2009 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, including organic methods, 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, including organic, 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.
This is the final report for the project 6222-21220-002-00D terminated in January 2009. There was a period between the beginning of FY2009 and the termination date for the project occurring in fall and winter. All planned field experiments were completed prior to the start of FY2009; no experiments were initiated in the timeframe corresponding to this project.
Substantial results were realized over the 5 years of the project. An organic production system was developed for transplants, with results equivalent to those produced with conventional methods and materials. Addition of bacteria to potting media beneficially affected transplant production. When similarly treated seedlings were moved to the field, effects in the greenhouse did not carry over. In the transition to organic production, multiple crops and inputs were studied and it was determined that production during the transition period is costly but yields increased over time. Inoculation with microbes was not beneficial to plant development and yield in peanut and vegetable crops following peanut. Cropping with early maturing ryegrass could be followed by two additional vegetable crops, with sufficient time to reestablish the cover crop. Greenhouse-grown onion transplants can be established in the field. Yield increased as onion plant density increased; additional fertilizer was not needed. Early harvested onion had more nutrients in bulbs. It is not necessary to apply manure every year in production of organic vegetables. Corn gluten meal can be applied to spring-transplanted onions and non-pungent jalapenos, providing good to excellent early weed control. The synthetic herbicide pendimethalin provided superior weed control and crop yields compared to corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal can be safely band-applied for weed control to direct-seeded organically grown vegetables. Phytotoxicity, application rates, and incorporation methods of corn gluten meal for direct-seeded cucurbits and beans were determined. The impact of the research was that production systems were designed to give producers flexibility in determining levels of inputs to use to maximize efficiency. Additional impact was that organic post-emergence weed control strategies were developed for early-season weed control; integrated systems need to be developed for season-long control. The application technology can be used with other powdered or granulated materials in organic production. The overall impact of the accomplishments is that producers have new information on which to make decisions concerning production systems to maximize profits while sustaining yield.
|Number of Other Technology Transfer||1|
Russo, V.M. 2008. Yield in nonpungent jalapeno pepper established at different in-row spacings. HortScience. 43(7):2018-2021.
Russo, V.M. 2009. Nutrient content and yield in relation to top breakover in onion developed from greenhouse-grown transplants. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 89:815-820.