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Pumpkin Production Systems: Understanding Supplemental Nitrogen Needs And Increasing Profitability Through Black Plastic Mulch And Transplants

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Abstract

The goals of the studies presented in this thesis were to maximize profitability for pumpkin growers by testing new cropping systems and ensuring efficient use of nitrogen fertilizer and to better understand nitrogen needs in pumpkin production. Current nitrogen recommendations and application methods were tested and cropping systems using black plastic mulch and transplants were examined. Added nitrogen showed no effect on marketable yield in both years of the study. Changes in application timing through fertigation showed no effects on yield. In the cropping systems study economic analysis was conducted; direct seed into plastic mulch, transplant into bare ground, and transplant into plastic mulch were found to increase profits by 41%, 44%, and 34% per hectare, respectively when compared to direct seed into bare ground. Use of transplants significantly increased fruit number in three of four planting dates, presence of mulch also increased fruit number in three of four plantings.   ii

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2013-05-26

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Cucurbita pepo; nitrogen; cropping systems

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Committee Chair

Reiners, Stephen

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Rickard, Bradley J.
Wien, Hans Christian

Degree Discipline

Horticultural Biology

Degree Name

M.S., Horticultural Biology

Degree Level

Master of Science

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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