Oregon Processed Vegetable Commission

Monitoring and Reporting Insect Pests in Cole Crops and Sweet Corn: VegNet (2014)

For the past 18 years, processed vegetable growers in the Willamette Valley, OR have had a vital partner in crop pest monitoring – Oregon State University’s VegNet. This regional pest monitoring program provides weekly activity reports for common broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, and snap bean pests. Data is published on www.oregonvegetables.com and is available as an email subscription newsletter. The main goal of the program is to provide an early warning to growers of potential outbreaks that may warrant increased field scouting and action.

Effect of pop-up fertilizers and planting density on early season sweet corn growth and ear yield (2014)

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.

Broccoli Breeding, Evaluation and Seed Production (2014)

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.

Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae) control strategies on brassicas (2014)

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 technologies for improved production in sweet corn (2014)

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).

Increasing the Nutrient Use Efficiency of Snap Beans (2014)

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).