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-based information available on optimal production systems for the southeastern United States with cool-season vegetables. Constructing midscale rotations that meet multiple objectives of profitability, building soil, and suppressing pests can be a challenge and

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Oral Sesssion 12—Vegetable Crops Culture & Management 1 Moderator: Albert Sutherland 19 July 2005, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Room 106

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The efficacy and cost efficiency of using various plastic soil mulches in the production of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), corn (Zea mays L.) and muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) were examined over four growing seasons in Saskatchewan, Canada. Clear mulch with or without preemergent herbicides was compared with black or wavelength selective mulches. In all three crops, mulches enhanced yields relative to bare ground in most site-year combinations. Clear mulch usually produced the highest yields. Herbicides applied under the clear plastic provided effective weed control with no observable changes in product efficacy or toxicity to the crop. The weed control provided by the herbicides had no effect on yields in the clear mulch treatments. Consequently, clear mulch without added herbicide usually represented the most cost-effective production option for all three crops.

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Growers in the Salinas Valley are not able to rotate away from lettuce to other crops such as broccoli, as often as would be desirable due to economic pressures such as high land rents and lower economic returns for rotational crops. This aggravates problems with key soilborne diseases such as Sclerotinia minor, Lettuce Drop. Mustard cover crops (Brassica juncea and Sinapis alba) are short-season alternative rotational crops that are being examined in the Salinas Valley for the potential that they have to reduce soilborne disease and weeds. Mustard cover crops have been have been shown to suppress various soilborne diseases and there are also indications that they can provide limited control of some weed species. However, no studies have shown the impact of mustard cover crops under field conditions on S. minor. In 2003 we conducted preliminary studies on the incidence of S. minor and weeds following mustard cover crops in comparison with a bare control or an area cover cropped to Merced Rye (Secale cereale). There was a slight, but significant reduction of S. minor infection in one of three trials following mustard cover crops. Mustard cover crops also reduced emergence of Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) and Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) these studies. Mustard cover crops have distinct nitrogen cycling characteristics. They were shown to reach a peak of release of nitrogen in 30 to 50 days following incorporation into the soil. The levels of nitrogen that are released by mustard cover crops were substantial and could be useful in nitrogen fertilizer programs for subsequent vegetable crops.

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experimental site was, in general, suitable for vegetable production, including sweet pepper. Weather conditions during the experiments. The on-farm field study was conducted during the hot-wet season from 7 Mar. 2007 to 30 July 2007 [143 d after transplanting

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systems to extend the growing season ( Lamont, 2005 ). Although farmers use protected cultivation systems for warm season vegetables, LTs can also benefit cool season vegetable crops by increasing early vegetative growth, reducing ET and possibly

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study years in the cover crop treatments. Combining some form of moderate tillage such as strip tillage with high residue cover crops in cool-season states may adequately warm the soil for vegetable production, which has seen some success in field trials

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three cool-season vegetable crops per year, with lettuce ( Lactuca sativa ) being the dominant crop in both value and acreage ( Monterey County Agricultural Commission, 2012 ). Vegetable production fields often receive N fertilizer applications in excess

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The Salinas Valley along the central coast of California produces more than 100,000 ha of cool-season vegetables per year. The mild Mediterranean climate allows an extended growing season, and production of two to three crops per year is the norm

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Lettuce ( Lactuca sativa L.) is a cool-season crop; it achieves optimum growth and development at an average temperature of 18 °C. Production of lettuce at higher temperature ranges resulted in losses of yield and quality and led to some

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