A Lincoln University researcher is training extension educators on emerging plant grafting expertise and the relevant physiology. Sanjun Gu is a State Horticulture Specialist with an extension/analysis appointment coping with commercial vegetable and small fruit production at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO. His analysis interests embody vegetable grafting, vegetable production in excessive-tunnels and the opposite kinds of photo voltaic plastic greenhouses, and new selection trials. His present emphasis consists of the testing of latest varieties and grafting of tomatoes and watermelons for top yield and improved high quality. Using grafting, Gu has been fusing scions (young shoots) with resistant root stocks to handle soil-borne diseases. Gu wanted to conduct a series of grafting workshops and subject tours for educators from extension, authorities, and other businesses. In 2008, he applied for a NCR-SARE Professional Development Grant, and he was awarded $61,837 to conduct the work. â€œVegetable grafting has been practiced for a few years in some Asian and European nations,â€ said Gu. Researchers around the world have demonstrated that grafting young shoots on resistent rootstocks can protect plants towards quite a lot of soil-borne diseases in various climates and situations.
Worldwide use of grafting has been used to battle corky root rot, root-knot nematodes, bacterial wilt, southern blight, and Verticillium and Fusarium wilt. â€œGrafted tomatoes/vegetables are resistant to some essential soil-borne diseases, and are often cold hardy and vigorous,â€ mentioned Gu. â€œThis technique, however, is new to most agricultural professionals in the United States. Guâ€™s workshops and tours focused on tomato, watermelon, cucumber, and different vegetable grafting. He shared the history and physiology of vegetable grafting, grafting strategies together with rootstock and scion selection, numerous grafting methods, acclimation of grafts, and administration of grafted transplants, automated grafting, the economics of vegetable grafting, and carried out a tour and demonstration of vegetable production with grafted transplants. Gu was able to ship grafting know-how data to horticultural educators in Missouri and neighboring states. He says more than 80% of the participating educators have performed at least one grafting workshop to vegetable farmers. â€œThis venture provides farmers with nonchemical choices in managing (soil-borne) diseases,â€ mentioned Gu. â€œThis is a good deal in sustainable vegetable farming as a result of the enhanced illness resistance and cold hardiness of vegetable crops could finally lead to enhanced crop productiveness and profitability. View a presentation on this venture, from the 2012 Farmers Forum, via NCR-SARE’s YouTube playlist.