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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #444846

Research Project: Optimizing Production Protocols for Ginger and Other High Value Crops in Controlled Environment Agriculture

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-001-091-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Aug 31, 2025

Objective 1: Investigate the factors influencing sprouting of the dormant ginger rhizome for propagation. Objective 2: Investigate the influence of substrate type and composition for ginger rhizome formation. Objective 3: Identify the nutrient concentration and irrigation frequency for optimum yield, quality, and phytochemical concentration of ginger rhizome. Objective 4: Evaluate the feasibility of growing ginger and turmeric using a similar production protocol in greenhouse growing conditions.

The project will be conducted using drip irrigated containerized production systems in greenhouses. Rhizome sprouting will be done using a current recommendation, and sprouted rhizome sections will be used for planting. A synthetic fertilizer 15-5-15 will be used until harvest at concentrations specified in the experiments. Objective 1: Two experiments will be conducted to identify the effect of substrate, rhizome splitting and lighting on sprouting of ginger for propagation. 1a. Rhizome sections will be placed in containers with different substrates under similar irrigation regime and sprout initiation will be evaluated. 1b. Rhizomes will be planted in a substrate identified in 1a, using whole rhizome or rhizome sections and under two different light treatments, light vs dark. Hence there will be four treatment combinations and status of sprouting will be evaluated each week. Objective 2: Ginger will be grown under greenhouse conditions (temp 21-27C: supplemental lighting On <250 W/m² and Off >350 W/m²: photoperiod 16 hr) using 8” nursery containers. Rhizome sections uniform in size and number of sprouts will be planted using 6 different substrates. (Six plant replicates/ treatment will be grown for six months with 2 destructive data collections at 3rd and 6th months. Drip irrigation will be provided A variety of important growth measurements will be collected. Objective 3: Ginger Rhizomes will be planted in the substrate identified in Experiment 2 and will be grown under greenhouse conditions as described above. There will be 4 treatment combinations comprise of 2 different fertilizer concentrations, and 2 different irrigation volumes. Plants will be grown for 6 months or until leaf yellowing. Addition to the growth parameters, health promoting phytochemical composition (gingerols, shogaols, paradols, and zingerone) will be analyzed from leaves and rhizome. Objective 4:. Objectives 1-3 will help us develop a production protocol for ginger. Ginger and turmeric will be grown using this protocol under greenhouse conditions with or without supplemental lighting to cater different greenhouse conditions among small to medium scale growers. Data will be analyzed using general linear model procedure in JMP.