2007 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Changing consumer demands for more nutritious and culturally diverse foods are driving vegetable production into new arenas. Producers who diversify their agricultural operations will be in a position to capitalize on these changes. The overall objective of the project is to develop improved and sustainable systems that vegetable producers can use to maintain a competitive advantage while delivering safe produce of high quality to consumers. Specific objectives are:.
1)Develop integrated, sustainable, including organic, production systems for vegetables;.
2)Identify components of vegetable production systems that influence phytonutrients, and related quality factors, in vegetables;.
3)Identify and prioritize key weed/crop interactions and characterize the optimum control mechanisms for those weeds in vegetable crops;.
4)Develop economical, sustainable, including organic, and ecologically sound integrated production strategies that control weeds in vegetables; and.
5)Determine application timing and rate of manure needed for organic vegetable crop production systems.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Components of vegetable production systems will be studied in the greenhouse and field to determine how they interact with environmental and soil characteristics. To this end components that limit, or enhance, quality of transplants, or quantity of yield, will be identified, long-term sustainable production systems will be developed, and effects of the production systems on expression of quality factors will be determined. In support of these efforts, weed/crop problems in horticultural crops (emphasis on onions, peppers, sweet corn, squash, melons, and watermelon) will be identified and prioritized, and effects of cultural practices, including use of allelopathic compounds and other biological control agents on weed species determined. Cultural practices that improve crop yield will be developed so that superior products will be delivered to consumers in a sustainable manner.
Tepid Water May Be Sufficient to Produce Vegetable Transplants Under Organic Conditions:
The use of water of the "correct temperature" is recommended for vegetable transplant production, but there is no specificity as to what the correct temperature is. Research was conducted at the South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Lane, OK, to determine if heated or ambient temperature water affected development of vegetable transplants produced in a greenhouse. Water temperature was quickly reduced from the heated source as it passed through non-insulated pipes. There was little difference in plant responses to water temperature. The results indicate that as long as water temperature is above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the ambient water temperature, additional heating of water is not necessary. (NP 305, Component I, Problem Area C)
Greenhouse Grown Onion Transplants Produce High Yields:
Greenhouse-produced transplants have actively growing root and aerial apexes. There is little known about the cultural requirements of onion plants developed from greenhouse-grown transplants. Research was conducted at the South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Lane, OK, to determine if development of two cultivars, TX Grano 1015 Y and Candy, was affected by plant density and two nitrogen levels. The densest population of the two cultivars provided the best yields, but additional nitrogen did not affect yield. Greenhouse-grown onions can be an alternative to other sources of plants used for establishing onions in the field. (NP 305, Component I, Problem Area C)
Less Land Needed to Grow Non-pungent Jalapeno Peppers:
Plant spacing may affect growth and development of horticultural crops. Research was conducted at the South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Lane, OK, to determine the optimum spacing for non-pungent jalapeno peppers to maximize yield. Yield was distributed over spacing. The ability to place more plants in rows without loss of yield can reduce the amount of land necessary in production of this crop. (NP 305, Component I, Problem Area C)
Organic Weed Control with Corn Gluten Meal on Spring-Transplant Vegetables:
Producers of organic vegetables rank weed control as the management problem that is of most concern. Corn gluten meal has potential as an organic preemergence weed control. Research was conducted at the South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Lane, OK, to determine the impact of corn gluten meal as an organic herbicide on spring-transplanted crops (onions and non-pungent jalapeno peppers). It was determined that corn gluten meal was safe when applied to spring-transplanted onions and non-pungent jalapenos, and provided good to excellent early weed control. This finding will directly benefit certified organic producers by providing application rates, weed control efficacy, and safety information for corn gluten meal applications, and increase use of corn gluten meal for transplanted organic vegetable crops. The research will benefit researchers, industry, and producers by providing the foundation to investigate and use supplemental postemergence weed control for organic crops using corn gluten meal as a preemergence herbicide. (NP 304, Component VIII, Problem Areas A, C, and D)
Corn Gluten Meal Can Now Be Safely Applied to Direct-Seeded Organic Vegetables for Weed Control:
As a result of corn gluten meal’s phototoxicity to germinating and emerging seedlings, research and industry has warned against its use as a preemergence weed control method for direct-seeded crops and limited use on established crops, i.e., turf. Research was conducted at the South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Lane, OK, to develop application technology for its safe use with direct-seeded vegetables. Equipment was designed, developed, and evaluated for use in the application of corn gluten meal so as to protect direct-seeded vegetables, while controlling weeds. This equipment provides a way to apply corn gluten meal as an organic preemergence herbicide for all direct-seeded vegetable crops. The concept, and application of this technology, is also being accepted for use with other powdered or granulated materials with potential in organic production. (NP 304, Component VIII, Problem Areas A, C, and D)
5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
a. Surplus produce from vegetable field plots has been distributed to local food banks and similar operations through the USDA Gleaners program.
b. Information on specialty crops and niche markets was provided to under-served producers at the Fourth Annual Partners Meeting.
c. Abstracts submitted by students for presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans program were critiqued and returned to the Program Manager.
d. Day-long outreach to Native Americans (students, teachers, families, farmers, and community), USDA/Oaks Mission School 2007, Native American Career and Information Fair.
e. Presentation and planning sessions with Texas Landowner Association at their annual conference.
f. Mentored a Native American student during the summer Choctaw Nation work program.
|Number of active CRADAs and MTAs||1|
|Number of web sites managed||1|
|Number of non-peer reviewed presentations and proceedings||15|
|Number of newspaper articles and other presentations for non-science audiences||4|
Russo, V.M., Taylor, M.J. 2006. Soil amendments in transition to organic vegetable production with comparison to conventional methods: Yields and economics. HortScience. 41(7):1576-1583.
Russo, V.M., Webber III, C.L. 2007. Organic agricultural production in the United States: An old wheel being reinvented. The Americas Journal of Plant Science and Biotechnology. 1(1):29-35.
Russo, V.M. 2006. Efficacy of bacterial or fungal soil amendments on peanut production and vegetables following peanuts. HortScience. 41(6):1395-1399.
Russo, V.M. 2006. Biological amendment, fertilizer rate, and irrigation frequency for bell pepper transplant production. HortScience. 41(6):1402-1407.
Webber III, C.L., Shrefler, J.W. 2007. Corn gluten meal applicator for weed control in organic vegetable production. Journal of Vegetable Crop Production. 12(4):19-26.
Bhardwaj, H.L., Webber III, C.L. 2005. Prospects of Kenaf as an alternative field crop in Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science. 56(3):115-120.
Brandenberger, L., Shrefler, J.W., Webber III, C.L., Talbert, R.E., Paton, M.E., Wells, L.K., McClelland, M. 2007. Injury potential from carryover of watermelon herbicides residues. Weed Technology. 21(2):473-476.