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George J. Hochmuth, Earl E. Albregts, Craig C. Chandler, John Cornell, and Jay Harrison

Strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) were grown in two seasons at Dover, Fla., with polyethylene mulch and drip irrigation. Nitrogen was injected weekly at 0.28 (50), 0.56 (100), 0.84 (150), 1.12 (200), and 1.40 (250) kg N/ha per day (kg·ha-1 for season) for `Oso Grande' and `Sweet Charlie' in 1991-92 season and for `Oso Grande' and `Seascape' in 1992-1993 season. Nitrogen fertilization in 1991-1992, over the range of 0.28 to 1.40 kg N/ha per day, had no significant effect on early (November to January) strawberry yields. March (the largest production month) yield and total-season yield increased with increasing N fertilization to 0.76 and 0.54 kg N/ha per day, respectively. Nitrogen fertilization did not affect yields of strawberry in 1992-93. Fruit firmness and average fruit weight were not affected by N fertilization from 0.28 to 1.40 kg N/ha per day. Nitrogen fertilization increased whole leaf N, leaf blade N, and petiole sap nitrate-N concentrations linearly for most sampling dates in both years. Early yields were greater for `Sweet Charlie' than `Oso Grande'. Yields were greater for `Oso Grande' during March, and total-season yields were similar for both cultivars in 1991-92. `Oso Grande' had greater early, March, and total yields than `Seascape' in 1992-93.

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Earl E. Albregts, George J. Hochnmth, Craig K. Chandler, John Cornell, and Jay Harrison

`Oso Grande' and `Sweet Charlie' strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) in 1991-92 and `Oso Grande' and `Seascape' in 1992-93 were grown in a K fertilization study using polyethylene-mulched and fumigated beds. Potassium was injected weekly into the drip irrigation system at 0.28,0.56,0.84, 1.12, and 1.40 kg K/ha per day. Early, March, and total-season marketable fruit yields were not affected by K rate during either season. The average fruit weight of `Oso Grande' for the early, March, and total-season harvest periods in the 1992-93 season decreased with increased K rate. For the same harvest periods, `Seascape' average fruit weight increased, decreased, and did not change, respectively, with increased K rate. Cull fruit yield during both seasons and fruit firmness during the 1992-93 season were not affected by K rate. Petiole sap, whole leaf, and leaf blade K concentrations increased with increasing K rates on most sampling dates during both seasons. `Oso Grande' and `Sweet Charlie' produced similar total marketable fruit yields the first season, but `Oso Grande' produced higher total yields than `Seascape' during all harvest periods of the second season.

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T.K. Hartz and F.J. Costa

The production of cool-season vegetable crops in California's coastal valleys is characterized by high N input (typically 200–300 kg·ha–1 per crop), with two crops per year the norm. N. removal in harvested biomass seldom exceeds 100 kg·ha–1, suggesting a high degree of inefficiency in N management. A project was conducted on a commercial farm in Santa Maria to document the utility of intensive monitoring of soil and plant N status on improving N management. Eight fields were monitored through successive cropping cycles. Slow-release N fertilizer was applied preplant at 110–250 kg·ha–1 in subplots in each field to provide a reference of known N sufficiency against which to compare field productivity; these reference plots also received the same in-season fertilizer N applied in the balance of the field. N monitoring techniques included: in situ and controlled-environment soil incubation to estimate net N mineralization, soil NO3-N analysis by a “quick test” technique using colormetric test strips, and petiole sap analysis by NO3-N selective electrode. It was consistently demonstrated that, for lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli, maximum crop productivity was obtained with seasonal N applications 50–100 kg N/ha less than the industry norm and that fertilizer cost savings more than offset the cost of crop and soil monitoring.

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T.K. Hartz, R.F. Smith, and W.L. Schrader

California vegetable growers are adopting drip irrigation at an accelerating pace, which affords the opportunity for more exacting control of nitrogen nutrition. Consequently, the need for quick, accurate, grower-friendly techniques for monitoring nitrogen status in soil and plant material has increased. Three field monitoring techniques were examined in detail: the analysis of soil water samples drawn by soil solution access tubes (SSAT). leaf reflectance as measured by the Minolta SPAD 502 chlorophyll meter, and petiole sap analysis with a Horiba portable nitrate-selective electrode meter. Nitrate concentration in soil solution was highly stratified in drip-irrigated soils, both with regard to location in the field and position with respect to the drip line, making the use of SSAT technology impractical as a tool for routine N fertigation scheduling. Correlation of SSAT nitrate values to any measure of plant N status was poor. Similarly, leaf reflectance correlated poorly with any measure of tissue N in the crops examined. Nitrate content of petiole sap was highly correlated with conventional laboratory analysis of dry petiole tissue over a range of crops and nitrogen levels.

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Gregory S. Hendricks, Sanjay Shukla, Kent E. Cushman, Thomas A. Obreza, Fritz M. Roka, Kenneth M. Portier, and Eugene J. McAvoy

subsample was taken for petiole sap analysis using a specific ion meter (Cardy; Spectrum Technologies, Plainfield, Ill.). Each meter was calibrated biweekly according to the user manual specifications for nutrients N and K ( Spectrum Technologies, Inc., 2006

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Jean-Pierre Goffart, Marguerite Olivier, and Marc Frankinet

. Davies, H.V. 1995 A critical assessment of the value of petiole sap analysis in optimising the nitrogen nutrition of the potato crop Plant Soil 172 247 260 Olivier, M. Goffart, J.P. 2002 Chlorophyll meter used as decision tool to manage nitrogen

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Thomas G. Bottoms, Richard F. Smith, Michael D. Cahn, and Timothy K. Hartz

Assessment of the nitrogen status of onions (Allium cepa L.) cv. Cream Gold by plant analysis Aust. J. Exp. Agr. 30 853 859 MacKerron, D.K.L. Young, M.W. Davies, H.V. 1995 A critical assessment of the value of petiole sap analysis in optimizing the nitrogen