Vegetable Grafting Training for Agricultural Professionals

Final Report for ENC08-102

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2008: $61,837.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Sanjun Gu
North Carolina A&T State University
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Project Information

Abstract:

Within the last three years, 44 grafting related presentations were delivered by the program coordinator. Over 34 grafting workshops were organized by the program coordinator and educators that received initial training. This project has reached to over 3016 farmers, master gardeners, extension educators and other agriculture professional. Among them, 445 are educators. Horticultural professionals in Missouri and some neighboring states now have a thorough understanding of the history and physiology of vegetable grafting; grafting techniques including rootstock and scion selection, various grafting methods, acclimation of grafts, and management of grafted transplants; grafting Robots; and the economics of vegetable grafting. Tomato grafting has been widely accepted by high tunnel vegetable growers. More than 75% farmers who participated grafting workshops have tried grafting tomato or other fruiting vegetables on their farm.

Project Objectives:

The objective of the project was to offer a tow-day workshop on Solanum (tomato, pepper and eggplant) and Cucurbit (watermelon and cucumber) grafting. Over 50% Participating educators should offer similar training in their service area.

Introduction:

Vegetable grafting has been successfully practiced in many Asian and European countries for production of high value vegetable crops in greenhouse and various plastic-houses including high tunnels. By choosing appropriate rootstocks, grafted vegetables will be resistant to some critical soil-borne diseases, cold resistant, and vigorous. This technique, however, is new to most agricultural professionals in the United States. There is a need to train educators in this area, especially for vegetable production in high tunnels and solar greenhouses, which offer seasonal extension and save energies.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • James Quinn

Education & Outreach Initiatives

Objective:
Description:

Methods

Program coordinator offers face-to-face training to educators on various aspects of vegetable grafting. Program coordinator conducts grafting trials in high tunnels. Tours of grafted vegetables on participating farms and university research farm. Educators offer similar trainings to farmers in their service counties.

Outreach and Publications

Four abstracts on grafted tomatoes were published at HortScience. Six newsletter articles were published. Articles on the introduction of vegetable grafting and grafting methods were published in the Lincoln University’ ISFOP Newsletters.

Two presentations were given at the 2012 NCR-SARE Farmers Forum at the National Small Farm Trade Show & Conference in Columbia, Missouri. Videos of these can be viewed online through NCR-SARE’s YouTube channel. Copy the following URLs and paste them into your browser to view the desired video:
Tomato Vegetable Grafting
https://youtu.be/W0WRLn_QQQo?list=PLQLK9r1ZBhhEGdL7uvTM8P0AzdBnksONr
Research Update
https://youtu.be/Z01dfV0B2ZU?list=PLQLK9r1ZBhhEGdL7uvTM8P0AzdBnksONr

Outcomes and impacts:

This project has reached over 3016 farmers, master gardeners, extension educators and other agriculture professional. Among them, 445 are educators. Horticultural professionals in Missouri and some neighboring states now have a thorough understanding of the history and physiology of vegetable grafting; grafting techniques including rootstock and scion selection, various grafting methods, acclimation of grafts, and management of grafted transplants; grafting Robots; and the economics of vegetable grafting. Tomato grafting has been widely accepted by high tunnel vegetable growers. More than 75% farmers who participated grafting workshops have tried grafting tomato or other fruiting vegetables on their farm.

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:

(1)The major training of a two-day vegetable grafting workshop was conducted in Jefferson City, Missouri. Forty-five trainees from University of Missouri, Lincoln University of Missouri, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri State University, Kansas State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and University of Illinois received the vegetable grafting training and participated in the tour on grafted vegetable crops grown in Greenhouse. (2) Program Coordinator made over 40 presentations on vegetable grafting at grafting workshops, Great Plains Growers Conferences, Southeast watermelon Conferences, National Small Farm Forum and Conference, Great Lakes Expo, Illinois Specialty Crops Conference, Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference, and The American Society of Horticultural Sciences Conferences. The presentations reached over 3016 audiences including 445 agriculture professionals. (3) Over 34 vegetable grafting workshops were (co)offered to farmers and master gardeners by educators participated in the initial 2-day vegetable grafting workshop. (4) A 30’x96’ high tunnel was constructed for vegetable grafting education and demonstration. (5) A high definition DVD on grafting is being developed (but not published) covering various grafting methods.

Recommendations:

Potential Contributions

By adopting the grafting technology, farmers have the potential to reduce pesticide use, increase yield and produce quality, and increase farm income.

Future Recommendations

More research on rootstocks and soil fertility management of grafted vegetables should be conducted.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.