PVGA Allocates $42,000 for Research in 2007

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association Board of Directors approved $42,000 for vegetable and small fruit research in 2007.  This puts PVGA's contributions to research over the past eighteen years at about $422,000. 

This has been made possible solely through the profits earned at the Association's food booths at the Farm Show and Ag Progress Days. PVGA will contribute up to $24,000 towards vegetable research this year and $7,993 for small fruit research.  In addition, the Association will partially fund a vegetable research technician position in the Horticulture Department at Penn State University.

The vegetable projects are funded in conjunction with the Vegetable Marketing and Research Program which will contribute about $21,000 for a total of $44,900. The projects approved for funding and their objectives are listed below.  Projects marked with an asterisk “*” were only approved for partial funding. 



No-Till Pumpkin Fertility Evaluation - Timothy Elkner, Penn State Extension, and David Johnson, Penn State University            $ 3,000

•   To evaluate the effect of various nitrogen application rates on yield and fruit quality of two representative pumpkin varieties (medium and large selections) grown using no-till in a replicated trial.

No-Till Pumpkin: Effects of Cover Crop, Establishment, and Variety - Michael D. Orzolek, Penn State Univ. $4,000*

•   To evaluate the production of pumpkins in a no-till system using different cover crops – annual ryegrass and hairy vetch.

•   To determine whether it is better to direct seed or transplant pumpkins into the different cover crop/no-till systems.

•   To determine if there is any interaction between no-till production and consistent pumpkin size development (small - under 5 lb. and large – 16 to 25 lb.).

Forecasting Long-Distance Movement of Cucurbit Downy Mildew:  A Decision-Making Tool for Pennsylvania Growers – Gerald Holmes, North Carolina State Univ                                          $2,500*

•   To provide bi-weekly forecasts for cucurbit downy mildew to Pennsylvania curcurbit growers via a website.

•   To trace outbreaks of curcurbit downy mildew by mapping confirmed reports of the disease and making maps available via the forecasting website.

•   To provide Pennsylvania cucurbit growers with current disease control recommendations, disease identification guides and the latest research results on cucurbit downy mildew via the forecasting website.

On-farm Evaluation of Integrated Management Programs for Phytophthora Blight and Powdery Mildew in Pumpkin and other Susceptible Crops - Margaret T. McGrath, Cornell Univ.  Timothy Elkner and Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State Extension       $1,300

•   To evaluate integrated management programs for Phytophthora blight and powdery mildew on a minimum of 3 farms.

•   To compare powdery mildew resistant varieties of squash and pumpkin.


Snap Beans

Post-Ronilan Mold Control Strategies - Helene Dillard and Ann Cobb, NYSAES-Cornell Univ.                     $4,500

•   To generate efficacy data on fungicides that can be used alone or in combinations to control white mold and gray mold.

•   To determine optimum application timing, effective rates and cost of the materials.

Herbicide Programs for Use in Snap Beans - Dwight Lingenfelter, Penn State University                             $1,750

•   To evaluate currently registered snap bean herbicides and some of the potentially new snap bean herbicides for effectiveness on annual and perennial weeds.

•   To determine the effect of these herbicide treatments on snap bean stand, injury and yield.

Breeding White Mold Resistant Snap Beans  - Phillip D. Griffiths, NYSAES  - Cornell University                $2,500*

•   To field test advanced breeding lines WM 18 and WM 70 in yield and quality trials, and other advanced breeding lines in disease trials for white mold.

•   To screen and cross white mold resistant field selections and advanced breeding lines in the greenhouse, and advance the generations with further screens to determine resistant types with good horticulture.

Development of Virus Resistant Snap Beans - Phillip D. Griffiths, NYSAES – Cornell University                $3,000*

•   To select for CMV resistance in improved snap bean backgrounds, and evaluate yield loss following infection in commercial varieties.

•   To transfer and select BYMV and CYVV resistance in a snap bean background.

•   To field-test breeding lines and eventually pyramid resistance genes for the viruses.



Development of Early Blight and Late Blight Resistant Tomatoes - Majid R. Foolad, Penn  State Univ. -  $4,000*

•   To evaluate plants for resistance to early blight and possibly late blight as well as several other tomato diseases.

•   To identify new combinations with improved disease resistance and other desirable horticultural characteristics including fruit quality and adaptation to Pennsylvania conditions.

•   To continue transferring resistance genes from wild species of tomatoes to our processing and fresh-market tomato genotypes.

•   To continue investigating the genetic bases of early and late blight resistance in tomatoes.

Enhancement of Tomato Fruit Quality: Maximizing Lycopene and Solids Contents and Minimizing Ripening Disorders - Majid R. Foolad, Penn State Univ.                                                          $4,000*

•   To develop processing and fresh-market tomatoes with enhanced fruit lycopene, sugar and vitamin contents.

•   To develop processing tomatoes with reduced ripening disorders (yellow shoulders, etc.)

•   To develop high yielding tomato cultivars adapted to Pennsylvania conditions.

Fresh Market Tomato Variety Trial, Commercial and Consumer Tasting, and Yellow Shoulder Evaluation - Steven Bogash, Penn State Extension                                                                      $4,000*

•   To identify tomato cultivars that are resistant or susceptible to yellow shoulder and that are superior in flavor and appearance.

•   To produce saleable yield data to allow growers to select varieties suitable to their market.


Sweet Corn

Advancing Sweet Corn Insecticide and Biorational Options Shelby J. Fleischer ,David Johnson and Timothy Leslie, Penn State University         $3,850

•   To evaluate several newer classes of insecticide chemistry and biorationals for control of corn earworm, fall armyworm and European corn borer.

•   To evaluate the effects on other potential pest species that could emerge with the removal of pyrethroids (silk-feeding and sap beetles) and three beneficial species (Geocorris, Orius, and Nabis spp.)

Postemergence Weed Control in Sweet Corn - David Johnson and Dwight Lingenfelter, Penn State University $2,500

•   To evaluate annual grass control with herbicide programs that include Callisto, Impact, Laudis and KIH-485.  Any broadleaf weeds present will be evaluated.

•   To compare the activity of these programs with industry standards.



Compost Evaluation for Organic Nutrient Management - Elsa Sαnchez, Heather Karsten and Emily Cook, Penn State University                                                                                        $4,000*

•   To make long term recommendations for the use of compost as a nutrient source.

•   To provide growers with information for evaluating compost to make purchasing and application decisions.

•   To make recommendations for application rates of compost for peppers.

•   To evaluate the effect of three composts on soil properties, plant nutrient status and plant yield.


The small fruit projects approved for funding are as follows:

Blueberry Cultivar Evaluation for Pennsylvania Conditions - John Esslinger, Kathy Demchak, Elsa Sanchez, and Mary Concklin, Penn State Univ. and Ted Dymond and Drew Smith, growers (second year)           $3,250

·    To evaluate blueberry cultivars for their field performance characteristics, yield potential and post-harvest quality.

Evaluation of New Blackberry Cultivars for Pennsylvania - Timothy Elkner, David Johnson and Kathy Demchak, Penn State Univ. (second year)                                                                                $2,500

·    To evaluate blackberry cultivars for their field production characteristics and yield, and their potential for use in value-added products such as jams or jellies.

Evaluation of Eastern Table Grape Cultivars  - Steve Bogash, Penn State Extension (second year)                $2,243

·    To create a demonstration planting of current seedless and seeded table grapes cultivars at the Penn State Fruit Research Lab and Beechwood Orchards, both in Biglerville.  Cultivars will be evaluated for disease resistance, yield, marketability (flavor and appearance), harvest window, and economic potential (crop budgets).

·    To produce a current set of cultivar recommendations for growers seeking to develop niche markets for seeded and seedless table grapes.

·    To use the existing planting of 4 table grape varieties at the Fruit Research Lab to compare biorational and conventional methods of disease management.

·    To assist growers into diversifying by growing and marketing table grapes.