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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture with Added Grower and Consumer Value

Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop carrot breeding stocks for production in organic agriculture systems with improved nutritional value, trial carrots in diverse growing locations, and release germplasm to the seed industry. Grow carrot trials under conventional and organic practices in Washington.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
a) Plant carrot seed with elite nematode and alternaria resistance and weed tolerance for testing in conventional and organic fields, three replicates each entry.

b) Evaluate seedling emergence.

c) Hand weed organic plots as needed; control weeds in conventional trials.

d) Evaluate top size of each entry at one month, three months, and harvest.

e) Harvest crop and provide root samples to PI's lab.


3.Progress Report:

This project was renumbered from 3655-21000-048-44A to 3655-21000-062-18A. The first season of field trials for the project was completed as projected, and the second field season is currently underway in Washington State.

For the 2012 and 2013 Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) Washington Trials, the organic plot was planted at Mercer Ranches near Prosser, WA. Plots were replicated three times in randomized complete block design. The organic site, in 2012, was planted on Pivot 67 and the surrounding cultivar was Uppercut 25. The plots were 1 meter long and half a 40 inch bed wide. The seed was sown at .5 inches deep, and even at that depth, there appeared to be some seed that blew out as a result of the wind and caused more than typical stand reduction. The guard rows were sown with a vacuum planter on the outside of each bed at an in row spacing of 2 inches. The commercial field was flamed prior to emergence for weed control, and hand weeded. Stand and vigor assessments were performed to assess how the cultivars were acclimated to the local environment. The counts showed that some cultivars did not germ well and that vigor varied among varieties as well. Height and width measurements were taken on each experimental plot as well. Harvest was conducted and it became apparent that the guard row had been placed too close to the test lines. Tops were rated for disease and roots scored for shape and yield by the harvest crew.

For the 2012 and 2013 Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) Washington Trials, the conventional plot was planted at Mercer Ranches near Prosser, WA. Plots were replicated three times in randomized complete block design. The conventional site, in 2012, was planted on Pivot 112 and the surrounding cultivar was Uppercut 25. The plots were 1 meter long and half a 40 inch bed wide. The seed was sown at .5 inches deep and stands at this site were good with the exception of some low germinating varieties. The guard rows were sown with a vacuum planter on the outside of each bed at an in row spacing of 2 inches. The field was treated with Lorox (linuron) at 2 lbs. per acre for weed control at the 4 leaf growth stage. Stand and vigor assessments were performed to assess how the cultivars were acclimated to the local environment. The counts showed that some cultivars did not germ well and that vigor varied among varieties as well. Height and width measurements were taken on each experimental plot as well. Harvest was conducted and at this site/trial, there was not as much difficulty discerning the test rows and the guard rows, but we still felt that in the following year we would further physically separate guard and test rows. Tops were rated for disease and roots scored for shape and yield by the harvest crew.

This research relates to the objective "Develop carrot breeding stocks for production in organic agriculture systems with improved nutritional value, trial carrots in diverse growing locations, and release germplasm to the seed industry. Grow carrot trials under conventional and organic practices in Washington" by growing carrots under conventional and organic practices and by evaluating growth in these conditions.


Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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