Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association

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Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association

An Association of Commercial Vegetable, Potato and Berry Growers

PVGA Funds Vegetable and Small Fruit Research for 2021

This year, the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association will contribute $38,021 towards vegetable research and $10,261 for small fruit research. The Board of Directors originally planned to budget $30,000 from the Association’s reserves for vegetable research and $10,000 for small fruit research.  However, they also asked Pennsylvania members to consider making special donations to the Association to increase the amount of funding available for research.  Members have responded by donating over $7,800 to this research fund with $1,185 being designated for vegetable research and $300 for small fruit research.  Because of this generous response from the members, the Board approved increasing the amounts available to cover the proposals received that felt were important to fund.  This year’s contributions put PVGA’s funding for research over the past 33 years at $1.3 million. 

The following nine vegetable projects are being funded in conjunction with the Vegetable Marketing and Research Program, which will contribute $20,000 towards the $58,021 total cost of the projects.  The projects approved for funding with their objectives are listed below.

No-till vs. Plasticulture Tomatoes: Examining Yield, Earliness, and Soil Health                                              $10,000
Elsa Sánchez, Sjoerd Duiker and Francesco Di Gioia – Penn State Univ.

– to address the early yield problem using row covers and grafting onto cold-tolerant rootstock in summer crops.

Expanding Suppressive Microbial Communities to Manage Bacterial Spot of Tomato                                  $8,596
Kevin L. Hockett – Penn State Univ.

–  to acquire 6-12 distinct microbial communities from different tomato sources in PA and NY and repeatedly transfer communities from objective 1 to select for those that suppress bacterial spot in a greenhouse setting.  If successful, the results of this project will strengthen the idea that such an approach could be used on a wide array of vegetable diseases.

Breeding Fresh-Market Tomatoes for Production in PA  $8,000
Majid R. Foolad – Penn State Univ.

– to evaluate 98 FM large-size F₁ hybrids with EB resistance (Regular FM F₁ Hybrids).
– to evaluate 77 FM large-size F₁ hybrids with EB + LB resistance (LBR FM F₁ Hybrids).
– to evaluate 104 FM grape tomato hybrids with EB and/or EB + LB resistance (Grape Tomato F₁ Hybrids).
– to evaluate Penn State elite large-size FM tomato breeding lines (Regular FM Inbred Lines).
– to evaluate elite inbred lines of large-size FM tomato breeding lines with LB resistance and other desirable characteristics (LBR FM Inbred Lines).
– to evaluate elite inbred lines of FM grape tomatoes with various desirable characteristics (Grape Tomato Inbred Lines).
– to establish a project to identify and map genes for bacterial canker resistance to be used for breeding purposes.

Breeding Processing Tomatoes for Production in PA   $6,000
Majid R. Foolad – Penn State Univ.

– to evaluation of a total of 41 PROC tomato F₁ hybrids with EB resistance (Regular PROC F₁ Hybrids).
– to evaluation of 54 PROC tomato F₁ hybrids with EB + LB resistance (LBR PROC F₁ Hybrids)
– to continue development and evaluation of elite inbred lines of PROC tomato with EB resistance (Regular PROC Inbred Lines)
– to continue development and evaluation of elite inbred lines of PROC tomato with EB + LB resistance (LBR PROC Inbred Lines).
– to establish a project to identify and map genes for bacterial canker resistance and move towards production of resistant breeding lines.

Exploring Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation as a Biological Method to Manage Root-Knot Nematodes and Enhance Soil Health in High Tunnel Vegetable Production Systems            $10,000
Francesco Di Gioia and Beth Gugino – Penn State Univ.

– to assess the efficacy of ASD in managing root-knot nematodes (RKNs) in high tunnel production systems under PA environmental conditions.  This will be achieved in two steps testing the technique first in preliminary pot studies and then on farm at field scale.

Herbicide Timing Effects on Snap Bean Development and Yield      $2,474
Lynn Sosnoskie – Cornell Univ., Mark VanGessel – Univ. of Delaware and John Wallace and Dwight Lingenfelter – Penn State Univ,

The objective of this study is to evaluate the impacts of herbicide application timing, with respect to crop development, on crop growth and development, harvest timing, and yield quantity and quality.  This trial will be conducted at three locations (PA, DE, and NY) to evaluate consistency across regional production environments and practices.

Evaluating Burndown Options for No-till Snap Bean   $2,500
Mark VanGessel – Univ. of Delaware, John Wallace and Dwight Lingenfelter – Penn State Univ., and Lynn Sosnoskie – Cornell Univ.

Evaluate potential burndown herbicides for no-till snap bean production.

Evaluation of Atrazine Alternatives for Postemergence Weed Control in Sweet Corn                                           $2,451
John Wallace and Dwight Lingenfelter – Penn State Univ., Lynn Sosnoskie – Cornell Univ., and Mark VanGessel – Univ. of Delaware

– to compare the weed control efficacy of key postemergence HPPD inhibiting herbicides (Group 27) applied alone or in combination with atrazine, Basagran, Maestro or Starane Ultra.  This trial will help determine if these potential atrazine alternatives can produce similar levels of weed control.  The trial will be conducted at three locations (Rock Springs PA, Geneva NY, Georgetown DE), which will allow us to compare weed control responses across diverse weed communities and environments.

Impact of Management Practices on Soil Health Indicators in Conventional and Organic Vegetable Cropping Systems
(multiyear- Year 2)                            $8,000
Gladis Zinati – Rodale Institute

– to assess the physical and chemical properties in soil samples taken in 48 plots at the 0-4 inch (0-10cm) depth, and 4-8 inch (10-20cm) depth.
– to assess selected biological properties in soil samples taken from 0-4 inch (0-10 cm) depth and 4-8 inch (10-20 cm) depth in 48 plots.
– to disseminate the results to growers during the annual field day and in a web article discussing the influence of management practices on selected soil health indicators by depth.

 

The Vegetable Marketing and Research Board had listed one additional proposal for possible funding, but it was a lower priority and the Association Board voted not to fund it:

Improving Sweet Corn Yield and Nutrient Content by Using Mycorrhizal Fungi in Conventional and Organic Vegetable Cropping Systems (two-year project)    $2,600.00
Gladis Zinati – Rodale Institute

The three small fruit proposals being funded this year are as follows and total $10,261.  The first two were approved for funding last year but were not able to carried out due to pandemic restrictions. 

Characterizing Anthracnose Fruit and Crown Rot Fungi in PA Strawberry Plantings                                              $1,798
Kathleen Demchak and Sara May – Penn State Univ. and Mengjun Hu, Univ. of Maryland

– to collect samples from anthracnose-affected plants on growers’ farms across PA, focusing on those farms that utilize an assortment of production methods, varieties, and plant sources.
– to isolate and obtain 20 to 30 clean cultures of anthracnose isolate from these samples.
– to conduct genetic testing to identify which species are present.
– to maintain cultures at the Univ. of Maryland for fungicide resistance screening work and use in future research.

Comparing Media Types for Soilless Strawberry Production                                                                            $4,901
Kathleen Demchak, Timothy Elkner and Krystal Snyder – Penn State Univ. and Extension

– to trial and demonstrate a containerized day-neutral strawberry production system in a warmer portion of the state relative to where it was developed, and
– to assess renewable media components that could substitute for the non-renewable components.

Identifying Weed Hosts of Fruit and Crown Anthracnose in Strawberry Fields                                                   $3,562
Leah Fronk, Sara May, Kathleen Demchak, and Richard Marini – Penn State Extension and Univ. and Mengjun Hu – Univ. of Maryland

– to collect weed and fruit samples from five strawberry farms in Pennsylvania, including a strawberry nursery, to identify species of Colletotrichum present on weeds in strawberry fields.
– to evaluate the relationship between the species of Colletotrichum present on the weeds in the strawberry fields and the species present on the strawberry plant and fruit.

 

Reports on the vegetable research projects funded from 2009 to 2019, click here.