Prices paid for sweet corn are low relative to the cost of producing the crop, and every strategy possible must be used to maximize net return. Two strategies used to enhance profitability but that have received little research attention under Western Oregon conditions are the use of pop-up fertilizers and increased plant populations. Despite indications that popup fertilizers improve early-season growth, concrete evidence that these fertilizers ultimately enhance growth and yield are often lacking. Seeding density also can be increased to improve crop yield up to a point, but intraspecific competitive ability and the competitive stress tolerance of varieties currently produced in the Willamette Valley are poorly understood.
Processors need broccoli with better quality traits than what is available in cultivars developed for California and Mexico fresh markets. Farmers need to reduce labor costs of broccoli production but mechanizing harvest. Most contemporary commercially available cultivars are not suitable for either mechanical harvest or processing. The objective of the OSU broccoli breeding program is to develop broccoli varieties adapted to western Oregon with suitable quality and high yields. The program operates on a one year cycle where cuttings from the field are taken into the greenhouse in the fall where they are rooted and hand crossed and self-pollinated to produce seed for the next generation. Seed is harvested in May and June and used to plant trials for fall evaluation.
This research has demonstrated that liming clubroot infected soils to a pH ≥7.1 is an effective practice for reducing both the incidence and severity of clubroot. Liming does not kill the pathogen but rather prevents disease spores from infecting the plant. This research demonstrated that highly reactive calcitic lime products could be substituted for hydrated lime as they effectively raise the pH of the soil to the target pH of ≥7.1 within a week after application. The project also demonstrated that boron and Serenade drenches did not suppress clubroot under field conditions.
Enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF) technologies have the potential to improve the crop N use efficiency (NUE) as well as minimize negative environmental losses compared to conventional fertilizers. The EEF fertilizer products consist of urea plus additives (to inhibit N loss). The major pathways for N loss in our sweet corn cropping systems are 1) N leached below the root zone as water soluble nitrate-N (NO3-N), and 2) gaseous ammonia loss (NH3-N) to the atmosphere following a surface urea application.Field studies and a laboratory incubation study were conducted in 2014 to evaluate the potential for benefit from EEF products via reduced nitrate-N leaching. Three products were evaluated: ESN (polymer coated urea), SuperU (prilled urea containing both a urease and nitrification inhibitor), and Instinct (urea + nitrification inhibitor).
The overall objective of this multi-year project is to maximize nutrient use efficiency without compromising bean yield and quality. This year’s project objectives were to: 1) evaluate crop response to P fertilizer at current soil P test levels in grower fields; 2) generate phosphorus (P) potassium (K), and nitrogen (N) nutrient budgets (fertilizer inputs vs. harvest removal); and 3) evaluate relationships among bean root rot disease, plant P uptake, biomass allocation (pods vs. leaves).
The following is a method for cheaply and quickly determining a soil’s nitrate status for the purpose of determining the midseason sidedress fertilizer rate for sweet corn. For information on the pre-sidedress nitrate test (PSNT), see OSU’s nutrient management guide EM 9010-E (Sweet Corn- Western Oregon). The ‘Quick Test’ (QT) has been in use for years in the Salinas Valley of California with good results. Compared to a traditional laboratory test, it is cheaper and test results can be obtained within hours of sample collection. Although this method is semi-quantitative, results from the QT are well correlated with laboratory results.
Current snap bean phosphorus (P) fertilizer recommendations for Oregon are higher than those given in other extension publications across the US. Despite the scale and importance of snap bean production in Oregon, little attention has been paid to the phosphorus (P) utilization of this crop over the past 30 years in the Willamette Valley.Due to changes in production practices, the increase in the price of P fertilizers, trends towards greater sustainability, and soil test P (STP) values commonly greater than 50 ppm Bray (the level at which a crop response to P fertilizer is unlikely), there is interest in revisiting the current recommendations to better balance P inputs/outputs.
White mold is a serious foliar and pod disease of snap beans grown for processing in western Oregon as well as in all major snap bean production regions in the US. White mold has a wide host range as it is a pathogen on more than 400 plant species.