NT plots in normal rainfall years.

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Aref A. Abdul-Baki, John R. Teasdale, Robert W. Goth and Kathleen G. Haynes

The use of mulches in vegetable production is undergoing a radical change away from high-input, nonrenewable resources, such as plastic, to the use of high-residue organic mulches from cover crops. The purpose of this study was to compare the marketable yield of various fresh-market tomato genotypes when grown under plastic and hairy vetch mulches. In 1996 and 1997, 12 fresh-market tomato genotypes were evaluated for yield on the North Farm of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), MD in a randomized split-plot design. Tomatoes were grown in conventional tillage plastic mulch (PM) and no-till hairy vetch mulch (HVM). Early blight, caused by Alternaria solani Sor., developed naturally in the plots both years and was recorded over time. All 12 genotypes were susceptible to early blight. Area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) was calculated for each plot. AUDPC was similar both years. However, the year × mulch and year × mulch × genotype interactions were significant for AUDPC. Adjusting yields for AUDPC had a minimal effect on the data. Overall, yields were similar in PM and HVM both before and after adjusting for AUDPC. However, the mulch × genotype interaction was significant. The yield of eight of the genotypes was significantly higher in the HVM than in the PM system both years, ranging from 12% to 57% higher in 1996 and 10% to 48% higher in 1997. There was no yield difference for one genotype in HVM as compared to PM. The yield in the remaining three genotypes was either higher under HVM than PM or there was no difference. As yields from the HVM system are greater than or equal to yields in the PM system, soil compaction is reduced and nitrogen inputs are lower. The no-till HVM system is at least as good, and often better, than the conventional tillage PM system.

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E. Ryan Harrelson, Greg D. Hoyt, John L. Havlin and David W. Monks

Throughout the southeastern United States, vegetable growers have successfully cultivated pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo) using conventional tillage. No-till pumpkin production has not been pursued by many growers as a result of the lack of herbicides, no-till planting equipment, and knowledge in conservation tillage methods. All of these conservation production aids are now present for successful no-till vegetable production. The primary reasons to use no-till technologies for pumpkins include reduced erosion, improved soil moisture conservation, long-term improvement in soil chemical and microbial properties, and better fruit appearance while maintaining similar yields compared with conventionally produced pumpkins. Cover crop utilization varies in no-till production, whereas residue from different cover crops can affect yields. The objective of these experiments was to evaluate the influence of surface residue type on no-till pumpkin yield and fruit quality. Results from these experiments showed all cover crop residues produced acceptable no-till pumpkin yields and fruit size. Field location, weather conditions, soil type, and other factors probably affected pumpkin yields more than surface residue. Vegetable growers should expect to successfully grow no-till pumpkins using any of the winter cover crop residues tested over a wide range in residue biomass rates.

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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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E. Ryan Harrelson, Greg D. Hoyt, John L. Havlin and David W. Monks

pumpkins in no-till production systems. No-till pumpkin production may be a solution to reduce soil erosion on land with relatively high slopes commonly available to growers in the Mountain region of North Carolina. The use of cover crop residues for no

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Ted S. Kornecki and Francisco J. Arriaga

is under no-till production ( CTIC, 2004 ). A limiting factor is the lack of equipment (rollers/crimpers) needed to manage tall cover crops such as cereal winter rye ( Secale cereale L.) and winter crimson clover ( Trifolium incarnatum L.) in flat

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Megan E. O’Rourke and Jessica Petersen

research on the benefits of strip-till and no-till production systems, soil erosion was greatly reduced in these treatments compared with the conventional-till treatment ( Blevins et al., 1983 ). TSS from runoff following simulated flooding was

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Jongtae Lee, Byeonggyu Min, Heedae Kim, Juyeon Kim, Young-Seok Kwon and George E. Boyhan

organic bulb onion production Scientia Hort. 124 299 305 Lee, J. 2015 Onion: From life cycle to organic and no-till production. Dulyouk Publishing Co., Republic of Korea. p. 259–264 Lee, J. Min, B. Hwang, S. Kim, H. Ha, I. Moon, J. Suh, J. Kwon, Y. Lee, M