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David A. Munn

This study compared shredded newspaper, wheat straw (Triticum aestivum L.) mulch, and bare soil as surface treatments under sweet corn [Zea mays L., var. Saccharata (Surt.)], field corn (Z. mays L.), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], and processing tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). In a replicated study with limited mechanical weed control and no chemical weed control in 1990, and no weed control except for the mulch in 1991, the mulches provided a cooler, moister soil environment and effective suppression of most annual and some perennial weeds. The rank order of yields was the same for all three crops in 1990: newspaper mulch > wheat straw mulch > bare soil cover. In 1991 the rank order for yield was: soybeans/newspaper mulch > wheat straw > bare soil (P < 0.01); field corn/newspaper mulch > bare soil > wheat straw (P > 0.10). The straw and newspaper mulches had similar effects on yield, weed control, soil moisture, and soil temperature. They were significantly different from bare soil in many crop and mulch combinations studied. A brief evaluation of high rates of newspaper mulch showed no apparent growth problems for corn and soybeans and no heavy metal accumulation in the soil. Since shredded newspaper from community recycling programs in available at low cost ($40-50/ton vs. $90-100/ton for straw), this material is an attractive soil-management alternative in horticultural and agronomic production systems.

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Bradford C. Bearce, R.G. Diener, A.R. Collins, and G. Bissonette

A small, continuous flow compost reactor was employed to produce a compost from a shredded newspaper/kitchen waste mixture. Transit time through the reactor was 4 weeks and the compost was then stockpiled for 5, 7, 8 or 9 weeks prior to evaluation. Cress seed germination was not reduced in graded aqueous compost extracts, however, seedling radicle length was significantly reduced in the nondiluted extract.. Elemental analysis of the compost showed PO4 ond K to be about 20 and 2 times recommended levels and No 5 times the maximum level at 577 mg. liter-1. Electrical conductivity of the compost was 5 dS.m-1 and pH range was 6.2-7.3. Composts were leached with water to E.C.'s of 1-1.5 dS.m-1 before planting tomato seedlings. Dry weights of tomato seedlings grown 5 weeks in the composts were equal to those in a peat vermiculite control, except that dry weights of seedlings in the compost stockpiled for 5 weeks were less than those of control plants. Some residual inhibition of growth may hove remained in the compost for at least 5 weeks after the production dote but by the 7th week, no growth inhibition was apparent.

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Elsa Sánchez, William J. Lamont Jr, and Michael D. Orzolek

Education Center; 2) shredded newspaper (0.5-inch strips of varying lengths) from the Center County Municipal Waste Facility, State College, PA; and 3) sheets of newspaper obtained gratis from a local recycling drop-off center. The shredded newspaper used

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Caitlin E. Splawski, Emilie E. Regnier, S. Kent Harrison, Mark A. Bennett, and James D. Metzger

efficacy of newspaper-based mulches for weed suppression is the fragment size of the paper when applied (e.g., shredded vs. sheets), and several studies have demonstrated that shredded newspaper mulches suppressed weeds and resulted in crop yields

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Caitlin E. Splawski, Emilie E. Regnier, S. Kent Harrison, Karen Goodell, Mark A. Bennett, and James D. Metzger

, pollination and fruit set, and squash bee nesting. Materials and methods Mulch materials. Black plastic film, woodchips, shredded newspaper, and a combination of newspaper and grass clippings (NP + grass). Black, 1.25-mil-thick polyethylene plastic film

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Norman Pellett and David Heleba

Chopped newspaper at 3.5 and 7.0 kg.m-2 enclosed in white polyethylene sheeting or enclosed in nylon netting at 3.5 kg.m-2 was compared with two layers of 0.64-cm microfoam as winter covering of four taxa of container-grown nursery plants. White polyethylene-enclosed newspaper moderated winter temperatures more than net-enclosed newspaper or two layers of microfoam under white polyethylene. All coverings provided protection against winter injury, as evidenced by container temperature, but net-enclosed newspaper at 3.5 kg.m-2 resulted in a minimal percentage of Daphne burkwoodii `Carol Mackie' plants with three or more shoots longer than 2 cm in the spring. Gaillardia grandiflora, covered by newspaper during winter, had less spring growth than plants covered by microfoam, but all coverings provided protection for Juniperus horizontalis `Prince of Wales' and Physostegia virginiana.

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Yin-Tung Wang

medium. The bare-root plants were individually weighed and 30 were placed in each of four cartons with shredded newspaper to simulate international shipping conditions. Cartons were placed in dark growth chambers (model I-35LL; Percival Scientific, Boone

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Michele R. Warmund, Chris J. Starbuck, and Chad E. Finn

Micropropagated `Redwing' raspberry plants were grown with various mulch treatments to determine their influence on vegetative growth and fruit yield. Treatments included shredded hardwood bark mulch; degradable black plastic; sawdust; wheat straw; ground, shredded, or ground + shredded newspaper; and an unmulched control. During the year of establishment, high soil and air temperatures near the surface of the black plastic most likely reduced plant survival. The following year, vegetative growth and fruit yield of plants that were previously mulched with black plastic were also reduced. Plants mulched with bark, sawdust, straw, and all newspaper treatments had greater yields than those established with black plastic or in the unmulched control plots. Although yields were similar among plants in all newspaper mulch treatments, ground newspaper was lost under windy conditions and tended to mat down after rainfall, resulting in soggy soil conditions.

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Yin-Tung Wang

On 6 Sept. 1996, container-grown vegetatively propagated Phalaenopsis Atien Kaala `TSC22' plants were harvested and individually weighed. The bare-root plants were packed in cartons with shredded newspaper and placed in incubators at 15, 20, 25, or 30°C air temperature. Control plants were undisturbed. After 4, 7, or 14 days, one-third of the plants were removed from each temperature treatment, weighed, planted in pots, and then placed in a greenhouse. Mass loss (primarily water) increased with increasing air temperature and duration in storage. Symptoms of chilling injury (yellow blotches on leaves) were inversely related to 15 and 20°C storage temperatures. Chilling injury became more severe as storage duration increased. Plants had little or no chilling injury at 25 and 30°C, regardless of storage duration. Leaf loss was most severe on plants stored at 15°C for 7 or 14 days or at 30°C for 14 days. Increased storage duration up to 14 days did not affect the time of spiking (appearance of the flowering shoot) for plants stored between 15 and 25°C. Those kept at 30°C, regardless of the duration, spiked 5 to 8 days after the control. The results suggest that vegetative Phalaenopsis plants harvested in late summer should be stored and shipped at 25°C. Under such conditions, plants could lose 20% of the fresh mass between harvesting and planting without adversely affecting subsequent performance.

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Tunnels Managing weeds is cited as the number one production issue on organic farms. Sánchez et al. (p. 154) compared shredded newspaper, sheets of newspaper, and straw against a no-mulch control (hand weeded once) to determine the ability of the mulches