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Xuan (Jade) Wu, Melinda J. Knuth, Charles R. Hall, and Marco A. Palma

expensive and inexpensive species comparison group, the expensive species could be substituted with less expensive species to reduce input costs and increase profit margins. Consumers also valued monospecies and mixed-species bouquets equally in selected

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Robin G. Brumfield

's profit margins are typically low, leaving little room for growers to absorb significant increases in costs or decreases in revenues. Thus, many growers are challenged to produce an aesthetically pleasing, profitable, and socially responsible crop while

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Daniel F. Warnock and Heather Lash

The development of the Renaissance series of cut poinsettias, Euphorbia pulcherrima, presents unique opportunities and challenges to cut flower producers. This series has curled bracts, long stem length, excellent vase life, and is highly marketable. Literature indicates that this crop is suited for pot or bed production, but does not compare how cultural methods impact stem quality. This study assessed the impact of pinching on final stem quality and crop profitability. Uniform rooted cuttings of `Renaissance Red' obtained from a commercial supplier were transplanted into a 1.2 × 2.4 m bed containing a soilless media to obtain two plants per 0.09 m2. A total of 56 cuttings were used and grown using standard production techniques. Transplanting occurred on 29 July 2004 with half of the plants being pinched on 19 Aug. 2004. To minimize border effects, plants in the outside rows were discarded. Upon harvest, stem length, stem diameter, bract diameter, floral development, and number of axillary shoots were determined for 30 interior plants. Both pinched and unpinched plants produced marketable stems; however, unpinched plants produced longer thicker stems with larger bracts. The number of stems obtained per square foot was greater with the pinched plants. While overall quality was reduced, this increase in stem number offset potential lost profit. The production of quality cut stems of `Renaissance Red' poinsettias is possible with either pinched or unpinched plants.

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J. Alberto García-Salazar, Rhonda K. Skaggs, and Terry L. Crawford

would be able to increase and stabilize cantaloupe producers’ prices and profits. Table 1. Regression results for relationship between cantaloupe production in the Lagunera region and wholesale prices in principal Mexican markets. In past years, the now

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C.C. Shock, E.B.G. Feibert, and L.D. Saunders

Onion (Allium cepa L., `Great Scott') was grown on silt loam soils and submitted to four irrigation thresholds (-25, -50, -75, and -100 kPa) in 1992 and six irrigation thresholds (-12.5, -25, -37.5, -50, -75, and -100 kPa) in 1993 and 1994. Irrigation thresholds (soil water potential measured at 0.2-m depth) were used as criteria to initiate furrow irrigations. Onions were evaluated for yield and grade after 70 days of storage. In 1992 and 1994, total yield, marketable yield, and profit increased with increasing irrigation threshold. In 1993, total yield increased with increasing irrigation threshold, but marketable yield and profit were maximized by a calculated threshold of -27 kPa due to a substantial increase of decomposition during storage with increasing threshold.

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Tiziano Caruso, Francesco Guarino, Riccardo Lo Bianco, and Francesco Paolo Marra

of labor is generally low in those systems due to the high establishment and management costs, which offset fruit yield and quality improvements over similar crop values and profits of vase-shaped systems ( DeJong et al., 1999 ). In addition, open

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Juan Manuel González-González*, Marcelino Bazán-Tene, Francisco Radillo-Juárez, and Jaime Molina-Ochoa

Plants in the genus Ficus are one of the most used in the ornamentals. it is also used for plant handcrafting such as braid, cylinders, and wall rockets, using a single plant or braiding some plants. The ficus are commonly asexually propagated by slip or shoots. There is the possibility to graft and to obtain plants with two levels of foliage, combining the color and texture. The objective of this research was to evaluate the grafting compatibility of varieties of Ficus benjamina, such as: Vivian, Winter green, and Antillean (green color) grafted on the variety Profit (white color) used as rootstock. The study was carried out under environmental conditions of the Mexican Dry Tropic in Tecomán, Colima, Mexico. The grafting method was by whip or tongue approximation. Bud sticks of the four varieties ≈70-cm long were used as scions. They were previously rooted in polyethylene bags containing 1.5 kg of coconut fiber used as rooting substrate. The rootstocks were grown long in soil until 1.5 m and when they reach similar diameter to the scions. The grafting height and diameter was ≈50-60 cm, and 2-2.6 cm, respectively. Five grafted plants were used as experimental unit, and the treatments were distributed in a completely randomized design with four replications. The variables estimated were: number of leaves after 28 and 35 days post-grafting, and percentage of grafting at 28 and 35 days post-grafting. The tree varieties were compatible with the rootstock, and no differences were obtained between the treatments (Tukey test P< 0.05); both three varieties exhibited 75% of grafting success, and `Antillean' had higher number of leaves, but the three varieties were statistically similar.

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Clinton C. Shock, Erik B.G. Feibert, and Lamont D. Saunders

Long-day onion (Allium cepa L. `Vision') was subjected to five soil water potential (SWP) treatments (–10, –20, –30, –50, and –70 kPa) using subsurface drip irrigation in 1997 and 1998. Onions were grown on 1.1-m beds with two double rows spaced 0.56 m apart and a drip tape buried 13 cm deep in the bed center. Soil water potential was maintained at the five levels by automated, high-frequency irrigations based on SWP measurements at 0.2-m depth. Onions were evaluated for yield and grade after 70 days of storage. In 1997, total and colossal (bulb diameter ≥102 mm) yield increased with increasing SWP, but marketable yield was highest at a calculated –21 kPa because of greater decomposition in storage in wetter treatments. In 1998 total, marketable, and colossal-grade onion yield increased with increasing SWP. Onion profits were highest with a calculated SWP of –17 kPa in 1997, and at the wettest level tested in 1998. Storage decomposition was not affected by SWP in 1998. Maintenance of SWP at –10 and –20 kPa required, respectively, 912 and 691 mm of water in 1997 and 935 and 589 mm of water in 1998. Onion crop evapotranspiration from emergence to the last irrigation totaled 681 mm in 1997 and 716 mm in 1998.

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Harry Klee

Ethylene-based technologies for controlling ripening in climacteric fruit have been in widespread use for a number of years. Likewise, using chemicals that block ethylene synthesis or perception have been widely used to extend shelf life of a variety of horticultural commodities. In the last few years, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms for ethylene synthesis and perception has greatly expanded. Genes encoding the ethylene biosynthetic enzymes and the ethylene receptor have been cloned from many plant species, which has meant that molecular approaches to engineering reduced ethylene synthesis or perception are now reality. Scientists have been examining the feasibility of using molecular approaches to control ethylene in a variety of horticultural and ornamental species. They have shown that it is relatively easy to produce plants that are reduced in either synthesis or response to ethylene. However, scientists have uncovered some issues associated with commercial-level use of these transgenic plants. Overall, my results illustrate the great potential of the technology to control the rate of climacteric fruit ripening, abscission, and ethylene-induced senescence in multiple species, but using transgenes in many cases needs to be directed to target tissues through the use of tissue-specific transcriptional promoters. With that caveat in mind, there should be a strong future for improving the quality of a range of agronomic and horticultural species.

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Bruce W. Wood

is key to maximizing orchard profits. Kernel percentage in 2003 was substantially improved because of the HD and HS hedging treatments during the first production year, yielding an approximate absolute increase in percentage kernel of 4% (or “four