Navigation Links
A win-win: U-pick pumpkin farms recycle urban leaves
Date:12/29/2008

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJAmericans love pumpkins. The growing popularity of rural fall festivals, grade school farm tours, and "u-pick" pumpkin farms has resulted in an increase in consumer demand for pumpkins throughout the country. A critical challenge for pumpkin farmers promoting entertainment agriculture, or "agritourism", is maintaining fields that are weed-free, attractive, and safe for consumers. To keep up with the increasing popularity of pick-your-own pumpkin operations, farmers are constantly seeking ways to produce marketable pumpkins while maintaining u-pick fields that are enticing for consumers, even during inclement autumn weather.

Using leaf mulch collected from urban areas may help improve quality and field conditions of u-pick pumpkin operations while providing a cost-effective method to recycle leaves. During 2005 and 2006, researchers Christian Wyenandt, Joseph R. Heckman, and Nancy Maxwell from the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, conducted experiments comparing different production systems on pumpkin yield and fruit quality. According the researchers, "the studies revealed that applying municipal leaves to the soil surface exhibited a marked advantage over bare soil in producing clean pumpkin fruit. In both years, the percentage of clean fruit at harvest was higher in both leaf mulch production systems compared with bare soil."

Cities and towns seeking a cost-effective method to dispose of collected leaves can also benefit from the study. In New Jersey alone, five million cubic yards of leaves are collected each year by local municipalities for composting or use on farms. State regulations prohibit disposing of leaves in landfills or locally burning leaves. A 1994 study of New Jersey municipalities and farm operators indicated that on-farm mulching had the potential to reduce the cost of municipal leaf management while providing organic matter to the soil and monetary incentives to the farmers through fees (averaging $3.00 per yard) paid by municipalities.

The scientists noted the benefits of the research to both farmers and taxpayers, stating; "Small farm operators near urban areas can apply autumn leaves collected from municipal shade trees to help maintain attractive fields, maintain suitable soil conditions for consumers, improve the cleanliness of u-pick pumpkins, and improve overall soil health with the addition of organic matter to the soil." And municipalities seeking environmentally safe and cost-effective methods of leaf disposal can work with u-pick pumpkin operators to create solutions that work for producers, local governments, and consumers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Skewered pumpkins
2. Turning freshwater farm ponds into crab farms
3. Fish farms drive wild salmon populations toward extinction
4. The power of multiples: Connecting wind farms can make a more reliable - and cheaper - power source
5. Breast cancer cells recycle to escape death by hormonal therapy
6. The physics of star-forming clouds and the urban environment
7. Urban trees enhance water infiltration
8. Networks of small habitat patches can preserve urban biodiversity
9. UC Riverside scientist to explore how vegetation affects urban heat islands
10. Study: urban black bears live fast, die young
11. UMCES-led research team quantifies nutrient pollution reductions from urban stream restoration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A win-win: U-pick pumpkin farms recycle urban leaves
(Date:3/21/2016)... -- Unique technology combines v ...   Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... communications services, today announced it is working alongside SpeechPro ... particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, the ability ... a mobile app, alongside, and in combination with, traditional ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... 2016 Yissum Research Development Company of ... of the Hebrew University, announced today the formation of ... of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed ... private investors. ... of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 ... market research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology (Pattern ... and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), by ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected ... USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... of cannabis testing technology at the Spring 2016 Marijuana Business Conference and Expo. ... pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and more. Expo attendees can stop by booth ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... mobile devices with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, ... ways consumers are interacting with biometrics technology today. But if they asked ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. , April 27, ... ) announced today that Martine Rothblatt , Ph.D., ... provide an overview and update on the company,s business ... Care Conference. The presentation will take place ... Time, and can be accessed via a live webcast ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Clark has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. Mr. Clark was ... collaborations and managing the development of small molecule monographs based on analytical methods. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: