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Cultivar Report 12.2- Varied Leaf Trial

Posted by Dr. Natalie Bumgarner on 12/26/2012

Hydroponic lettuce production in the United States now encompasses a wide spectrum of lettuce types and cultivars. While Bibb cultivars still occupy a large percentage of the market, many growers are also seeking attractive and distinctive lettuce cultivars to meet consumer demand. Due to these factors, leafy cultivars, including looseleaf and Lollo Rossa types, are becoming more common in hydroponic greenhouses. However, many of these cultivars have been more often grown in soil based systems, and there is a need to better understand their performance in the greenhouse. Consistency in both productivity and timing is important for greenhouse growers, and seasonal conditions can have a large impact on cultivar performance. Trialing of available cultivars under differing environmental conditions as influenced by seasons is important in informing grower decisions. Important points of evaluation are germination and seedling quality as well as growth rate, yield and visual coloration. The goal of this set of trials was to evaluate a selection of leafy lettuce cultivars through a range of late fall, winter, and early spring conditions to evaluate their potential for greenhouse growers in the Midwest and northeast. Cultivars were obtained from a variety of seed suppliers to represent a broad selection of cultivars available to lettuce producers.

Cultivar Report 12.1- Butterhead Trial

Posted by Dr. Natalie Bumgarner on 11/26/2012

Hydroponic lettuce production in the United States now encompasses a wide spectrum of lettuce types and cultivars. Producers desire both attractive and distinctive crop cultivars to meet consumer demand, but consistency in both productivity and timing is still a key in the industry. Many facets of hydroponic lettuce production are impacted by seasonal conditions. One of the most important environmental impact of season is the growth rate of the plant. Growth rate is the driver of productivity and determines crop timing and the number of crops a grower can produce each year. Additionally, crop quality aspects, such as coloration and physiological defects (tipburn) are often influenced by seasonal conditions. Therefore, trialing of available varieties under differing environmental conditions as influenced by seasons are important in informing grower decisions. The goal of this set of trials was to evaluate a selection of bibb lettuce cultivars through a range of late summer to mid-winter conditions to evaluate their potential for growers producing fall to winter. Cultivars were obtained from a variety of seed suppliers to represent a broad selection of bibb cultivars available to US lettuce producers.

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