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Julian M. Alston and Philip G. Pardey

funding for R&D directed to specialty crops and draw policy implications. Of interest is the extent of public support for research into specialty crops and how that has fared in the context of the generally evolving patterns of federal and state government

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Hye-Ji Kim

ecological health but also to human health by restricting food and nutritional constituents available for human consumption ( Burlingame and Dernini, 2010 ; Díaz et al., 2006 ). These concerns have stimulated interest in seeking alternative specialty crops

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Shannon Caplan, Bryan Tilt, Gwen Hoheisel, and Tara A. Baugher

There is a need for increased automation in specialty crop production in the United States, especially in response to increasing labor costs and the potential for labor shortages. Technological innovations are being developed to address such

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Tara Baugher, Montserrat Fonseca Estrada, Kelly Lowery, and Héctor Núñez Contreras

The 2012 Census of Agriculture [ U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2014 ] indicates that Hispanic/Latino farm owners represent a promising next generation of specialty crop growers. While principal operators of all farms decreased by 4% between

Open access

Kristin E. Gibson, Alexa J. Lamm, Fallys Masambuka-Kanchewa, Paul R. Fisher, and Celina Gómez

commodity, young-plant producers represent a significant portion of the specialty crop industry in the United States, and the quality and value of young plants directly impact overall profits of the entire industry. Therefore, research focused on indoor

Open access

Analena B. Bruce, Elizabeth T. Maynard, and James R. Farmer

The global production of specialty crops, such as high-value vegetables, has been transformed by the use of high tunnels to moderate extreme weather events and climate conditions, allow for extended growing seasons, and offer protection against some

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Dean A. Kopsell, Carl E. Sams, and Robert C. Morrow

specialty crops produce higher concentrations of chlorophyll pigments in response to higher intensities of blue wavelengths in the light environment; however, responses may differ based on plant ontogeny and species genetics. Carotenoids function to help

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Elaine M. Grassbaugh, Mark A. Bennett, Mark Schmittgen, and Brad Bergefurd

Specialty vegetables are defined as crops that are different in color, size, shape or nutrient content for that particular crop, those not normally grown in a specific area, or crops grown out of season. Knowing the clientele and what they demand is the first step in successfully marketing these less common crops. Due to market demand, “uncommon” crops are more frequently requested by produce buyers and the public. What is in demand one year may not be marketable the next. Our attempts to produce >25 specialty crops under Ohio growing conditions over the past 3 years resulted in successes and failures. Regardless of the outcome, our findings were important to vegetable growers who are interested in producing these crops. Crops tested from 1994 to 1996 included globe artichokes, luffa gourds, chili peppers, habanero peppers, okra, tomatillos, baby corn, and several specialty tomato varieties. Crops produced successfully in Ohio were marketed through several farm markets, food terminals, and produce brokers. A summary of cultural practices, production tips, and marketing opportunities on these less common vegetable crops based on our research in Ohio will be presented.

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Mary Lamberts, Sylvia Gordon, and George Fitzpatrick

Growers producing new crops often do not understand how to price individual items. The prices of common container nursery stock items may be listed in monthly trade publications. Prices for fruits and vegetables fluctuate on a daily basis. A production budget for containerized specialty vegetables was adapted from one developed for ornamental nurseries, using some specific costs for field-grown vegetables. This gave a realistic way to calculate prices for individual products. Once the crops had been sold, the authors were able to validate the model by comparing actual costs with projected costs.

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Millie S. Williams, Terri W. Starman, and James E. Faust

The effect of increasing temperatures on the duration of postharvest flower development was determined for three specialty crop species: marguerite (Argyranthemum frutescens Webb ex Schultz-Bip.) `Butterfly' and `Sugar Baby'; swan river daisy (Brachycome hybrid Cass.) `Ultra'; and bacopa (Sutera cordata Roth.) `Snowflake'. Plants were grown in a greenhouse at 18 °C (65 °F) until flowering, and then transferred into a phytotron to determine heat tolerance. Plants were stored for 8 weeks at constant temperatures of 18, 23, 28, and 33 °C (65, 73, 82, and 91 °F) for 2-week intervals. Flower bud and flower number were recorded weekly. Sutera cordata `Snowflake' and B. hybrid `Ultra' had the greatest flower number at the 23 °C temperature, decreasing in the 28 °C environment. Argyranthemum frutescens `Butterfly' and `Sugar Baby' had greatest flower number at 28 °C, but flowers were of lower quality thanat 23 °C. Flower development of all cultivars ceased at 33 °C, at the end of 8 weeks at increasing temperatures, but when plants were returned to the 18 °C production greenhouse, flower development resumed. High temperatures (28 °C) reduce the postharvest performance of S. cordata, B. hybrid, and A. frutescens plants grown in hanging baskets; therefore, these species should be marketed as spring-flowering products since summer performance may be unsatisfactory in warm climates.