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Michelle L. Infante-Casella and Mel Henninger

Zucchini and straightneck yellow squash are important crops for vegetable farmers. Variety choices change from year to year, based on breeding programs that try to find disease tolerance or resistance by developing new lines. A study was conducted at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Bridgeton, N.J., to determine yield and quality of 14 zucchini, 6 yellow squash, and 5 specialty squash varieties. Squash were seeded on 17 May 2004, at 30 inches between holes into black plastic mulch on high raised beds. Rows were spaced 60 inches apart. Drip irrigation was used for supplying water and fertigation. Prefar4E at a rate of 5 qt/acre applied on the soil surface just before laying plastic was used for preemergent weed control. Five days after planting, Sandea75WF at a rate of 1 oz/acre and Gramoxone Max 3SC at a rate of 1.5 pt/acre were applied with a backpack sprayer between the rows for added weed control. Admire was applied in the seed hole at a rate of 24 oz/acre after planting using a backpack sprayer for control of aphids and cucumber beetle. Harvests began on 22 June 2004, and were continued 3 times weekly for 5 weeks for a total of 15 harvests. Zucchini varieties `Revenue', `Cashflow', `Justice III', `Spineless Beauty', `Senator', `HMX-2724', and `EXT 04629728' had statistically higher yields than did `Radiant', `Wildcat', `Payroll', `HMX-2723', `Lynx', `Tigress', and `Independence II'. Varieties are listed in values from highest yielding to lowest yielding, respectively. All yellow squash varieties had statistically similar yield values. These included `General Patton', `Cougar', `Sunray', `XPT1832', `Goldbar', `Sunbar'. Specialty varieties evaluated included `Zephyr', `Starship', `Magda', `Flying Saucer', and `Costata Romanesco'

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Mike Murray and Steve Temple

Significant industry interest exists for evaluating the lower Sacramento Valley as a production region for specialty dry beans. This interest is being driven by erratic or inconsistent production in the existing commercial production regions, mostly in the Pacific Northwest and the Mid-West regions. The environmental conditions in the Sacramento Valley are favorable for producing consistent yields of high-quality dry beans. Specialty beans are generally typified by limited markets and relatively high producer returns, and offers an attractive rotation crop for local growers.

Variety evaluations including many of the most popular or likely candidates for a local specialty bean industry were conducted in 1991 and 1993. Parameters evaluated included plant architecture, flowering dates, pod set and retention, maturity dates and seed yield. Additional qualitative evaluations to determine varietal quality were also conducted. Many varieties were identified that had both acceptable yield and seed quality potential.

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George E. Boyhan

consistent differences between different locations. A survey of watermelon plant breeders and their variety evaluation methods indicated that private breeders use more plants per plot but have fewer replications compared with public breeders ( Neppl and

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Mark E. Clough, George C. Yencho, Barbara Christ, Walter DeJong, Donald Halseth, Kathleen Haynes, Melvin Henninger, Chad Hutchinson, Matt Kleinhenz, Greg A. Porter and Richard E. Veilleux

Databases are commonly used to coordinate and summarize research from multiple projects. The potato (Solanum tuberosum) research community has invested significant resources in collecting data from multiple states and provinces, and we have developed a web-based database format for the use of researchers, farmers, and consumers. The northeast regional potato variety development project (NE1031) is a U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA-CSREES) regional project focused on developing and evaluating the suitability of new varieties and advanced clones from multiple breeding programs for a range of environments. This multistate project and its predecessors have been in existence for more than two decades, and they have resulted in the collection of a significant amount of standardized potato trial data. We have developed an interactive potato variety database that allows researchers and end-users to access and obtain potato variety trial results in one centralized site. The database is populated with the results of potato variety trials conducted in eight states (Florida, Maine, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) and two Canadian provinces (Prince Edward Island and Quebec). It currently contains over 35 data features and was developed primarily for scientists interested in potato variety development, growers, and allied industry members. Hypertext mark-up language (HTML) and hypertext preprocessor (PHP) were used to develop the database interface.

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Tom V. Williams and Warren Roberts

Is there a more important component to a grower's production practices than the choice of the best variety to plant? Probably not, yet there is less public vegetable variety testing than ever before, despite the increasing introduction of new varieties by the seed industry. This article examines the reasons for fewer vegetable variety trials, discusses the benefits of good variety reporting, and considers the keys to conducting a successful vegetable variety trial. Vegetable variety performance could be interpreted best on a regional basis if a standard format for evaluating each species is developed. One such attempt at standardizing watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) evaluation is presented. Finally, several recent vegetable trial reports are discussed to point out the difference of each and what additional data could have been provided.

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Wade Bitner, Jerry Goodspeed, Dan Drost and Rick McDaniel

Conducting varietal evaluations for the home vegetable garden are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly. As a result, most are done on an observational basis only. In 1991, a horticultural training program modeled after the highly successful Master Gardener program began at the Utah State Prison, Draper, for the prison inmate population. In 1994, 12 broccoli, 20 pepper, and 30 tomato varieties commonly used in the home garden were evaluated for growth and yield at the Prison Farm. Inmates raised, tended, harvested, and compiled the trial's data and participated in all evaluations of the varieties. Extension personnel provided the instruction and regular visits to conduct the trial. The project provides instruction on vegetable production and cultivar evaluations to the inmates while providing the public with needed cultivar information for the home garden. In addition, the partnership with the inmate population limits the time inputs necessary to conduct the trials by extension staff. This project will continue and greatly expand in 1995.

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H. Brent Pemberton and William E. Roberson

The East Texas Bedding Plant Pack and Garden Performance Trials began several years ago at the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Overton (Overton Center) with the goal of providing information on greenhouse and field performance of bedding plant varieties to the local bedding plant industry and consumers of these products. The program began with local trials that have now expanded in scope with the Smith County Master Gardeners Association playing an integral role in performing the trials. Entries are received from most of the major ornamental seed companies doing business in the United States giving the regional industry access to the only comprehensive greenhouse performance trials in this part of the country. Performance evaluation data is important to this industry since it has a wholesale value of over $500 million in the northeast Texas region, of which over $100 million is bedding plant production. The field performance trials are now replicated at the Overton Center, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Dallas Arboretum) and the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Dallas (Dallas Center), giving over 5 million consumers in the northeast Texas region the opportunity to see how promising new plants from all over the world perform in the local climate. Plants that grow well in this climate have the potential to reduce inputs needed for production and use in the home or commercial landscape. Many of the top performing varieties from the bedding plant trials are also chosen to be part of the Coordinated Education and Marketing Assistance Program (CEMAP), a statewide testing program headquartered at the Dallas Center in which entries vie for designation as Texas Superstar plants. The comprehensive benefit of the East Texas Bedding Plant Pack and Garden Performance Trials is the link between the rural bedding plant producers and the urban consumers which serves as a basis for improving the quality of life for the citizens of Texas.

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S.S. Miller, R.W. McNew, B.H. Barritt, L. Berkett, S.K. Brown, J.A. Cline, J.M. Clements, W.P. Cowgill, R.M. Crassweller, M.E. Garcia, D.W. Greene, G.M. Greene, C.R. Hampson, I. Merwin, D.D. Miller, R.E. Moran, C.R. Rom, T.R. Roper, J.R. Schupp and E. Stover

Cultivar and planting site are two factors that often receive minimal attention, but can have a significant impact on the quality of apple (Malus ×domestica) produced. A regional project, NE-183 The Multidisciplinary Evaluation of New Apple Cultivars, was initiated in 1995 to systematically evaluate 20 newer apple cultivars on Malling.9 (M.9) rootstock across 19 sites in North America. This paper describes the effect of cultivar and site on fruit quality and sensory attributes at a number of the planting sites for the 1998 through 2000 growing seasons. Fruit quality attributes measured included fruit weight, length: diameter ratio, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), flesh firmness, red overcolor, and russet. Fruit sensory characteristics rated included crispness, sweetness, and juiciness, based on a unipolar intensity scale (where 1 = least and 5 = most), and acidity, flavor, attractiveness, and desirability based on a bipolar hedonic scale (where 1 = dislike and 5 = like extremely). All fruit quality and sensory variables measured were affected by cultivar. The two-way interaction of cultivar and planting site was significant for all response variables except SSC, TA, russet, crispness, and sweetness ratings. The SSC: TA ratio was strongly correlated with sweetness and acidity sensory rating, but was weakly correlated with flavor rating. The results demonstrate that no one cultivar is ideally suited for all planting sites and no planting site is ideal for maximizing the quality of all apple cultivars.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, Bahar Fallahi, Bahman Shafii and Mohammad E. Amiri

Production of peaches (Prunus persica) in southwestern Idaho and other states in the intermountain western United States has increased during recent years, requiring information on the performance of modern cultivars in the region. Thus, a long-term project was conducted to investigate bloom date, harvest date, cumulative growing degree-days, fruit quality, and yield of various yellow- and white-fleshed peaches under conditions of southwestern Idaho during 2003 to 2007. The analysis of average response over these years indicated that ‘Snow Giant’, ‘Jupiter’, ‘Yuko King’, ‘Burpeach Six’, ‘Fairtime’, ‘Coral Star’, ‘July Sun’, and ‘Zee Lady’ bloomed earlier (5–7 Apr.), while ‘Sierra Gem’, ‘Fancy Lady’, and ‘Red Star’ bloomed later (11–12 Apr.) than other cultivars. ‘Crimson Lady’, ‘May Sun’, and ‘Sierra Gem’ were the earliest cultivars, had smaller fruit, and on average were harvested on 11, 13, and 24 July and needed 94, 96, and 103 days from full bloom to harvest, respectively. ‘Opal Moncav’, ‘August Flame’, ‘August Lady’, ‘Ryan Sun’, ‘September Snow’, ‘Yukon King’, and ‘Fairtime’ were harvested during the second half of September. The periods between bloom and harvest for these cultivars on average were 160, 163, 163, 168, 171, 173, and 177 days, respectively, and these cultivars often had greater soluble solids concentrations than other cultivars. ‘PF12B’ and ‘PF15A’ were “mid-season,” but ‘PF 20–007’ and ‘PF 24–007’ were “late-season” cultivars. ‘PF12B’, ‘PF15A’, ‘PF 20–007’, ‘Star Fire’, ‘Burapeach Six’, ‘Coral Star’, ‘All Star’, and ‘Zee Lady’ had higher yield than many of the other cultivars. While the “early-season” cultivars can be planted for regional and local market, the “mid-season” and “late-season” peaches are excellent choices for marketing during September and early October when production of the similar cultivars are already completed in warmer regions. Overall, ‘Sweet Dream’, ‘August Lady’, ‘Zee Lady’, ‘August Flame’, ‘Snow Giant’, ‘Saturn’, ‘Jupiter’, and ‘PF24–007’ showed satisfactory to great performance in this long-term evaluation.

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George E. Boyhan, David B. Langston, Albert C. Purvis and C. Randell Hill

Five different statistical methods were used to estimate optimum plot size and three different methods were used to estimate optimum number of replications with short-day onions (Allium cepa L.) for yield, seedstem formation (bolting), purple blotch and/or Stemphylium (PB/S), botrytis leaf blight (BLB), and bulb doubling with a basic plot size unit of 1.5 × 1.8 m (length × width). Methods included Bartlett's test for homogeneity of variance, computed lsd values, maximum curvature of coefficient of variation plotted against plot size, Hatheway's method for a true mean difference, and Cochran and Cox's method for detecting a percent mean difference. Bartlett's chi-square was better at determining optimum plot size with transformed count and percent data compared with yield data in these experiments. Optimum plot size for yield of five basic units (7.5 m length) and four replications is indicated using computed lsd values where the lsd is <5% of the average for that plot size, which was the case in both years of this study. Based on all the methods used for yield, a plot size of four to five basic units and three to five replications is appropriate. For seedstems using computed lsd values, an optimum plot size of four basic units (6 m length) and two replications is indicated. For PB/S two basic units (3 m length) plot size with four replications is indicated by computed lsd values. For BLB a plot size of four basic units (6 m length) and three replications is optimum based on computed lsd values. Optimum plot size and number of replications for estimating bulb doubling was four basic units (6 m length) and two replications with `Southern Belle', a cultivar with a high incidence of doubling using computed lsd values. With `Sweet Vidalia', a cultivar with low incidence of bulb doubling, a plot size of four basic units (6 m length) and five replications is recommended by computed lsd values. Visualizing maximum curvature between coefficient of variation and plot size suggests plot sizes of seven to eight basic units (10.5 to 12 m length) for yield, 10 basic units (15 m length) for seedstems, five basic units (7.5 m length) for PB/S and BLB, five basic units (7.5 m length) for `Southern Belle' doubling, and 10 basic units (15 m length) for `Sweet Vidalia' doubling. A number of plot size-replication combinations were optimum for the parameters tested with Hatheway's and Cochran and Cox's methods. Cochran and Cox's method generally indicated a smaller plot size and number of replications compared to Hatheway's method regardless of the parameter under consideration. Overall, both Hatheway's method and computed lsd values appear to give reasonable results regardless of data (i.e., yield, seedstems, diseases etc.) Finally, it should be noted that the size of the initial basic unit will have a strong influence on the appropriate plot size.