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Field studies conducted in 1993 on an Eel loam soil compared the growth and yield response of direct-seeded cabbage, cucumber, snap bean, and sweet corn, and transplanted cabbage, to a compacted soil layer (>2.5 MPa penetrometer resistance) at the 15 - 30 cm depth. Direct-seeded cabbage and snap bean were most severely affected by compaction, with 50% yield losses, and much smaller cabbage head size in compacted plots. Transplanted cabbage had a 30% lower yield in compacted compared to uncompactcd plots. Early vegetative growth of cucumber was less stunted by compaction compared to snap bean and cabbage, but compaction nevertheless resulted in a 50% reduction in total cucumber yield. Compaction delayed maturity and reduced early yield of cabbage, snap bean, and cucumber. Sweet corn yield was reduced by only 10% when grown on compacted soil, and there was no delay in maturity. Sweet corn responded more negatively to compaction in a 1992 field experiment,

Greenhouse studies found a reduction in total plant biomass at 21 days after planting of 30%, 14%, 1%. and 3% for snap bean, cabbage, cucumber, and sweet corn, respectively, in pots compacted at the 10 cm depth. Sweet corn had a significantly higher proportion of root biomass in the compacted zone compared to the other crops. For all species, the growth reductions could not be attributed to reductions in leaf turgor, photosynthetic rate per unit leaf area or leaf nutrient status.

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availability is positively correlated with the growth of crops [e.g., winter wheat ( Triticum aestivum )] until it becomes N-saturated ( Bock and Hergert 1991 ; Lawlor et al. 2001 ). Therefore, the lack of N responses in kale ‘Red Russian’ may be attributed to

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Pecan is one of the few native North American plant species to have been developed into a significant agricultural crop. Pecans are commercially produced across a wide geographic range in 14 states within the United States, generating a crop valued

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the end of the apple experiment to assess the spatial and depth variability of extractable soil K among cover crops and mulches but this was not done. Overall, mulches were associated with a positive response in K status in the tree but insufficiently

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; however, the application interval before planting could also have a role in reducing the risk of injury to sensitive crops in response to preplant applications of 2,4-D. Previous research has indicated that 2,4-D is not readily photodegraded, but it has

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Abstract

Greenhouse-grown root, foliage, fruit, and seed crops were exposed to peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) at 0, 5, 10, 20, and 40 ppb, 4 hours per day, twice per week, from germination to maturity of harvestable product. A response of PAN dose and growth or yield parameters was significant only for lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Empire) and Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla, cv. Fordhook). Leaf fresh weight was reduced by 13% in ‘Empire’ lettuce and by 23% in chard in the 40 ppb PAN treatments relative to 0 ppb PAN controls. Peroxyacetyl nitrate at 10 ppb appeared to stimulate the growth of most crops. The threshold for inhibition of growth by PAN, under conditions of 2 exposures per week, appeared to be between 10 and 20 ppb. These results suggest that PAN, at concentrations below the threshold for visible injury, can alter the growth of plants, but that significant reductions in growth or yield may occur only in highly susceptible cultivars of leafy crops.

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Growing conditions in Michigan can threaten the yield and acceptable fruit quality of `Chardonnay' grapevines. Three grapevine training systems, mid-wire cordon (MWC), umbrella kniffin (UK), and a combination of the two (MWC-UK) were evaluated under Michigan growing conditions to determine their influence on yield, fruit quality, cluster compactness, incidence and severity of Botrytis bunch rot, and trellis fill. Vines were grown on C3309 rootstock and pruned to 44 nodes per kilogram of cane prunings. The MWC-UK treatment had an additional 30 nodes per vine retained, and the crop level on these nodes was removed after fruitset. Over a 2-year period, UK and MWC-UK trained vines had fruit soluble solids about 1 °Brix higher and yields were 48% and 63% higher than MWC trained vines, respectively. MWC-UK trained vines consistently out-performed MWC trained vines for all variables measured, while UK-trained vines provided an intermediate response.

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Abstract

Fruit growth and final size were greater on lightly cropped than on moderately heavily cropped cherry (Prunus avium L. cv. Buriat) trees. A wax-based antitranspirant (AT), sprayed 1 week before harvest, increased fruit size on both lightly and moderately heavily cropped trees. Although the lightly cropped AT-treated trees had the largest fruit at harvest, the response to AT was greatest on the moderately heavily cropped trees. Thus, AT can improve fruit grade-size, and probably monetary returns, particularly on heavily cropped trees. High rates of AT application, however, can adversely affect fruit appearance.

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Specialty crop production has the potential to diversify traditional crop agriculture and improve profits. The primary purpose of this research was to determine the number of small farmers in Missouri who grow crops other than the traditional crops (soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton), and to identify issues they face in their production. A survey questionnaire consisting of fifteen questions was sent to 401 small farmers in Missouri in Fall 2002. The response was a 27% return rate. Most (77%) of the respondents grew tomato and many (50%) used irrigations. Among those who did not grow the nontraditional crops, 46% cited lack of interest as the reason while 32% cited lack of labor. The reasons given by 80% of respondents who at one time grew nontraditional crops but stopped, were lost interest, profit, and insufficient labor. Many respondents also grew herbs and other specialty vegetables in addition to the nontraditional crops. Garlic and chives were grown by 19% of respondents. Most (80%) respondents who grew specialty crops were interested in seminars, workshops or field days on their production, marketing or financing. Among respondents who grew nontraditional crops but stopped, 39% cited drought as the reason while 25% cited insects. These results indicate that small farmers of specialty crops in Missouri need training and information, to profitably produce the nontraditional crops.

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