Source: MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
HORTICULTURAL CROP PRODUCTION
Sponsoring Institution
State Agricultural Experiment Station
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0178222
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
MONB00804
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 1998
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2008
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Callan, N. W.
Recipient Organization
MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
BOZEMAN,MT 59717
Performing Department
WESTERN AGRI RES CENTER
Non Technical Summary
Many small-to-medium sized Montana agricultural producers are turning to high-value essential oil crops and medicinal and culinary herbs to diversify their farming operations and increase income in the face of declining returns for traditional commodities. There is currently little information available regarding cultural practices for specialty crops grown in Montana's climate. The purpose of this research is to provide agricultural producers with information about production practices for specialty crops in Montana. Biological plant disease control is emphasized.
Animal Health Component
75%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
75%
Developmental
25%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2052235102050%
2052299102025%
2152231110225%
Goals / Objectives
Objective 1. To develop value-added specialty horticultural crops for Western Montana. Objective 2. To develop strategies for the reduction of diseases caused by soilborne plant pathogens, with an emphasis on biological control methods.
Project Methods
Objective 1. To develop value-added specialty horticultural crops for Western Montana. Culinary, medicinal, and essential oil crops will be evaluated in replicated field plots for suitability for production in western Montana. Cultural practices will be developed for large-scale production of greenhouse nursery seedlings colonized by mycorrhizal fungi. Objective 2. To develop strategies for the reduction of diseases caused by soilborne plant pathogens, with an emphasis on biological control methods. Methods for control of peppermint stolon decay will be developed. Pathogens will be isolated from peppermint plant tissues, and biocontrol and fungicide efficacy in new and established peppermint plantings will be evaluated. Biological control agents will be introduced on peppermint planting material at the time of field establishment.

Progress 10/01/98 to 09/30/08

Outputs
Specialty culinary, medicinal, and essential oil crops were evaluated for suitability for small farming operations in the climate of western Montana. Replicated plot studies were conducted at the Western Agricultural Research Center to determine productivity, quality, agronomic suitability, and optimum cultural practices for a variety of specialty crops, including anise, basil, calendula, caraway, German chamomile, coriander, Clary sage, coffee chicory, dill, fennel, feverfew, 'Omega' flax, fenugreek, garlic, lemon balm, lavender, parsley, peppermint, plantain psyllium, sage, skullcap, summer savory, thyme, teff, valerian, yarrow, purple coneflower, narrow-leaved purple coneflower, and pallid coneflower. The effects of plant density and harvest maturity on dill (Anethum graveolens) essential oil yield and composition were determined and agronomic recommendations were made. The effects of plant density and seasonal trend on cichoric acid content of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) roots, inflorescences, and foliage was studied. The allicin content of four garlic cultivars was measured under varying nitrogen and sulfur soil fertility. The effects of plant density, harvest date, and nitrogen management were determined for teff.

Impacts
Producers of specialty horticultural crops and value-added products will benefit from production guidelines developed through this research.

Publications

  • Callan, N., Yokelson, T., Wall-MacLane, S., Westcott, M., Miller, J., and Ponder, G. 2005. Seasonal trends and plant density effects on cichoric acid in Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench. J. Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants 11:35-46.
  • Callan, N. W., Johnson, D. L., Westcott, M. P., and Welty, L. E. 2007. Herb and oil composition of dill (Anethum graveolens L.): effects of crop maturity and plant density. Ind. Crops Prod. 25:282-287.


Progress 01/01/05 to 12/31/05

Outputs
The specialty crops teff and fenugreek were evaluated at the Western Agricultural Research Center (WARC) in 2005. Teff is an annual forage grass that is attracting interest as a high-quality horse hay. Teff seeding rates and nitrogen fertility practices were evaluated under irrigation. A seeding rate of 3.4, 5.0, or 6.7 kg/ha resulted in a corresponding increase in plant population without affecting dry matter yield or crop lodging. All seeding rates resulted in about 6.7 mt/ha dry matter. No advantage of additional N after the first 67 kg/ha increment was seen, but higher rates of N resulted in a significant increase in lodging. Fenugreek, an annual legume, produces foliage and seeds with a maple-syrup aroma. Fenugreek has been difficult to grow at WARC because of root rot disease and a lack of nitrogen-fixing nodulation. None of the six Rhizobium strains from the National Rhizobium Culture Collection, Beltsville MD, or the one commercial product tested promoted the development of root nodules.

Impacts
Producers of specialty horticultural crops and value-added products will benefit from production guidelines developed through this research.

Publications

  • Callan, N., Yokelson, T., Wall-MacLane, S., Westcott, M., Miller, J., and Ponder, G. 2005. Cultivation methods influencing cichoric acid in Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench. J. Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants 11:35-46.
  • Wang, H., Chang, K. F., Hwang, S. F., Turnbull, G. D., Howard, R. J., Blade, S. F. and Callan, N. W. 2005. Fusarium root rot of coneflower seedlings and integrated control using Trichoderma and fungicides. BioControl 50:317-329.


Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

Outputs
Value-added and specialty crops were evaluated for adaptation to western Montana. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) plant density and soil fertility trials were repeated in 2004. Nodulation by nitrogen-fixing bacteria was limited, and 45-90 kg N/ha was optimal for forage production. Fenugreek seed production was not affected by nitrogen application. Fungicides were evaluated for control of Phoma blight on dill (Anethum graveolens). The effect of mineral nutrition on mycorrhizal colonization of greenhouse-grown native plants was investigated.

Impacts
Producers of specialty horticultural crops and value-added products will benefit from production guidelines developed through this research.

Publications

  • Yang, Y., K. F. Chang, S. F. Hwang, N. W. Callan, R. J. Howard, and S. F. Blade. 2004. Biological control of Pythium damping-off in Echinacea angustifolia with Trichoderma species. Zeitschrift fur Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz 111:126-136.


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
Value-added products and specialty horticultural crops that can be grown in western Montana were investigated. Cultural practices for lavender production were studied. The effects of nitrogen fertility and plant density on Lady lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) flower stalk production was determined. Lavender production was not increased by nitrogen application, but winter survival was greater at high plant density. Munstead and Hidcote lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) were better adapted to western Montana than was Provence (Lavandula x intermedia). Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) was evaluated as a flavoring for equine feed products. The response of fenugreek dry matter production to plant density, nitrogen fertility, and legume inoculant was determined. Seeding rates of 14, 20, 25, 30, and 35 kg/ha were tested, with the greatest dry matter produced at 20 kg/ha or above. Plants responded positively to increasing nitrogen application, up to the maximum rate of 135 kg N/ha. All inoculants resulted in sparse nodulation, with no effect on plant growth.

Impacts
Producers of specialty horticultural crops and value-added products will benefit from production guidelines developed through this research.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/02 to 12/31/02

Outputs
Dill (Anethum graveolens) can be grown for essential oil production in western Montana, but information regarding optimal cultural practices for this crop is lacking. Dill planting dates, harvest dates, and nitrogen rates were evaluated for a second year at the Western and Northwestern Agricultural Research Centers. Harvest date had a greater effect on dill oil yield and quality than did planting date or nitrogen application. Fungicides were tested for control of the dill blight fungal disease caused by Passalora punctum (Cercosporidium punctum). Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) plant density studies were conducted for a second year. A density of 10.8 plants per square meter resulted in smaller roots than did 5.4 plants per square meter, but yield of dry roots per hectare was significantly greater at the higher density. Essential oils from replicated plots of lavender, marjoram, yarrow, summer savory, and Roman chamomile were steam distilled.

Impacts
Growers of specialty essential oil and herb crops will benefit from production guidelines developed through this research.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
Research involving the culture of specialty essential oil crops and medicinal and culinary herbs was conducted in 2001 at the Western Agricultural Research Center (WARC), with an emphasis on dill (Anethum graveolens) grown for essential oil production. Studies were conducted to determine the optimum planting date, harvest date, planting rate and pattern, and nitrogen fertility of dill in western Montana. Planting date and harvest maturity had the greatest influence on dill oil yield and carvone content. Control of the dill blight fungal disease caused by Passalora puncta was evaluated at two locations in western Montana. Plant density studies were conducted with German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and valerian (Valeriana officinalis). `Barnapoli' rape (Brassica napus), a forage brassica, was evaluated for its suitability for inclusion in organic farming systems at the WARC and at four organic farms in western and eastern Montana. Previous research had found that the uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur by a subsequent barley crop was increased when forage brassicas were soil-incorporated as a green manure. Effects on nutrient uptake by the succeeding rotational crop will be assessed.

Impacts
Many small-to-medium sized Montana agricultural producers are turning to specialty essential oil crops and medicinal and culinary herbs to diversify their farming operations and increase returns. There is currently little information available to them regarding cultural practices for Montana's climate. Growers of specialty crops will benefit by utilizing cultural recommendations derived from this research.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/00 to 12/31/00

Outputs
Specialty horticultural crops, including medicinal and culinary herbs and essential oil crops, were evaluated for adaptation to western Montana. Many specialty crops were found to produce good yields of high quality, but market development is needed for most of these crops. In 2000, studies were conducted on dill grown for essential oil. Dill plants compensated for low plant density by producing larger primary umbels, while oil yield and carvone content did not differ across plant densities at the Western Agricultural Research Center or at the Northwestern Agricultural Research Center. Twenty-three dill accessions from the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station were evaluated for susceptibility to dill blight caused by Passalora puncta. None of the accessions were less susceptible to dill blight than the most commonly grown cultivar, Long Island Mammoth. Seed germination studies conducted with Echinacea angustifolia showed the response to temperature and stratification treatment and the effect of light during germination. Flower harvest of Echinacea angustifolia had no effect on subsequent root growth.

Impacts
Declining prices for traditional commodities have caused many Montana producers to turn to other crops, such as medicinal and culinary herbs and essential oil crops. Production potential, cultural practice, and quality information provided to growers and potential growers through this research helps to reduce the risks inherent in specialty crop production.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/99 to 12/31/99

Outputs
Replicated plots of 25 species of culinary and medicinal herbs and essential oil crops were evaluated at the Western Agricultural Research Center in 1999 for adaptation to the climate of western Montana. Productivity and essential oil yield were measured. The impact of the spotted knapweed biocontrol insect Cyphocleonus achates is enhanced by plant infection with Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. We wished to identify other endemic fungal pathogens that would work in conjunction with biocontrol insects but lack the broad host range of S. sclerotiorum. During 1998-1999, 66 fungal isolates were isolated from unhealthy or dying knapweed plants in areas in which C. achates and Agapeta zoegana had been released. Pathogenicity tests were conducted in the laboratory and greenhouse, and seven fungal isolates were selected in the fall of 1998 for a pilot trial in the field. The test involved three Fusarium sp. strains, three strains of Sclerotinia minor, and two unidentified fungi. The highest level of mortality was with S. minor #503. No plants died in the control plots. Sclerotia appear to be the best form for delivery, but sclerotia produced in culture do not germinate readily. Germination of sclerotia is necessary for plant infection with an applied inoculum. Cycles of freezing and thawing, which simulate winter conditions, increased germination of sclerotia of both S. sclerotiorum and S. minor.

Impacts
Many agricultural producers are seeking high-value crops to supplement income from traditional farming. Several culinary and medicinal herbs and essential oil crops may be suitable for production in western Montana. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and S. minor may be useful for biocontrol of spotted knapweed in sites such as grass pastures or turf.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period