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Strip-tillage and Row Cover Use in Organically and Conventionally Grown Summer Squash

Sustainable production of summer squash involves multiple management practices. Some cover crops can be “rolled” when mature to produce a ground-covering mat. The cash crop is then planted in tilled strips made in the residue. This “strip-tillage” technique provides a weed-controlling, moisture-retaining mat that is biodegradable, unlike plastic mulches. The reduction in tillage can improve soil health. Row covers provide a favorable microclimate and act as a physical barrier to pests when placed over young transplants.

Biochar Application in Potato Production

Biochar is an organic amendment produced by the process called pyrolysis, which is the burning of biomass in a limited oxygen environment. It can be produced using different biomass types, for example, switch grass, corn residue, or hardwoods. Potential benefits of biochar in cropping systems could include nutrient recycling, soil conditioning, and long-term carbon sequestration. Research in corn and soybean production systems has shown promising results with biochar application, however, research in vegetable cropping systems is lacking.

Effect of Lettuce Seed Treatment with Seed Power® on Germination, Crop Growth, and Fungicide Interaction

Lettuce emergence rate, seedling growth, and head size has been shown to positively correlate with seed vigor. Seed treatment practices in lettuce that increase seedling shoot mass can significantly influence lettuce growth, development, and final yield. This study investigated effects of lettuce seed treatment with Seed Power® (a nutrient solution containing cobalt and other proprietary compounds; Stoller USA) on lettuce seed germination, crop growth, yield, and potential interaction of Seed Power® with commonly used conventional fungicides.