SALISBURY, MD--Dr. Samuel Geleta, a lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences at Salisbury State University, in collaboration with Dr. Russell Brinsfield and Ron Mulford of the University of Maryland, Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center, have just been awarded a three-year research grant of $77,000 as part of the Nutrient Reduction Grant Program by the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The research, "Phosphorus Management in Major Vegetable Crops Grown on the High Phosphorus Soils of the Maryland Eastern Shore," will focus on the impact of soil and fertilizer phosphorus levels on the yield and quality of watermelon and sweet corn. Field experiments will be conducted at the University of Maryland Vegetable Research Farm located at the Lower Eastern Shore Research and Extension Center on Nanticoke Road.
Results of the experiment will provide information on optimum phosphorus application rates for high quality and yield of watermelon and sweet corn in high phosphorus soil, and the possible environmental benefits of cover crop and removal of residual soil phosphorus by agronomic crops grown after vegetable crops. Also, reduction of soil phosphorus levels through the use of cropping systems will be evaluated in order to reduce potential phosphorus runoff from vegetable fields.
The grant is one of seven others awarded this year by the Maryland Department of the Environment to researchers around the state investigating methods for the control of nutrient run-off into Maryland waterways.