This year, the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association will contribute $30,000 towards vegetable research and $4,869 for small fruit research. The Board of Directors budgeted $30,000 from the Association’s General Fund for vegetable research and $7,000 for small fruit research.
Since 2021 the Association has also asked Pennsylvania PVGA members to consider making special donations to the Association to increase the amount of funding available for research. Members have responded by donating over $11,700 for research since December 2020. In 2021, the Board voted to use $8,021 of these donated funds to increase the amount available for vegetable research that year. That leaves about $3,700 in the research donations funds – $2,000 designated for vegetable research, $847.50 for small fruit research and $80.00 for potato research. These will be held an appropriate projects are identified or they are sufficient to cover an additional project.
This year’s contributions put PVGA’s funding for research over the past 35 years at $1.4 million.
The following seven vegetable projects are being funded in conjunction with the Vegetable Marketing and Research Program, which will contribute $26,000 towards the $56,275 total cost of the projects. A total of 11 proposals were received but there were insufficient funds to fund them all. The projects approved for funding with their objectives are listed below.
Evaluation of Rapid On-Farm Monitoring Tools for the In-Season and Site-Specific Management of the Fertigation in High Tunnel Vegetable Production Systems
Francesco Di Gioia – The Pennsylvania State University and Leah Fronk, Karly Ragan, Glen Bupp, Thomas Ford – Penn State Extension
– to test the efficacy of buffer solutions that can correct the pH of the soil water extract and limit interferences of the NO3-N ion-selective electrode readings. To this purpose soil samples will be collected by Extension Educators from different commercial farms characterized by different soil types. This will allow to validate and transfer the method to Extension Educators and growers.
Potential Residual Herbicide Programs in Pumpkin
Dwight Lingenfelter and John Wallace – Penn State and Lynn Sosnoskie, Cornell University
-to examine various pre and post herbicide programs in pumpkin (i.e., novel concepts vs. standards) to determine their effectiveness on weed control and to evaluate these herbicide programs on pumpkin injury and yield impact.
Evaluation of Fungicide Programs for Powdery Mildew Control in Pumpkins
Timothy Elkner – Penn State Extension and Beth Gugino – Penn State University
-To evaluate select fungicide programs for season-long powdery mildew compared to a standard commercial program as well as alternative programs that are developed based on cost. In addition, we will incorporate biorational materials such as Theia, Serifel, Aviv, etc where possible with the overall priority of maintaining yields, fruit quality and needed fungicide resistance management protocols.
-develop and evaluate at least one organic powdery mildew management program using OMRI approved fungicides.
-Develop a breakdown of fungicide program costs for the season.
Evaluation of Pyridate as an Alternative to Atrazine to Enhance Postemergence Weed Control in Sweet Corn When Tank-Mixed with HPPD-Inhibiting Herbicides
Lynn Sosnoski, Cornell University
– Describe the weed control efficacy of an atrazine alternative (pyridate, Tough EC) applied in combination with key HPPD-inhibiting herbicides.
– Compare the performance of atrazine and atrazine alternatives applied in combination with key HPPD-inhibiting herbicides.
– Determine if reduced rates of atrazine and atrazine alternatives applied in combination with key HPPD-inhibiting herbicides can produce similar levels of weed control responses across diverse weed communities and environments (Rock Springs, PA, Geneva, NY, Georgetown, DE)
Keeping PA Vegetable Growers Profitable: Statewide Cultivar Trials on Tomatoes
Elsa Sánchez – Penn State University and Robert Pollock, Timothy Elkner, Thomas Butzler, and Megan Chawner – Penn State Extension
-to evaluate early maturing, determinate, large, red, slicing tomatoes in 2023. Up to 12 cultivars and selections of early maturing, determinate, large, red, slicing tomatoes will be evaluated in a conventional plasticulture system.
Breeding Fresh-Market Tomatoes for Production in PA
Majid R. Foolad – The Pennsylvania State University
– to evaluate 87 FM large-size F1 hybrids with EB resistance.
– to evaluate 106 FM large size F1 hybrids with EB + LB resistance.
– to evaluate 325 PSU-JSS FM large size F1 co-hybrids with EB +LB resistance.
– to evaluate 27 FM plum tomato hybrids with EB and/or EB + FB resistance.
– to evaluate 93 FM grape tomato hybrids with EB and/or EB + FB resistance.
– further evaluation of elite inbred lines of FM plum tomatoes.
– continuation of a project to identify and map genes for bacterial canker resistance to be used for breeding purposes.
Breeding Processing Tomatoes for Production in PA
Majid R. Foolad – The Pennsylvania State University
– to evaluate a total of 54 PROC tomato F1 hybrids with EB resistance.
– to evaluate 62 PROC tomato F1 hybrids with EB + LB resistance.
– commercial trialing of PSU PROC tomato F1 hybrids by tomato processing/canning companies.
– development and evaluation of new inbred lines of PROC tomato with EB resistance.
– identification of new sources of genetic resistance to tomato bacterial canker and genetic mapping of resistance genes.
The following berry research proposal was approved for funding by the Board of Directors:
Survey of Plant Parasitic Nematodes Associated with the Root Systems of Blueberry and Bramble Crops in Pennsylvania
Mihail Kantor and Kathleen Demchak, Penn State University
– to identify and quantify the plant-parasitic nematodes populations associated with blueberry and bramble root systems in grower plantings.
The following vegetable research proposals were not able to be funded:
Precision Cultivation using Camera Guidance Technology in Snap Bean
John Wallace and Tosh Mazzone, Penn State University and Lynn Sosnoskie, Cornell University
Optimization of Hydroponic Lettuce Nutrition in Nutrient Flow Technique and Deep Water Culture Systems
Krystal Snyder and Elsa Sanchez, Penn State University and Carla Garzon, Delaware Valley University
Study the Impacts of Soil Aggregate Stability on Crop Nutrient Uptake and Differences between Cropping Systems and Management Practices for Growing Vegetables
Dr. Gladis Zinati – Rodale Institute
Evaluation of Rootstock-Scion Interaction and Yield Performance in Fresh-Market Tomato Grown in High-Tunnels
Timothy Elkner – Penn State Extension and and Francesco Di Gioia – The Pennsylvania State University
Reports on the vegetable research projects funded from 2009 to 2021, click here.