• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Cover
 Title Page
 Foreword
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Production in the United State...
 Production in Florida
 Origin of lettuce
 Factors in production
 Packing and containers
 Marketing
 Leading producing states
 Terminal markets
 Foreign trade
 Diseases and control
 Insect enemies and their contr...
 1940-41 acreage, production and...
 References














Group Title: Bulletin. New Series
Title: Iceberg lettuce
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002894/00001
 Material Information
Title: Iceberg lettuce the story of Florida's decline and recovery as a winter lettuce producing state
Series Title: Bulletin. New Series
Physical Description: 59 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Writers' Program (Fla.)
University of Florida
Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: State of Florida, Board of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee <Fla.>
Publication Date: <1941>
 Subjects
Subject: Lettuce industry -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 59.
General Note: "Compiled by workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Florida"--p. 3
General Note: Sponsored by the University of Florida, Gainesville.
General Note: "October 1941."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002894
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001962970
oclc - 15556609
notis - AKD9647
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Cover
        Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Foreword
        Foreword
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Introduction
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Production in the United States
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Production in Florida
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Origin of lettuce
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Factors in production
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Packing and containers
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Marketing
        Page 38
    Leading producing states
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Terminal markets
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Foreign trade
        Page 47
    Diseases and control
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Insect enemies and their control
        Page 54
        Page 55
    1940-41 acreage, production and prices
        Page 56
        Page 57
    References
        Page 58
Full Text
Bulletin 110 New Series October 1941
ICEBERG I LETTUCE I
The Story of Florida's Decline and Recovery As a Winter Lettuce Producing State
STATE OF FLORIDA BOARD OF AGRICULTURE NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner Tallahassee 1941


Bulletin 110 New Series_October 1941
ICEBERG LETTUCE
The Story of Florida's Decline and Recovery As a Winter Lettuce Producing State
STATE OF FLORIDA BOARD OF AGRICULTURE NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner Tallahassee 1941


Compiled by workers of the Writers' Program
of the
Work Projects Administration in the State of Florida
; UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
State-wide Sponsor of the Florida Writer's Project
FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY
JOHN M. CARMODY, Administrator
WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION
HOWARD 0. HUNTER, Commissioner
FLORENCE KERR, Assistant Commissioner
WILBUR E. I-IARKNESS, State Administrator


FOREWORD
In 1920 Florida grew and shipped one-fifth of the lettuce grown in the United States. Practically all of it was the Big Boston, or butter-head type. With the introduction of the crisphead Iceberg type, perfected in California's Imperial Valley, which won immediate popularity, demand for the local product dropped from more than 3,000 carloads annually to less than 300. Nearly two decades of study, research, and experiment were required to find a lettuce of the Iceberg type definitely adapted to commercial production in the State. The story of this outstanding agricultural achievement is aptly told here.
Today Florida is once more established as a lettuce producing State, with a ready market at home and relatively close Northern markets.
Especial credit is due Maxwell Hunter and Lindsay Bryan of the Writers' Project staff who, with the cooperation of local growers and shippers, and consultants at the Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Florida, compiled the greater part of this bulletin.
ROLLA A. SOUTHWORTH CARITA DOGGETT CORSE
State Director State Supervisor
Community Service Programs Florida Writers' Project
WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION


CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION .................................................................. 7
RISE OF ICEBERG LETTUCE ........................................ 9
DECLINE IN FLORIDA .................................................... 10
SEASONAL CLASSIFICATION ........................................ 11
PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES .................. 14
PRODUCTION IN FLORIDA ............................................ 16
ORIGIN OF LETTUCE ...................................................... 18
TYPES AND VARIETIES .................................................. 18
Crisphead Butterhead Cos Leaf
EARLY EXPERIMENTS AND RESULTS .................... 18
1940-41 CROP AND NEW PROBLEMS ........................ 23
FACTORS IN PRODUCTION ............................................ 23
Climate .......................................................................... 26
Soil .................................................................................. 26
Seed ................................................................................ 27
Seedbeds ........................................................................ 28
Fertilization .................................................................. 30
Planting .......................................................................... 31
Cultivating .................................................................... 32
Harvesting ................................................-................... 33
PACKING AND CONTAINERS ........................................ 34
SHIPPING ............................................................................ 35
RADIO WORD PICTURE .................................................. 33
MARKETING ........................................................................ 38
Grading .......................................................................... 38
LEADING PRODUCING STATES .................................... 39
TERMINAL MARKETS .................................................... 42
FOREIGN TRADE .............................................................. 47
DISEASES AND CONTROL .............................................. 48
PESTS .................................................................................... 54
1940-41 ACREAGE, PRODUCTION AND PRICES ...... 56
REFERENCES ...................................................................... 59


ICEBERG LETTUCE
INTRODUCTION
After a long absence. Florida has again joined the ranks of winter lettuce-producing states. This factual statement, however, conveys little idea of the dismay that accompanied the State's exit from this profitable market nor the disheartening results that pursued its struggles to regain it. It took nearly 20 years to complete the cycle; years at first devoted to trying to keep alive an outmoded vegetable, then more years of striving to find something to take its place. And, at last success, only to discover that in the meantime lettuce production had mushroomed from wholesale vegetable growing to a highly organized industry of enormous proportions, involving many new problems.
To discuss such a prosaic commodity as lettuce in terms of drama suggests rhetorical indulgence, but Florida's experience with this product records a story of near tragedy. At one time the State shipped thousands of carloads of lettuce to Northern markets but at the crest of this prosperity Its growers belatedly discovered that a creeping blightnot a disease, but a change in lettuce stylehad come along to destroy a carefully fostered enterprise. Like many other things, it was learned, even lettuce could undergo evolution and early in the 1920's Big Boston, the old salad stand-by grown in Florida, found itself confronted with a vigorous competitor called "Iceberg."
Florida growers fought to maintain the popularity of Big Boston but it was a losing fight. They branded the new crisphead lettuce a first cousin to cabbage, to which it was not even remotely related; they called it a fad, and they organized to publicize the virtues of the old standard product and restore it to favor. But it was no go. This upstart competitor had eye appeal and other virtues of its own that could not be discounted. It not only captured the lettuce market of the country, but it won converts by the thousands to the use of lettuce.
People had begun to hear about the importance of vitamins and the producers did not fail to let it bo known that Iceberg lettuce was rich in these essentials. That accounted for more consumption but it was appearance


and quality of the new type that lifted lettuce from a minor position among the salad crops to the second biggest vegetable industry in America.
Meanwhile, as the fame of and the demand for Iceberg lettuce spread, Florida's market shrank. As thousands of carloads were added to the annual production of Iceberg, mostly from California, the demand for Florida's Big Boston dropped to mere hundreds and eventually to zero. When it was finally realized that the only hope for Florida was to get into the Iceberg business, the prospect was even more bleak than that presented by a vanishing market. The very name "Iceberg" seemed to indicate that it could not be grown in a balmy climate, and initial experiments as far back as 1920 bore out this assumption in a most discouraging manner. Instead of heads these plantings produced only seed stocks.
Afterward it was learned that this was in a measure due to applying Big Boston fertilizing practices, that is, forcing growth by the use of ammonia instead of holding it in check with potash as was necessary to allow proper maturing. The real trouble, however, was that when these experiments began, the types of Iceberg lettuce suitable for Florida had not yet been developed, and were not to make their appearance for more than a decade. It was not until 1936 that the first of these was evolved, and was swift and gratifying.
By the season of 1938-39 experiments had emerged into 300 acres of commercial plantings, mostly in the Manatee River area. The following season the figure moved up to 1,100 acres which took in the Manatee River, Sanford, and Weirsdale areas. In 1940-41 plantings jumped to more than 6,000 acres, a figure far in excess of the Big Boston peak days. By then the Okeechobee muck lands had come into the picture, along with many other localities, on a lesser scale.
A bit of irony connected with Florida's recovery as a lettuce producer is that it was through efforts to save the industry from destruction by disease in California that the types suitable for Florida were produced. And so it was that the State which had virtually eliminated Florida as a competitor was to indirectly restore it to its former importance.


Th? lettuce types which were to benefit Florida cams from the tedious process of cross-pollenizing and selection and were the product largely of the genius of one man, the late Dr. Ivan C. Jagger.
That variety of Iceberg lettuce best suited to Florida was first grown by a farm demonstration agent, Mr. C. M. Berry. Seminole County. Mr. Ivan Jagger, a plant pathologist of the National Department of Agriculture, was located at that time in Sanford. He carried on experiments for three years on Mr. Berry's farm about 12 years ago. He was offered a better position in California and went there to carry on the same experiments. After several seasons of trial at different altitudes and on different soils he produced a variety that he thought would suit Florida, and sent a small package of seed to Mr. Berry, at Sanford. From this small package has come the Iceberg lettuce of Florida today.
RISE OF ICEBERG
Lettuce has been a major American vegetable crop with more than 50,000 carloads going to market annually since 192S. In 1936, a banner year, it produced an income in excess of $30,000,000. Only potatoes and sweet potatoes combined yielded a larger sum. In 1939 more than 52,000 carloads were shipped, to which total Florida contributed practically nothing: for by then the public with great unanimity bad turned from Florida's Big Boston butterhead lettuce, and the State was left with only a limited outlet, because most of this type was sold out of the State and not to local markets.
In 1920 Florida, occupying second place among the States, supplied about one-fifth of the carload shipments to national markets and California was producing around 72 per cent, and Arizona, which bad long ago passed Florida, 21 per cent, while Florida now contributed but half of one per cent.
Moreover, Florida was importing at least two carloads of lettuce for every one it exported. From a peak of 3,310 carloads in 1922, the State's decline was steep and continuous, dropping to 247 carloads in 1939. practically all Big Boston. This same year California and Arizona, Florida's only important seasonal competitors, jointly shipped 49,126 carloads of Iceberg. Lettuce had become


California's second largest agricultural industry, exceeded only by oranges.
DECLINE IN FLORIDA
By 1930 Florida was well on the way out. Shipments for the entire country by then had climbed to the amazing total of 55,628 carloads, with California furnishing 37,450 and Arizona 9,575. Florida provided only 599. Between 1930 and 1939 national shipments fluctuated between the 55,628 peak of 1930, and 52,416 total of 1939, with California continuing to climb. In 1939 that State alone supplied 37,943 carloads. Meanwhile, Arizona had jumped from 254 carloads in 1920 to 11,183 in 1939, while Florida shipped but 247 carloads, or less than half of one per cent.
This precipitous change in Florida's position, brought about by its two main competitors. California and Arizona, is reflected in the following table of carload shipments:
TABLE 1
Year
Florida
(cars)
California
Arizona
United States
(cars)
(cars)
(cars)
1920 1921 1922 1923 192 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 193G 1937 1938 1939
2.940 2,267 3,310 3,146 2,257 1,519 987 929 819 935 599 914 297 509 354 374 270 337 323 247
7,358 9,850 9,744 15,113 18,480 21,618 27,443 27,574 33,457 35,687 37,450 35,643 32,915 31,335 34,095 31,502 35,074 35,611 29,844 37,943
12,354 11,717 12,804 10,766 11,183
254 168 678 1,108 2.049 3,519 4.906 9,131 9,228 7,850 9,575 6,148 8,203 6,646 6,055
13,788 18,738 22,240 29,485 30.935 37,308 42,207 46.850 51,504 53,234 55.628 49,890 46,681 42,769 44,158 46,999 49,445 51,317 43,475 52,416
id


However, after IS years of study, research, and experiment, started in 1920, Florida found an Iceberg lettuce definitely adaptable to commercial production; an achievement, incidentally, which is said to be one of the State's most important agricultural developments in the past quarter-century. So with a ready market at home and relatively close Eastern markets, Florida resumed lettuce growing with these advantages over its distant competitors, California's Imperial Valley, and Arizona. The Eastern terminal markets, large and steady consumers of carload shipments, are only three days by rail or truck from Florida, thus insuring lower icing and shipping charges.
Iceberg lettuce, however, is not a bonanza for inexperienced growers. While good potential profits are reasonably assured, authoritative information is essential and the intending grower would do well to consult with his local County Agent and other reliable sources as to proper seed, soil treatment and cultivation methods. It is also desirable to understand marketing methods and Florida's seasonal position in national competition.
SEASONAL CLASSIFICATION
In government reports, lettuce production has been given five seasonal crop classifications, to-wit: Early, second-early, intermediate, first-late and second-late, according to the time the lettuce moves to market. All five overlap, however, making lettuce available for distribution every month in the year.
Early Lettuce: This is a winter crop marketed from November through March, and is in the classification into which most of the Florida crop falls. With the exception of Florida's supply, practically all other early lettuce is produced in the Imperial Valley of California and the Yuma sections of Arizona. Shipments from the Imperial Valley usually start the latter part of November and continue to about April 1. Florida ships the bulk of its crop from December to April. Texas ships a few cars during December and January.
Second-Early: This spring crop moves from March to June, mainly from the central district of California and the Salt River and Yuma districts of Arizona.


Intermediate: A summer crop marketed from May-through July that comes principally from Washington and New Jersey with a little from Idaho, Oregon, and Virginia. It is the smallest of the group commercially.
Late: This crop is divided into two groups, first-late and second-late. The first-late is shipped in July and August, most of it from the central district of California, with lesser amounts from Colorado, New Mexico, New York, and Pennsylvania. The second-late reaches the market from September to December, the bulk again coming from California, with some from Idaho, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington.
Percentage of annual production by seasons, over a 10-year period 1929-1938 was:
Early .............................................. 26 per cent
Second-early ................................ 28 per cent
Intermediate ................................ 5 per cent
First-late ...................................... 19 per cent
Second-late .................................. 22 per cent
California and Arizona predominated in the early and second-early groups; Washington in the comparatively small intermediate group, and California again in the late groups.
Sources, seasons, varieties and principal markets are shown in Table No. 2 below:


State Shippln] Season Types and Varieties Principal Markets
Arizona November to April Iceberg: Imperial Not, IS!, SIS, 13, and New York No, 11 Large cltlei In practically all states ami Canada,
(Calfornian Imperial Valley December to March Iceberg: Imperial Noi, (III, 13,25(1, ami IU1. do.
Other Districts April to December Iceberg: Imperial Not, 815,152, Ifl, and D and F, and New York No, 515. Iceberg: Imperial Not III, \{ and (fill, Big Boston and mine romalne, do. and Lot Angeles and other cities In California and Central and East-em States _
Florida November to March New York City and other large cities In the North Central and Middle Atlantic Slates, _
North Carolina April ami May Mostly lllg Boston; lome Iceberg, Large cltlei la the Middle Atlantic State*._
South Carolina March to May Mostly White Boston; some Iceberg and romalne, Lirgo elites In South Atlantic and Mildlc Atlantic Statea,
New Jersey Intermediate crop, May to Jaly, Lite crop, October anil November, Big Boston; romalne and some Iceberg, New York, Philadelphia, and other large cities In nearby ilatel,
New York June to October Big Boston, White Boston: Iceberg; New York Nos. 515 and 11 Imperial Not. 153, 1( and ST, Some leal lettuce and romalne, New York, Philadelphia, ind other large cities In the East, North Central. Middle Atlantic, and North Atlantic Stales,
Colorado June to October Iceberg: New York Nos, 12 and 515, some Imperial No, 015, Denver anil the larger oltlei In the Central Slides,
Idaho Intermediate crop, May and June. Lair crop, September to December. Iceberg: Imperial Nos, (15 and 151 Denver ind large cltlei In the Central States.
Oegon Intermediate crop, May and Jane. Late crop, September to November, do, Portland and large cltlei In the North Central Stales,
Washington Intermediate crop, May to July. Lite crop, October to December. Iceberg: New York Nos, 11515, and II, and Imperial Nos. 152,815, and Y Seattle and other cities In the Northwest and large cltlei In Central and Eastern States.


PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES
Fluctuation in production of commercial lettuce since 1928 has been relatively unimportant, but there has been a steady increase in Iceberg, particularly in the Western States, which has more than offset decreases in Big Boston in Eastern and Southern States. Totals for the 10-year period, 1928-1937, based on western-type crates estimated at 75 pounds, have ranged from a low of 17,080,000 crates in 1933 to a high of 21,096,000 in 1936, with an average of 19,183,300. Production in 1939 mounted to 24,070,000, and in 1940 dropped to 22,536,000.
Acreage, production and price averages for a 10-year period, 1929-38, and figures for 1939 and 1940 together with source and seasonal classification, are shown in the following Table No. 3:


TABLE |, 3
SEASON and STATE AVERAGE PRODUCTION PRICE PER CRATE
10-Year Average 1W li 19S-M 10-Year Average 1939 1940 IM-H 10-Year Average 1939 1940 1929-38
Early: Arizona...................... Calif., Ii, Florida....................... TOTAL 14,160 28,010 UN 43,930 ACRES -14,000 21,000 2,000 37,11 15,200 15,200 3,550 33,7511 1,380 3,233 509 Li CRATE 1,960 4,200 510 i-2,280 2,736 765 1,43 1,55 1,07 DOLLARS 1,70 1,35 1,05 1,15 1,40 1,20
5,122 6,670 5,781 L28 1,43 1,28
Second-Early: Arizona..................... Calif., other Georgia...................... N, Carolina S, Carolina TOTAL ... 15,980 31,740 1,270 410 49,400 21,500 45,700 50 2,100 700 13,400 30,350 340 2,1 500 1,830 3,449 104 55 2,268 5,027 4 130 56 2,1 4,401 26 161 90 1,65 1,73 1,57 1,39 1,45 1,25 2,00 1,50 1,10 2,02 1,80 2,50 2,00 2,00
70,150 45.890 5,438 7,485 7,06! 1,71 1 1.31 1,88
Intermediate: Idaho .......................... New Jersey. Oregon ....................... Virginia................... Washington........... TOTAL........ 150 1,070 180 220 3,220 180 1,700 250 300 1,700 420 1,500 230 51 1,500 24 229 1! 36 641 948 18 332 31 51 309 40 275 26 80 412 1,20 1,23 ,86 1,53 ,75 ,70 1,00 ,80 1,25 ,50 21 1,50 1,65 1,75 1,25
4,830 1,130 4,150 801 933 ,90 | ,77 1.43
Late (1): California................. Colorado................... New Mexico.......... New York ..... Pennsylvania TOTAL ...... 14,1 8,070 230 4,530 270 15,700 5,240 950 3,700 300 10,500 5,i 500 3,700 230 1,912 596 22 1,050 42 2,622 498 97 888 39 2,888 503 48 832 51 1,74 ,56 1,38 ,50 1,16 1,55 1,00 1,35 ,90 1,40 1,20 1,05 1,25 ,55 1,80
20,060 20,890 25,030 3,622 4,144 4,510 1,35 1.34 | 1,14
Late (2): California Idaho .......................... New Jersey Oregon ....................... Washington............. TOTAL 25,710 800 750 550 580 28,250 1,500 700 1,250 850 27,750 3,800 700 2,300 700 3,965 113 139 71 104 4,23! 232 140 12! 166 3,608 331 175 207 119 1,52 ,80 1,22 ,82 ,88 1,50 2,25 1,10 1,30 1,10 1,50 ,40 ,85 ,70 ,90
32,350 32,550 35,250 1392 4,904 4,440 1,46 1,51 1,24
TOTAL ALL STATES ....... 155,530 170,720 146,070 19,522 24,004 22,536 1,36 1.27 1.41


PRODUCTION IN FLORIDA
During the first two decades of this century Florida plantings of Big Boston lettuce steadily increased until, in 1920, the State shipped 2,940 carloads, or about 21 per cent of the Nation's total of 13,788 carloads. Competition from western Iceberg growers, however, was already underway, but for several more years lettuce remained one of Florida's profitable money crops and had wide distribution. Production reached a peak in 1922 with 3,310 carloads, almost entirely Big Boston. Peak acreage followed in the growing season of 1923-24 with 3,490 acres, but by then shipments had dropped to 2,540 cars, indicating the first serious inroad of Imperial Iceberg.
On a rapidly expanding market, Florida's 1922 peak approximated only 15 per cent of the 22,240 carloads for the Nation, or a drop of 6 per cent in two years. That same year California moved, as noted in Table No. 1, 9,744 cars, and Arizona, still a minor factor in the national market, 678 carloads.
It was then that Florida growers seriously realized that their market was slipping and made a vigorous attempt to re-establish the demand for Big Boston. Much time and energy was devoted to this effort, but it was found impossible to convince the public that it did not know what it wanted. Willis R. Hamiter, secretary of the Manatee County Growers Association, in an article in the Bradenton, Florida Herald, illustrated the futility of this attempt. Florida growers and shippers," he related, "arranged a banquet at one of the leading hotels and invited prominent citizens for the purpose of finding ways and means of promoting the consumption of more of the Boston variety of lettuce. Great was their disgust, however, when they sat down to the table, to see every salad plate, beautifully garnished with imported Iceberg lettuce from west of the Rockies."
So Florida, still unable to develop a strain suitable to its climate, was forced out of national markets, except for a few terminal points which took, and still take, a limited quantity of the butterhead type. Plantings continued to decrease while those in Western States specializing in Iceberg increased.


California, which in 1899 had only 46 acres, by 1934 had 106,050 acres. Arizona with 800 acres in 1920, soared to 35,600 in 1939; Colorado, with 140 acres in 191S, reached 13,240 by 1927 when lettuce was hailed as another bonanza crop, but by 1939 had dropped to 5,940. Other States joined the procession, Washington and Idaho as lesser factors, although the latter produces much seed. New Mexico over a 10-year period from 1930 averaged only about 200 acres of commercial lettuce, but in 1939 increased this to 950, most of which went to home consumers as only 37 cars were shipped out of the State. New Jersey had 2,400 acres in 1939; New York. 3.700; and North Carolina, 2,100; but little of this was Iceberg.
As Iceberg displaced Big Boston in the affections of the consuming public, Florida became an importer of the crisphead although still a limited producer and exporter of the Big Boston. By 1939 Florida's imports of Iceberg were in the neighborhood of 1,000 cars annually. Although the Miami area, a large consumer, is not included, the U. S. Department of Agriculture report showing carlot shipments of certain fruits and vegetables to G6 cities, which do include two in FloridaJacksonville and Tampareveals this situation in 1939 as shown in Table No. 4, which follows:
TABLE No. 4
Carloads from: Carloads received by:
Jacksonville Tampa
California ...................................... 223 13S
Arizona .......................................... 54 25
Idaho .............................................. 1 0
Oregon ............................................ 1 0
TOTAL .................................. 279 163
By months for 1939 carload shipments were as follows:
Jan. Fob. Miir. Apr. Mny June July Aue. Si>p(. Oct. Nov. l>i-o. Totl
Jacksonville _18 20 32 24 33 27 24 19 27 15 18 22 279
Tampa 4 8 20 15 17 15 14 14 14 13 16 13 163
These figures disclosed a 7S-car increase for Jacksonville and a 20-car decrease for Tampa as compared to the 1938 totals, which indicate that nearby production of Iceberg was beginning to come into the Tampa market. In fact, the months of December, January and February of the 1939-40 season showed imports of 31 cars less in that territory than for the preceding season, but other months not affected by the local crop, consistently showed some increase over 193S.


ORIGIN OF LETTUCE
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa, is generally believed to have sprung from the species F. scariola which grows wild in Europe, the Canary Isles, Madeira, and the United States. It is supposed to have been cultivated first in India or Central Asia and is still grown commercially there and in Asia Minor, as well as in many other parts of the world. The early colonists brought lettuce to America and it was then, and is now, widely grown in the home garden. By 1900 there were at least a hundred known varieties but it was not until a number of years later that lettuce became a major commercial crop.
TYPES AND VARIETIES
Horticulturists, growers, and seedsmen recognize four general types:
Crisphead, or Iceberg lettuce, distinguished by very firm, crisp heads is by far the most popular type.
Butterhead varieties have soft heads with inner leaves that feel oily to the touch.
Cos lettuce, of which romaine is a variety, is known by its upright habit of growth, long leaf-shaped heads and spatulate leaves. It is grown extensively as a market garden crop near many large cities and as a field crop in several producing districts, but is of minor importance commercially compared to Iceberg lettuce.
Leaf lettuce, or the nonheading type, is primarily grown in greenhouses, mostly in the North Central States where a specialized market has been developed. It is also grown as a home garden lettuce in many parts of the East.
EARLY EXPERIMENTS AND RESULTS
About 1920 Florida horticulturists started the first of many experiments that it was hoped would produce a crisp Iceberg type lettuce comparable to the Western variety. Surprisingly, one of the first obstacles encoun-


tered was that of climate. To head properly, Iceberg required cool nights and these conditions in the Western States were favorable, but in Florida, with less variation in temperature and less chill at night, premature seeding of the plant was induced. It was, therefore, necessary to develop a strain that would withstand higher temperature without seeding, to find a variety that would overcome this early tendency to go to seed.
Out of many strains tried, at least three finally proved satisfactory. These, in the order of their development were Imperial 847, Imperial 850. and Imperial 44, all of which were originated by the late Dr. Ivan C. Jagger, former Senior Plant Pathologist with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, who began his experiments in Florida with another purpose in view.
C. M. Berry, former county agricultural agent at Sanford, Florida, worked with Dr. Jagger at this time and as a result of their joint efforts, and Dr. Jagger's subsequent experiments in California, a crisphead lettuce, now listed in some catalogues as "Berry Strain Iceberg," was developeda cross between Imperial 847 and Imperial 44. The Florida Agricultural Experiment Station at Gainesville, Florida, however, finds no difference between Imperial 44 and Berry Strain.
Winters too mild to kill insects and organisms remaining in the soil from season to season had prevented the South from becoming one of the vegetable gardens of the Nation, so the Bureau of Plant Industry of the U. S. Department of Agriculture had sent Dr. Jagger to Florida in 1921 to look over this situation in the Orlando district.
Upon his arrival he was persuaded by County Agent Berry to start a study of disease-resistant strains of lettuce on the latter's farm at Sanford where cross-pollenization under cheesecloth was begun. This continued from 1921 to 1924, during which time Arthur C. Foster, who afterwards became senior pathologist at the Beltsville, Maryland Horticultural Station, was associated in the work. But in the midst of these experiments. Dr. Jagger was hurried to Southern California where the Nation's established lettuce industry was calling for help to combat the ravages of brown blight and powdery mildew. This left Jagger's Florida experiments unfinished,


but his transfer brought into being the disease-resistant Imperial Jagger strains which not only saved the California growers but, which also, through the adaptability of certain types to regions other than the Imperial Valley, were the means of reestablishing Florida's lettuce industry.
Though many individuals and agencies had a tenacious part in bringing Florida back into the lettuce fold, without the initiative of Dr. Jagger this happy event might have been long deferred or indefinitely postponed. It would, therefore, be an obvious breach of gratitude not to include some biographical mention here of this indefatigable scientist.
Ivan Claude Jagger was born at East Palmyra, N. Y., on August 12, 1S89. and died in a sanitorium at San Diego, California, February 16, 1939, in the midst of his work. After receiving a B. S. in Agriculture at Cornell University in 1911, and an M. S. in Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin in 1913, he finished work for a Ph. D. at Cornell in 1914 but was prevented from taking the degree by illness. Meanwhile he held the Cornell Industrial Research Fellowship in Plant Pathology, from 1911 to 1914, then an assistant professorship of Plant Pathology at Cornell, and of Biology at the University of Rochester. During the World War he served as government pathologist, inspecting crops in Southeastern States. From 1918 until his death he was Senior Plant Pathologist, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry.
The New York Packer of February 25, 1939, in announcing his death, said, "He was one of the most skilled and practical scientists of his group, and perhaps the most highly revered pathologist in the commercial vegetable and melon production districts of the West. For his incomparable work in the development of disease-resistant strains of Iceberg lettuce, and for his almost magical results in producing a mildew-resistant cantaloupe. Dr. Jagger has long since been regarded more as a master magician than as a worker with plants by the hardened, practical grower-shippers of the Imperial Valley and other western producing sections."
The Imperial strains of Iceberg, originated by Dr. Jagger, stem from the New York or Wonderful, a close-head variety of unknown parentage first introduced in


1896 by Peter Henderson & Company. The name "Iceberg," however, was given to a similar type even before that. In 1894 the Burpee Seed Company of Philadelphia applied this name to a variety imported from Europe. It caught the public fancy and so "Iceberg" has since generally been associated with all crisphead lettuces.
The modern Iceberg is an evolution of many of these strains, which in the case of Jagger's Imperials are designated by number or letter; if by number, they are resistant to brown blight, and if by letter, to brown blight and partially to mildew. For example, Imperial F belongs to the latter, and is particularly important in the West where both of these diseases are present. It is a cross of New York with a cos variety, and was released in 1930. Imperial 13 is a selection from a cross of New York and the French White Chavigne and was introduced in 1932. Imperial 152 came from a cross of New York and a cos and was introduced in 1934. Imperial 847, one of the two strains successfully grown in Florida, is also a cross of New York and a cos and was released in 1936. The second, Imperial 44, is a hybrid of Jagger's 152 derived from the New York group and was released in 1937. This latter was discarded by California growers as unsuitable to conditions there, but was found to be satisfactory for Florida muck lands.
Foremost among those who carried on early experimental work in Florida was the University of Florida through its Agricultural College and its affiliated experiment stations. Besides receiving special attention at the University's College of Agriculture in Gainesville, under F. S. Jamison, much valuab'e work was done at the Sanford Celery Investigations Laboratory in charge of Dr. R. W. Ruprecht; and at the Bradenton Vegetable Crops Laboratory in charge of Dr. J. R. Beckenbach.
Railroads and Florida seed companies likewise took an active interest and materially assisted by supplying seed for experimental purposes. The Seaboard Air Line Railway Company, through its general agricultural agent, J. N. McBride, promoted early test plantings in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolina coastal territory. These included Imperial F and New York 12, but results were not always uniform and neither of these strains did well In Florida. Experiments continued, adding Imperials 515, 152, 615, and 13, and New York Improved. In 1930


this railroad company began co-operating with some of the more influential growers in Manatee County and during the next eight years, at least 16 strains were tried there and elsewhere in Florida.
It was not until 1937, however, that a measure of success was attained. In the fall of that year, Prof. H. W. Schneck, of the Kilgore Seed Company, Plant City, Florida, who had become acquainted with Dr. Jagger when both were members of the faculty of Cornell University and who had followed the latter's work in California, first saw plantings oi Jagger's Imperial 847 in the trial grounds of the Associated Seed Growers, at Milford, Connecticut. He was so impressed that seeds from these plants were distributed to growers in the Palmetto district of Florida. The Seaboard Railway the same year also distributed seeds of the 847 variety, and through one of its agricultural agents. F. M. Connor, who had taken an interest from the beginning, closely followed the work of the Vegetable Crops Laboratory at Bradenton which, in the fall of 1939, successfully grew several commercial strains.
The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, through its general agricultural agent, E. B. O'Kelley, began collaborating in 1938 with the Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations at Gainesville and Sanford, and since then has joined efforts to develop the Iceberg lettuce industry in the Atlantic Coast States from Florida northward so that this area will eventually rotate through the five growing seasons, and thus supply the market 12 months in the year.
In the 1937-38 crop season, it was apparent that Imperial 847 and 44 were best adapted to Florida soil and climate. In the Manatee areas 847 produced good, firm heads under adverse weather conditions and trial shipments to terminal markets in and out of the State were favorably received. Experimental plantings of the 847 the same season in the Sanford district gave results that encouraged limited commercial crops there in 1938-39, while Manatee growers planted all the 847 seed they could secure which was only enough, however, for a few hundred acres. Larger commercial acreage of this strain and also of Imperial 44 were planted in several sections in the 1939-40 season and both performed well.


By the 1940-41 season three strains stood out as giving the most consistent results. These were Imperials 847, 44, and 850. Of these 847 was looked upon as meeting the widest range of Florida conditions. It did well on sandy loam and on muck although on the latter it sometimes had a tendency to develop heads too large and too spongy. This strain had been recommended for the midwinter Florida harvest. Imperial 44 proved more suitable for early and late Florida plantings, that is, for harvest before the middle of January and after the first of March. However, it can be grown as a midwinter crop. It is said to stand a higher temperature than does 847; moreover, it has shown special adaptability to Florida muck lands, since it resists the tendency to produce large, puffy heads. On the other hand, 44 may require more fertilizer than 847 if planted on sandy soil as, in this case, it is inclined to develop small heads. Some authorities recommend that 847 be sandwiched between early and late plantings of 44.
Imperial 850 has shown good results for fall plantings on sandy soils, the heads being of good size, and is reported to resist the immature development of seed stalks. Plantings of this variety have not been extensive. On May 2, 1941, Dr. F. S. Jamison, Truck Horticulturist, of the University of Florida Experiment Station stated: "Probably 44 is a more consistent performer than 847. Undoubtedly 850 is out."
1940-41 Crop and New Problems. With proven strains producing commercial crops, Florida growers lost little time getting back into the lettuce business. The 1940-41 season revealed nearly 6,500 acres planted to Iceberg alone, with the largest plantings in the Manatee River and Lake Okeechobee areas.
Figures supplied by J. C. Townsend, Jr., truck crop estimator for Florida with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with Dr. H. W. Schneck, sales manager of the Kilgore Seed Company, which supplied much of the seed, showed the 1940-41 plantings distributed as follows:


Manatee River area ........ 2,100 to 2,200 acres
Lake Okeechobee area .... 2,300 to 2,500 acres
Dade County .................... 300 to 400 acres
Sanford area .................... 750 acres
Palatka area .................... 100 acres
Weirsdale area ................ 500 acres
Arcadia area...................... 200 to 300 acres
Winter Garden area ........ 200 acres
Mcintosh area .................. 100 to 150 acres
By this time experimental stages were well in the past, Florida growers discovered that great strides had been made in the now huge lettuce business, for it had become that rather than an agricultural pursuit. New marketing practices had come along and there were laws, rules and specifications for grading, packing and shipping. Competition was keen and quality had to be combined with established standards for Florida to get its share in this specialized field.
Growers of Big Boston had few problems; they shipped in hampers in refrigerated cars, but now snow ice was required to go into the crates as well as into the cars, and equipment for that was scarce. Snow ice is used only to preserve quality, and will be eliminated if quality can be preserved without its use. The matter of crates brought up another question. Should Florida accept standardized western crates and attempt to dovetail its product into the market with as little attention as possible, or should it go in for a special pack and put emphasis on the source?
Washing equipment was another thing to consider, and conveyances to haul lettuce from the soft muck fields in the Lake Okeechobee region. California had worked out these things for itself and so had Arizona. Florida would have to if it were to succeed, but in this respect it had an advantage; it could profit by what others had done without the need of fruitless experiment; and Florida could benefit from California and Arizona growers, several of whom had moved into the State in 1940 to take advantage of the closer markets, and had introduced Western methods.


One of these erected a lettuce packing plant in the Manatee River area in the fall of 1940 and installed a snow ice machine and a box press that would fold the lining paper and tack on the lids of crates. Another was erected at Belle Glade, fully mechanized in the manner of California plants, but with unique features of its own. But for the most part early shipments of the State's first major crop had to resort to makeshift devices. Celery washers had been found usable, but not up to special requirements; the same was true of crates. Manufacturers with stocks of material on hand and machines for making certain types, advocated their product over recognized containers. Some growers argued for a 2-dozen pack as against the popular .r>-dozen Western crate. But by degrees most of these differences were composed and Florida growers became equipped to lay down their product to the best advantage before the Nation's consumers.


FACTORS IN PRODUCTION
While marketing Iceberg lettuce is an industry calling for organization and cooperation, first essentials of production are a knowledge of growing conditions, covering such details as climate, soils and soil treatment, disease-prevention, fertilization, planting, cultivation, and harvesting. To the prospective grower in Florida these matters are of umost importance.
Climate. Production of high quality Iceberg lettuce requires moderately cool and uniform soil and air temperature. Too much variation is not conducive to proper growth, high temperatures in particular, having a tendency to develop seed stems, bitter taste and loose heads. In earlier stages of growth lettuce can stand some frost, but if severely frosted when nearing maturity, is subject to slime. Experiments carried on at the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station led to the conclusion that temperatures averaging above 70 F. may prevent satisfactory heading even when a slow bolting variety such as Imperial 44 is used, and that when the mean daily temperature is about 70 F., loose, puffy heads may be formed, or there may be little or no folding in of the head leaves. Satisfactory heads can be expected, therefore, only when the mean daily temperature, as the lettuce is maturing, ranges from 60 to 65 F.
Practically all sections of Florida meet these requirements during the months of December, January, and February, the principal growing seasons. Florida climate generally is modified by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, which makes the winters warmer and the summers cooler than could be expected in a similar area in the same latitude, where these factors are not present.
Soil. Iceberg lettuce can be raised on a variety of soils, the main requirements being sufficient organic matter, good drainage, and an even supply of moisture. It may be successfully grown on soils ranging from clay loams and sandy loams to muck, but it reaches its highest development on moist, compact, sandy loam, and certain types of muck rich in organic matter. When organic matter is deficient summer cover crops help to correct this as well as keep down weeds and grasses. Rotation of crops is another desirable practice to condition soils.


Tavernetti and Schneider, Western authorities, reporting on production in California, state that where the fall crop is subject to high temperatures during early development, or when it matures during warm weather, the heavier types of soil are best as they hold more moisture and are cooler. They also say that while as many as five or six crops of good lettuce have been grown consecutively, usually no more than two are profitable without some rotation or intensive fertilization.
Too much acidity must be avoided but soil slightly acid is preferable to that on the alkaline side. With 7.0 as neutral in the pH scale, larger numbers representing alkalinity and small numbers acidity, 6.0 is considered a happy medium. Knott, Anderson and Sweet, reporting experiments with Iceberg lettuce in New York State, recorded poor results where the soil had a reaction as acid as, or more acid than, pH 5.0, but that good crops were made on some mineral soils as acid as pH 5.5. Results in New Hampshire showed that the most suitable soil contained a good supply of organic matter, and with a pH value of from 5.8 to 6.6. Fred P. Abbott, assistant general agricultural agent of the Seaboard Railway, writing on the possibilities of growing Iceberg lettuce in the Southeastern States, pointed out that apparently lettuce does best on a soil with a pH value of between 5.5 and 6.3. but to assure this condition, he explained, certain soils may have to be treated with dolomite limestone or a similar agent, though any such treatment should be given only after consulting a qualified soil chemist.
Seed. As the price of seed is a comparatively unimportant factor in the cost of lettuce production, seldom running to more than $3 an acre, it is always advisable to purchase the best obtainable supply from reliable seed houses. Producing lettuce seed is a highly specialized industry in itself and should not be attempted by anyone not thoroughly experienced in the matter. Recently developed strains which are considered generally best suited to Florida's soil and climate already have been discussed, but local agricultural agents will be glad to supply more specific information for their locality.
G. F. Weber, of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and A. C. Foster, of the Bureau of Plant Industry,


U. S. Department of Agriculture, recommend that seed disinfection be practiced with every planting as the process is easy and the results are profitable. This process is as follows:
"Place the seed in a cloth bag. tie the top securely, leaving plenty of space in the bag for the seed, for instance twice as much room as the seed occupy. Submerge the bag of seed in a solution of corrosive sublimate, strength 1:1.000, for 10 minutes. During this time it is well to move the bag around In the solution, nsing a short stick. This will insure the removal of air bubbles so that all seed will come in contact with the disinfectant. After the 10-minute period is up, remove the bag of seed from the disinfectant and rinse in several changes of clear water. After the seed are thoroughly rinsed, spread them out in the shade to dry. When dry the seed are ready to plant
"The container should not be of metal because some of the mercury in the corrosive sublimate unites with the metal, thus weakening the solution and corroding the vessel. Instead, use wooden containers such as pails and half barrels or earthenware crocks.
"The disinfectant can be purchased from local druggists and can be obtained in the form of dry crystals or tablets. An ounce of the crystals dissolved in 7% gallons of water makes a 1:1,000 solution. When smaller quantities of the disinfectant are desired it is advisable to use tablets. One tablet dissolved in one pint of water gives a solution of the strength of 1:1.000. If a gallon of the disinfectant is desired, dissolve eight tablets in a gallon of water. Corrosive sublimate is a deadly poison when taken internally. Consequently it should be kept away from children and farm animals."
Seedbed. A great deal of the commercially grown head lettuce in Florida is started in beds and transplanted to the field. The seedbed should be located on well drained soil which is comparatively rich in organic matter. This should be thoroughly pulverized and made sweet. Germination of lettuce seed is retarded unless the soil is well aerated and particularly if temperatures are somewhat high. Borthwich and Robbins suggest that where seed is to be planted in soil that may have a temperature of 86 F. or more during a part of the day, good germination can be secured by spreading the seed beforehand between moist burlap and storing on ice


The seed is then dried and when planted in moist soil from four to six days, making sure of good aeration, gives a higher percentage of germination. Seed of 847 and of 44 apparently germinate well at relatively high temperatures and treatment of these appears unnecessary. Well-rotted manure or compost can be mixed with the soil but too much of this may produce plants that will wilt when transplanted. About one-half to one pound of good seed planted in a seedbed should produce enough plants for an acre.
Sterilization of the seedbed is just as important as similar treatment of the seed and this is where diseases appear first. Again quoting Weber and Foster, there are two methods of sterilizing soil to be used for seedbeds. The first, employing formaldehyde, follows:
"After the soil selected for the seedbed has been well stirred and loosened, apply a formaldehyde solution made of eight pints of formaldehyde and 50 gallons of water at the rate of one gallon to one square foot of soil surface. The solution is best applied with a common garden sprinkler. In that way there is little danger of its running into low places before soaking into the soil.
"After the solution has been applied the surface of the soil should be thoroughly covered with a tarpaulin, canvas, or burlap bag. This covering prevents too rapid evaporation of the disinfectant. The covering should be left on the soil for at least two days. After that it can be removed and the soil stirred to hasten evaporation of the formaldehyde. Ten days after applying the solution and eight days after uncovering and stirring it, the soil can be prepared and the seed planted."
The second method, using steam, is much more complicated:
"This process," explain Weber and Foster, "necessitates the use of a steam boiler of considerable capacity and a rectangular galvanized iron pan large enough to cover a considerable area but small enough to be moved by four men. The pan should have sides 6 to 10 inches high with sharp edges, so that it can be inverted and pushed down into the soil. In this position it is connected to the boiler by steam hose so that steam from the boiler is discharged into this pan until a potato of


medium size buried 6 inches in the soil under the pan is cooked. Then remove the pan to another portion of the bed and repeat the process. This method is more satisfactory than the formaldehyde process, but it is considerably more expensive."
Fertilization. C. W. Sawyer, an experienced grower of Iceberg lettuce in the Salinas area of California, who came to Florida in the summer of 1940 to engage in the same business in the Manatee River district, states that lettuce-growing here is a problem in fertilization. "California soil does not vary," he said, "and we know exactly what we can do in winter and summer but here we may find two or three different soils in one field."
The choice of a fertilizer therefore depends on the natural fertility of the particular field and for that reason it is difficult to prescribe any definite formula or method of fertilization until actual conditions are known. This is a matter in which the inexperienced grower chould seek competent advice.
However, it is well established that where lacking, soil must be given a plentiful supply of plant food and active organic matter, that is, decomposing material that will sustain bacterial life. It is preferable that this should come from previous dressings rather than from a recent application. Heavier soils retain this material much better than lighter ones because in the latter decomposition is more rapid.
Before the days of commercial fertilizers, lettuce growers depended mainly on manures and hardwood ashes, getting the ammonia equivalent from the former and potash from the latter. Both are still widely used. Manure should be well composted for several months and free of undecayed straw or similar matter that would deplete the available nitrogen in the soil. It should also be moist when composted or sufficient water added to promote rapid decay.
Nitrogen, which is necessary to the growth of lettuce, can be applied in inorganic form as nitrate of soda, sulphate of ammonia, or calcium nitrate, or in organic form in materials such as tankage, fish meal, or cottonseed meal. Inorganic nitrogenous fertilizers should be applied early enough to have most of their effect


before the lettuce heads up, as too much nitrogen at this time may induce large, soft heads. Florida muck lands suitable for growing lettuce do not require a fertilizer having a high nitrogen content, but are more likely to need potash. Other soils require more nitrogen.
On flat lands with a tendency to sourness, an application of around 1,000 pounds of hardwood ashes two weeks before applying fertilizer will be found beneficial.
Commercial fertilizers are known by formulas, such as 4-6-5 which means 4 per cent nitrogen, 6 per cent phosphoric acid and 5 per cent potash. Mixtures suitable for Florida soils usually range between 3-6-S and 6-8-10. An application of 1,200 to 1,500 pounds per acre applied before plants are set is usually sufficient for sandy type soils.
Planting. Since Iceberg lettuce needs cool nights for its best growth, some authorities say it should not be planted before October 15 if best results are to be obtained. However, this depends somewhat on the strains. Successful earlier plantings have been made, and carload shipments from Florida moved in early December. The first carload from the State in the fall of 1940 left the Manatee River area on December 3, and a half-car shipment from the Arcadia region on December 12.
Lettuce requires from 70 to 150 days to mature, depending on soil and climatic conditions. Varieties recommended for Florida usually average about 85 days. Here the general practice is to plant seeds in beds and then transplant to the field, though seed may be drilled directly where weeds and grasses can be controlled.
When plants are from 2 to 3 inches high and have 4 leaves they are ready to transplant. These are set in checks or rows and the soil firmly settled around the roots by hand. A small amount of water should be applied if the soil is dry.
Both single and double row plantings have been practiced in Florida with many preferring the double row, in which case the two rows are usually about 15 inches apart, with 30-inch middles. Plants are usually set about 12 inches apart, but this may vary. Spacing under favorable conditions can be employed to regulate to a degree the size of heads. This was established by ex-


periments with Imperial 44 conducted at Cornell in 1937-38. Too much space it was learned produced heads larger than required for general needs. However, if large heads were wanted for a particular market this could be brought about by increasing the spacing. Otherwise there was no significant effect on the lettuce. Percentage of heads cut remained about the same, though naturally wider spacing reduced the number of plants per acre.
The greater part of California Iceberg lettuce is planted on raised beds to facilitate irrigation, drainage, and aeration, with generally two rows to a bed. The width of the beds varies, as does also the distance between beds, and the depth of furrows. The beds customarily from 18 to 20 inches in width, are seldom less than 3 feet from center to center, and more often 40 inches; and from 4 to 8 inches in height after smoothing to prevent flooding. The usual distance between rows is from 14 to 17 inches and never less than 10 inches.
Cultivation. Only shallow cultivation is required and that under good conditions may be discontinued when the plant is about half grown. Unless necessary to destroy weeds, late cultivation is seldom required or beneficial. Since the soil should have been well prepared in advance of planting, the main object is to control weed growth or to provide a mulch. Check rows allow cultivation in both directions until heads begin to form, thus saving much hoeing.
When lettuce is seeded in the field, as is the practice in California, it is necessary to thin before the plants begin to crowd. The time for this may vary from three to eight weeks, depending on temperature. Plants are blocked out to 14 inches apart in the row with a short-handled hoe and then thinned by hand to one in a place, removing all those not true to type.
While lettuce requires relatively constant and fairly high moisture in the soil, care is necessary in irrigating as an over-watering can easily ruin a crop. Water in the furrows is satisfactory, but flooding may result in getting dirt into the low plants. Overhead irrigation, though suitable for young plants, later on may cause water to collect in the heads and lead to rot and rust. Dirt also may be splashed into the heads.


Cultural studies made in New York during 1936-1937 by the Cornell University experiment station revealed that the Iceberg type reacts differently to the usual methods used in growing the Boston type because of the different root systems. "It is clear that Imperial 44 is able to tap the fertilizer residue in the surface foot of soil to better advantage than can White Boston," the study concluded. On the other hand, the White Boston may be better able to obtain moisture from the lower depths of muck, because of its deep, branching root system. These root stems indicate why, on muck soil, Imperial 44 needs a higher water content in the surface foot of soil, but does not require as heavy an application of fertilizer as White Boston.
Harvesting. Florida Iceberg to succeed in competition with the Western product must be harvested at the right stage of maturity; only firm heads should be cut and these hauled promptly to the packing shed for stripping, grading, and packing. Lettuce packed in the field cannot be properly graded or iced. Caution, likewise, should be observed against harvesting too soon in order to take advantage of a high market, even if this necessitates more frequent cuttings.
Solidity of head and color are guides to maturity, and in many sections cutting is done in the early morning or evening to avoid wilting under midday heat. In some Western States the heads are placed in windrows by the cutters who use a scoop-shaped knife to sever them just below the surface of the ground. The heads are then loaded on trucks and taken to the packing sheds. This method, however, was found too costly for large scale operations and another method was developed in California. There the heads are placed directly in pneumatic-tired steel trailers or in large steel-framed crates on trucks called baskets. Special short trucks are used to haul two of the trailers, or ordinary trucks are used with the baskets. These baskets are about 3 feet wide and as long as the width of the truck, and are equipped with four small wheels so that they can be rolled from truck to shed. Both systems have the advantage of less handling and consequently less bruising of the lettuce before packing.


I\V( KING AM) CONTAINERS
At the packing house most of the loose leaves are trimmed off and the butts cut close to the head; culls are thrown out and the lettuce graded, usually into sizes for a 4-, 5-, or 6-dozen pack. The heads then go into crates lined with waterproof paper, with snow ice between layers and an ice bulge on top. In turn the crates go into a refrigerator car where three or four tons of ice are blown on top of them.
A carload of lettuce usually consists of 300 standard crates, more or less, depending on the size of the car. Packing methods require that crates be placed on the side, lengthwise of the car except for the top layer which may be loaded on either side or bottom. Loads must be level, if possible, as offsets may cause breakage. To help secure a solid load, crates may be stacked on end about the door, but construction of end gates has been found preferable for this purpose, and to take up excess space in the car.
The type of crate is in itself of vital importance. For many years Western growers have specialized in standard quality packages which have been a great aid to successful and orderly marketing. This same need has been found imperative for Florida, particularly in making the change from Big Boston to Iceberg. Big Boston was, and still is, packed in both crates and hampers. Likewise some experimental shipments of Iceberg went to market in hampers and even in cauliflower crates. Iceberg from Western States, on the other hand, is shipped in a standardized container, sometimes called the "Los Angeles crate," with a 4-, 5-, or 6-dozen pack, the 5-dozen being the most popular among buyers, accustomed to the "Western" crate. To insure uniformity, California has fixed by statute the dimensions of its lettuce containers. Inside measurements, according to these regulations are: Depth, 13%". or 13"; width, ny2"l length, 21%". This is the full-size crate holding from four to six dozen heads. Measurements for the half-crate are: Depth, 9", or 9'V'; width, 13"; length, 21%". The lid for all is limited to 25" in length.
Arizona uses the same crates as California, and Florida shippers in the 1940-41 season, at least in the principal growing districts, made use of the so-called Los Angeles


crate, with slight modifications in thickness of side and top. This modified crate has been approved for the southeastern area by the railroads for carload shipments at an estimated weight of 71 pounds, including the ice in the crate, to eastern terminal points, that is to say, to practically all of Florida's logical marketing area.*
In fact three standard lettuce containers have been specified by the Freight Container Bureau of the Association of American Railroads in Tariff No. 3A, for the southeastern territory. Two of these are the full, or standard crates and one a half-crate. They are designated as No. 926, containing 5,119 cubic inches; No. 929, containing 5,264 cubic inches, and the half-crate, containing 2,574 cubic inches. Inside dimensions of these are: No. 92613x18x21% inches; No. 929133-4xl7M>x 21% inches; and the half-size9x13x22 inches.
While there is a slight difference in specifications of 926 and 929 as carried in Tariff No. 1A, covering the Pacific Coast, and in Tariff No. 3A, covering the Southeast, Florida shippers may use either. Containers specified in rate tariffs are accepted without weighing and without penalty, while unauthorized containers, unless exempted for experimental purposes, are subject to a penalty of 20 per cent, that is, the rate is figured on a basis of 120 per cent of that established for a given territory. To the foregoing crates another was added late in 1940 for the use of Florida and the Southeast, No. 930, which had already been specified in Pacific Coast tariffs. This one is slightly smaller than the standard, containing 4,977 cubic inches and has dimensions as follows: 13xl7y2x21T/8 inches.
SHIPPING
Obviously with a shorter haul to the big lettuce mar-Kets Florida has a definite advantage over its more experienced competitors in the Pacific Coast region. Markets can be supplied in half the time required for crossing the continent, and for at least a third less in freight costs. The latter applies both to the pay load and to the ice required to preserve it. Moreover, Florida has another advantage in that its carload rates are figured on a minimum of 16,000 pounds as against
?Tariff Divisions of Seaboard and Atlantic Coast Line Railroads.
?.a


20,000 pounds for the Pacific area. A substantial saving accrues particularly in the matter of ice. Not counting the cost of the ice itself or the additional amount that might be needed at certain seasons in western shipments, but only the transportation, Florida can move a carload of lettuce to New York carrying up to 10,000 pounds of top ice for $8.50 for this item as compared to $13 from California. A corresponding difference exists in freight costs. Carload rates from three principal lettuce shipping points in Florida to New York are as follows: Palmetto, $1.09 per 100 lbs., Pahokee, $1.12 per 100 lbs., and Sanford, $1.03 per 100 lbs. Rates from the Salinas and the Imperial Valley districts of California, to New York are $1.84 per 100 pounds. To more fully illustrate, a carload consisting of 300 cases of lettuce and 15,000 pounds of ice, shipped from Palmetto, Florida, to New York, costs $244.92 as against $410.42 for the same shipment from California to New York, or a difference in favor of Florida of $165.50.
RADIO WORD PICTURE
A broadcast by the Farm and Home Hour in November 1939, over an NBC hookup, graphically visualized the California lettuce industry from its historical beginning to the ultimate distribution of its product among New York retailers. Originally given in the form of a dialogue participated in by A. A. Tavernetti. Monterey County agricultural agent, Austin Anson, executive secretary of the Grower-Shipper Vegetable association of Salinas, and C. E. Briggs, western program director of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, this description, merged into a composite first person narrative, greatly reduced, is herewith repeated:
"A few days ago I was in Salinas. California, and visited the lettuce fields in the Salinas-Watsonville district . Here the spring and summer crop runs about 35.000 acres . We grow a good cover crop of vetch and turn it under. We put on 500 pounds of commercial fertilizer to the acre, then we work the land up so it will make a good seed bod. We are careful about our selection of seed. Our varieties must be resistant to disease. When the late Dr. I. C. Jagger came here from the Bureau of Plant Industry of the Department of Agriculture we were having serious trouble with brown blight. It was beginning to look as though we would have to quit growing lettuce. Then we had mildew. And we still have problems . but thanks to Dr. Jagger we now ship lettuce to market every


day of the year . This whole industry has grown up since the original planting in 1916 by Mose Hutchings, near Aromas. In 1899 there were only 2,600 acres of lettuce In the United States. In 1938 the total acreage was 15,000 and California alone had about 100,000 acres. This seed that they are drilling now will come up in about 10 days. The little plants grow a couple of weeks and then are thinned to one plant every 12 inches . This is done with a tool that looks like a baby hoe. The handle is about a foot and a half long and the blade about 4 inches wide. The work is something like chopping cotton. Most of the plants are cut out with the hoe and then the rest are pulled out until only one plant is left in a place, that is, one plant every 12 inches. When the plants are thinned out they are ready to take up the irrigation water and fertility and soak up the sunshine until they are solid heads . which will be in 75 to 100 days. You tell when they are ready for harvest by feeling the heads . each man takes two rows and feels each head, cutting out the solid ones with a cutter that looks like a pancake turner with a narrow, sharp blade . that cuts the lettuce stems next to the ground. The cut heads from several rows are tossed together ... to make it easier for the pick-up truck to handle them . This truck is especially built with low wheels and wide tires, low so that the crew will not have to throw the lettuce high and possibly bruise it. The lettuce now goes to the packing shed . The truck carries five square baskets, each containing from 1,000 to 1,500 heads. These baskets are rolled off the truck and into the packing shed. In this case the shed is a city block long and cost about $50,000. From the foreman's platform a little above the packing floor we can watch the 125 workers ... A traveling steel belt about 2 feet wide . carries the lettuce from the trimmers through a washer to the packers. The washer is a canvas box or hood containing a spray system which thoroughly washes the lettuce with water . then it is selected by the packer, according to the size heads to be put in the crate. The popular size is the 5-dozen60 heads to the crate. Fours and sixes are liked in some markets . The packer starts with a new crate lined with waterproofed paper. First, he puts in a layer of snow ice from a special conveyor, then he puts in a layer of 20 heads and then a layer of ice. Three layers of lettuce with ice between and then another man places a big scoop of ice on top and smooths it into a rounding bulge . the next man folds the waterproofed paper over the top of the crate and sends it on to the lidder . This man operates a machine which presses the lid down and nails it, all in one operation . The crates are now packed in refrigerator


cars where they are stacked in rows, after which snow ice is blown in until the car is filled to the roof and the lettuce is packed in a solid blanket of ice."
The remainder of the program dealt with marketing conditions in New York City and incidentally brought out that only about 31 cents of every dollar the housewife pays for lettuce goes back to the shipper. Of the remaining 69 cents, 21 cents is paid for transportation and 48 cents represents the cost to the consumer for handling the lettuce after it arrives at the terminal. This covers cost of hauling through congested city streets, selling and handling in the wholesale and jobbing markets, waste and all the costs of retailing. To sum up, the carload is ferried across the river, the lettuce unloaded at the pier by stevedores, put on a truck for a wholesale receiver at the Washington Street Market, a fruit and vegetable clearance terminal, established before motor trucks were known. There it is unloaded by another crew and carried or pushed on a hand truck to the buyer's truck which carries it to some jobbing market from where it is trucked again to a retailer's store. Methods differ little in other large terminal markets, usually located on narrow streets and in the same buildings where they were established 50 to 100 years ago.
MARKETING
Grading Head Lettuce. United States standards for head lettuce were first issued in 1922. Most Western lettuce is graded, packed and quoted and sold in accordance with these U. S. Standards. In the Eastern States, where the bulk of the Big Boston is packed, these standards are less extensively applied. Standards for Iceberg provide for four grades: U. S. Fancy; U. S. No. 1; U. S. Commercial, and U. S. No. 2. A summary of requirements for these grades as published by U. S. Agricultural Marketing Service follows:
"U. S. Fancy shall consist of heads of lettuce of similar varietal characteristics which are fresh, firm, well formed and well trimmed; which are not split, burst or open, and which are free from decay, tipburn, russett, brown blight, doubles, and from damage caused by seedstems, broken midribs, freezing, dirt, sunburn, discoloration, disease, aphis or other insects, or mechanical or other means.


"U. S. No. 1 shall consist of heads of lettuce of similar varietal characteristics which are fresh; which are not split or burst, and which are free from decay, tipburn, russett. brown blight, doubles, and from damage caused by opening, seed-stems, broken midribs, freezing, dirt, sunburn, discoloration, disease, aphis or other insects, or mechanical or other means. Each head shall be fairly well trimmed unless specified as closely trimmed. Not less than 75 per cent of the heads of Iceberg type shall be firm, and the remainder shall be fairly firm.
"U. S. Commercial shall consist of heads of lettuce which meet all of the requirements of U. S. No. 1 except that they shall be free from serious damage by tipburn instead of free from tipburn.
"U. S. No. 2 shall consist of heads of lettuce of similar varietal characteristics which are not split or burst, which are free from decay, from damage caused by seedstems, and from serious damage caused by wilting, tipburn, freezing, disease, insects, or mechanical or other means."
Some leeway is allowed and these tolerances are specifically defined for each grade. In general, these allow that not more than 10 per cent, by count, of the heads in any container may be below the requirements of its grade. A copy of the U. S. Standards for Lettuce, issued by Agricultural Marketing Service, can be obtained by writing to the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
LEADING PRODUCING STATES
California ships about two-thirds of the Nation's commercial lettuce supply of the Iceberg type. This is the State's leading vegetable crop and ranks second only to oranges in income for all fruits and vegetables. California lettuce is distributed throughout the United States and Canada in carlots during the entire year. In 1937 about 21 per cent of California's production was early crop, 28 per cent second-early, 4 per cent intermediate, 19 per cent first-late, and 32 per cent second-late.
Arizona, second in market production, in 1937 shipped about 21 per cent of the country's supply. This State produces an early and second-early crop of Iceberg lettuce, shipping from November to late April.


New York markets most of its lettuce in the first-late period though some may not reach market until October. The main part of this is Big Boston, with some Iceberg, leaf lettuce and romaine. Commercial production of crisphead lettuce has been underway since 1930 but with indifferent success until about 1937. Then, and in the following year, favorable results were secured with Imperial No. 44 on muck soil but acreage in the Iceberg variety remains comparatively small.
Washington supplied about 68 per cent of the small intermediate crop in the period 1933-37 which amounted to only 3 per cent of the national total. This crop is overlapped by the May shipments of second-early and some July shipments of first-late from other States, so that while the intermediate classification is unimportant as compared with other groups, this does not imply a dimunition of either supply or demand in the national market.
New Jersey produces both intermediate and late crops, marketing in May and June, October and November, mostly Big Boston, some romaine and a little Iceberg.
Colorado comes in on the first-late crop of Iceberg shipping from the latter part of June to as late as October. About half of its production moves by truck and is not a factor in the national market.
Idaho is another State whose production is not important in a national way. Some intermediate crop is shipped, but more in the late, October to December. Shipments in 1937 were less than 1 per cent of the national total.
Oregon markets some of the intermediate crop in May and June, mostly dry-packed and trucked to nearby cities. Its late crop is shipped to Chicago and other cities in the Central States. Total in 1937 was less than half of 1 per cent of national shipments.
North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia ship from the middle of March to May, mostly Big Boston. An effort is being made to establish Iceberg and small shipments have been made.


Florida, in process of changing from Big Boston to Iceberg, will continue to ship most of its lettuce during the early period, from December to April, in competition with the heavy shipments from California and Arizona. There is, however, a possibility that the State may work into the second-early or even the intermediate group as heat-resistant strains are developed. Some have been produced as late as June in the Weirsdale district.


TERMINAL MARKETS
The bulk of commercial shipments of Iceberg lettuce go to terminal points east of the Mississippi River, which gives Florida the advantage of a shorter haul and lower shipping costs over its principal competitors.
New York City is the most important, taking nearly 10,000 carloads of lettuce annually, about 65 per cent Iceberg, 30 per cent Big Boston, and 5 per cent romaine. California and Arizona supply about 90 per cent of the Iceberg. Most of the Big Boston arrives by truck, principally from western and central New York, Long Island, New Jersey and some of the Southern States. Western lettuce is handled by dealers specializing in vegetables from the Pacific coast. All methods are used but purchases f. o. b. shipping point probably predominate. Lettuce from Southeastern States is handled mostly on consignment, with the usual commission rate 7 per cent of gross sales for carloads and 10 per cent for less than carloads. Some receivers of Eastern lettuce charge a flat rate of 10 cents per crate for that selling below $1. The bulk is sold by receivers to jobbers, chain stores, hotel and ship-supply houses and large retailers, and very few less-than-carload sales are made for re-consignment.
Chicago, the second largest market east of the Rockies, is an important distributor for points east of the Mississippi River. It receives most of its lettuce by rail from California and Arizona. In 1937, out of a total of 4,604 cars, 4,363 came from there. New York supplied 26. When the market is brisk most purchases are made f. o. b. track basis through buyer's representatives at shipping points or brokers or on cash telegraphed orders. If the market is dull, trading reverts to consignment. Charges on consignment average 7 per cent. The usual brokerage charge is $25 per car.
Philadelphia, next largest Eastern market, receives about 3,500 carloads annually, of which around 80 per cent is Iceberg from California and Arizona. In summer Big Boston, romaine and some Iceberg comes from New Jersey, New York and other Eastern States. All methods of purchase are used.


Boston, the third largest Eastern market, receives about 3.000 cars by rail, boat, and truck, of which approximately 70 per cent is Iceberg from California and Arizona. The local supply is mainly Big Boston although eastern-grown iceberg is increasing. About half of the Western lettuce is purchased outright; most of the remainder on consignment, the latter method increasing when there is an over.-iupply. Direct purchases are made through telegraph orders to western shippers or brokers and through Chicago brokers. I'nder another common method, known as "price arrival." the prospective buyer is invited to bid on a car received at a terminal market. If the price is satisfactory the car is accepted, if unsatisfactory, further bids may be invited, or the car placed in the hands of a local broker or delivered to other markets. Usual commission on consignment is 7 per cent with an additional $10 for unloading and selling through the Boston Market Terminal. Much of the Eastern lettuce is handled on consignment.
Pittsburgh takes about 1.S00 carloads, all but about 50 Iceberg. The latter, mainly leaf lettuce, hothouse, and field-grown from Ohio, and Big Boston from New York and Pennsylvania, arrives by truck. At least 85 per cent of the Iceberg is bought direct from shippers or through brokers at shipping points.
Detroit receives nearly l.!H)0 carloads of which about 90 per cent comes from California and Arizona, with little demand for Big Boston or romaine. Probably half of the Iceberg is bought f. o. b. shipping point, mostly from shippers.
Cleveland receives about 1.400 cars, practically all Iceberg from California and Arizona. Locally grown lettuce consists of Big Boston, field and hothouse leaf lettuce and some Iceberg. More leaf lettuce is grown under glass in the Cleveland district than in any other section of the country, and is shipped to other cities. More than half of the Western lettuce is consigned; Southern and locally grown, handled on commission. A considerable part of the Western lettuce is bought f. o. b. shipping point or on a delivered basis.
St. Louis uses around 1,500 cars, mostly from Western States. New York supplies a few cars of Big Boston and Ohio an occasional car of leaf lettuce. All methods of


purchase are used. Local brokers charge $25 per car for handling. Commissions range 7 to 10 per cent.
Cincinnati takes about 975 carloads, mostly Iceberg from California and Arizona, and a few cars of Big Boston from New York and Florida. A large proportion of the Western lettuce is bought from Chicago receivers either on track or rolling. Of the rest, some is purchased direct !'. o. b. shipping point and some on consignment. The usual commission is 10 per cent of gross sal'-s.
New Orleans uses nearly 500 carloads, practically all from California and Arizona. In 1937 the city took 43:5 cars of Western lettuce and 23 cars of local Uig Boston.
Carloads are usually bought f. o. b. shipping point. On a dull market some is consigned. Commission rates are from 8 to 10 per cent. Brokerage is usually $25 per car.
Atlanta takes about 400 carloads, practically all Iceberg from California and Arizona, which arrives by rail. In 1939 Florida supplied 10 carloads, a small amount of which was Iceberg. Here lettuce is bought on a delivered basis through local brokers. Consignments were common in the past, but have become negligible. Commission rates are 10 to 15 per cent of gross sales, usually 12 per cent.
Sources of carload shipments received by these 1G cities in 1939 are shown in Table No. 6, following:
ti


TABLE No. 6
From From From From All
Arlionn California Florida Other siati- TOTAL
Atlanta............... 65 320 10 3 398
Baltimore ......... 166 757 6 38 967
Birmingham 92 243 1 5 341
Boston ............... 396 1,498 1 63 1,958
Chicago ............ 931 3,172 1 278 4,382
Cleveland .......... 300 976 0 48 1,324
Detroit ............... 460 1,312 0 84 1,856
Louisville........... 79 220 1 6 306
Memphis ........... 59 270 0 0 329
New Orleans 67 393 l 8 469
New York City . 1,319 4,914 201 878 7,312
Norfolk ............... 25 134 0 7 166
Philadelphia 583 2,038 19 123 2,763
Pittsburgh ......... 415 1,256 26 97 1,794
Richmond......... 46 179 0 5 230
Washington ..... 123 524 0 L5 662
5,126 20% 18,206 73% 267 1% 1,658 67c 25,257 100%
Monthly shipments received by these cities in 1939 are shown in the following Table No. 7:


Mill
CITY
Jap, Feb. | Mar. [ Apr. [ May Junei July Aug. Sept. I Oct. N
ATLANTA ...................................... 28 28 22 28 !! 32 22 28 28 :::: 24 32 398
Ill l 11 1 * ...........................|IIHIMI""t...... BOSTON ................................................... 145 121 113 188 382 141 182 188 145 128 149 139 1,958
11 72 27 85 87 184 88 82 12 71 78 51 82 957
BIRMINGHAM ................................ 28 32 25 25 38 22 27 25 21 21 25 341
UUU'llH '...........""""..... CHICAGO ............................................ 345 288 285 282 514 488 385 382 243 218 352 357 4,382
CLEVELAND .................................... 1 112 121 122 158 112 81 92 84 84 185 121 1,324
\JUil 1 J.UMt'*' tiniMtilll"MHIl............ DETROIT ........................................... 155 148 158 175 228 188 138 128 125 117 141 182 1,856
UUlHVtl ...........i'"'.................." LOUISVILLE ..................................... 1 25 22 25 24 24 22 15 22 19 27 28 295
1. 1 I' 1 IUUU 111 It III IIII "II........IIIHHM1IMI MEMPHIS ................................. 2? 22 27 21 28 28 25 28 25 25 35 28 229
i'Mit'11 IklKI .....................nim".....i.........i NEW ORLEANS .................................... 41 42 27 21 58 38 41 28 38 27 48 48 489
HUM VUMUHilV mi..............iiiiiimim NEW UK ........................ 558 522 52! 527 887 483 555 811 857 438 515 581 7,212
iijj i] i ...........'...........>......"............ NORFOLK ............................................ 12 1 14 13 14 18 15 14 15 12 15 18 158
ilViM VM* mi.................." PHILADELPHIA.................................... 212 213 265 252 335 222 232 225 287 189 189 228 2,782
PITTSBURGH ...................................... 155 144 17 177 187 211 141 112 181 124 122 151 172 1,794
1 11 1 tjif V mi'iir..........................", RICHMOND............................................. 17 21 24 28 28 18 28 14 17 15 12 228
? I1 JJiUU*1"' <"'......"'......HimiHI"MiF WASHINGTON........................................ 51 51 57 55 75 78 58 52 44 48 48 55 652
1,841 2,287 2,313 2,345 2,827 2,548 2,141 L(i2!l 1,912 1,128 25,257
v. Dec. Total


FOREIGN TRADE
Canada is the only country receiving any noticeable amount of American lettuce, and nearly all of this is delivered during the winter months. Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg take most of the Dominion's requirements, practically all Western-grown Iceberg. Imports for 1937 were 1,833 carloads. Imports into the United States for the same year were infinitesimal. Canada and Cuba together shipped 4,244 pounds.


DISEASES AND CONTROL
In his struggle for survival Man has had to wage a continuous war against plagues, blights and pests that have threatened his food supply. In this struggle he has not completely outwitted Nature, but human ingenuity has gone far to counteract many of the diseases that have endangered his existence. This has been accomplished largely through prevention and through the development of disease-resistant strains of vegetables.
Lettuce has been no exception; in fact, it has required more than ordinary safeguards. As one of the most tender and succulent of plants, it is not only more enticing to parasitic organisms, but on this account, more susceptible to decay than almost any other vegetable. Even virgin soil is likely soon to become infested with lettuce disease, though Florida, forewarned of these threats through experiences elsewhere, has acquired valuable knowledge of preventive measures.
At least a dozen well-known lettuce diseases are present in Florida, but few of these, because of careful precautions, have gained a destructive foothold. Among the more common are: drop, downey. mildew, damping off, tip-burn, anthracnose, gray mold, bottom rot. and bacterial diseases such as, wilt, marginal blight, black rot, and rosette. These, if left unmolested, harass lettuce from the seedbed to the retail market.
Drop. Drop might be called "lettuce enemy No. 1." It is caused by a soil-inhabiting fungus first reported in Florida about 190S and which has since been found on more than 50 different hosts in this State. The disease is prevalent in all lettuce-growing States and may occur during all stages of development and even in transit if infected leaves have not been trimmed off. This fungus grows in all types of Florida soil but more commonly in muck. Moisture and comparatively low temperatures favor its growth and when these conditions are present the sclerotia, or fruiting bodies of the fungus, send up little stalks capped with mushroomlike disks containing the spores. These germinate on the lettuce and are ejected into the air whence they reach other plants.
First symptom is a general appearance of wilt: the older, outside leaves droop and this proceeds toward the
is


heart of the plant until all leaves, except the head, have fallen to the ground. Then the heart may become a soft mass. This rot actually begins on the ctem at the surface of the ground where an examination will show a white, cottony growth or mold. If the disease has progressed beyond the first wilting stage, black irregularly-shaped bodies, or sclerotia, appear on the surface of the leaves and in the head of the diseased plant.
Control. Sanitation, or careful and frequent inspections of the field and removal of diseased plants, is the most effective method of control; crop rotation next. In the latter case soil should be planted to crops showing resistance to this particular fungus, such as peppers, tomatoes, peas, onions, radishes, spinach and rutabagas, but not celery, cabbage or eggplant. Seedbed treatment is also important in this and in most other lettuce diseases.
Downy Mildew. Another fungus disease of wide distribution throughout the country and Florida is downy mildew which increases in importance with cooler weather. It reaches seedbeds and fields from a number of wild host plants which grow in waste places throughout the year. This disease has produced minor field losses in Florida, but the plant attacked by it is likely to fall a victim to other destructive organisms while in transit to market and these get the blame instead of the primary cause.
Symptoms of downy mildew show up in lesions in the older leaves and in yellowish spots on the upper side of the leaves. Usually the same area on the under surface is covered by a whitish fungus growth which can be brushed off with the finger. These spots enlarge, connect, turn brown and finally cause the death of the leaves.
Control. Not much can be done to control this disease in the field, but some precautionary measures can be taken in early stages of growth in the seedbed. A spray such as 4-4-50 Bordeaux mixture applied when the plants are a few days old and again four days before transplanting, will materially check the disease. Disposal of infected plants, cleaning of fence rows and waste places which harbor host plants will also retard its spread. To prevent damage to lettuce en route to market diseased


leaves should be stripped before packing. In California, downy mildew has been held in check through the development of disease-resistant lettuce, but these strains have not proved satisfactory in Florida. However, laboratory research is under way at Beltsville, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; and other experiment stations to provide the South with similar disease-resistant varieties.
Oilier Diseases. Numerous other enemies classified for convenience as bacterial diseases are common in all lettuce-growing areas. These include bacterial wilt, marginal blight, rot, black rot, and rosette, all affecting lettuce but not escarole, romaine or endive. Losses from these occur both in the field and in transit. It is often difficult for one without a specialized training to make specific field identifications in this group, as symptoms are frequently similar to those of other diseases.
Bacterial wilt causes a general dry rot or wilting of the plant, attacking from the lower leaves and stem, and progressing from the older to the younger leaves. Marginal blight affects the edges of the leaves, turning them brown along the entire margin. It is a sort of dry rot resembling tip-burn. Rot, or black rot, produces a distinct brownish discoloration of the leaves which rapidly break down into a wet, slimy mass. This form of wet rot is more of a problem in Florida than others in this group. It may pass unnoticed for a while as it affects inside leaves that may be covered with healthy ones. Slight pressure will detect it. Rosette is not common in Florida. Plants affected may appear to be simply stunted.
Control. It is difficult to formulate methods for the control of these diseases as fungicides cannot be applied successfully. Preventive measures are therefore required, such as treatment of seed and seedbed, proper drainage of land, rotation of crops and sanitary precautions.
Damping Off. Lettuce seedlings are particularly susceptible to this disease common to seedbeds in Florida. Young plans attacked by it may be vigorous one day and prostrate the next. When this occurs, examination of the stem will disclose a water-soaked, weak area near the surface of the ground where the fungus from the


soil has attacked and weakened the stem until it can no longer support the plant. Damping off has been found in all types of soil and is caused by various organisms. Slight attacks by one of these organisms may result in a browning of the stem at and above the soil line resulting in stunting and unequal development of the seedlings. If seeds have been broadcast it may develop in circular patches. Development of this disease is favored by a high degree of moisture, a soil high in humus content, and high relative humidity.
Control. Prevention, as far as possible, is the best measure that can be recommended for the control of damping off. Seed and seedbed should be sterilized, and surface soil never watered or plants sprinkled, as this encourages the growth of fungi. Subirrigation is, therefore, necessary. Proper sanitary measures are also required to prevent reinfection.
Tip-burn. This is a nonparasitic condition, usually occurring in the later stages of the plant's development, which causes a discoloration of the margin of the leaves. It develops rapidly and is easily detected. It is most likely to appear when sunshiny days follow cloudy, rainy weather accompanied by high humidity and perhaps high night temperatures. During this latter period the plant has grown rapidly and considerable new, tender tissue has formed. The sunshine dries this out causing dark brown spots to appear along the margin. Enlargement of these prevents the passage of water through the leaf, and the portion beyond wilts and dies leaving a dead strip around the edges.
Control. Since tip-burn is associated with the weather, use of irrigation and drainage to offset pronounced atmospheric changes and regulate growth seems to be about the most practical method of control. Cultivation may be a further aid, and prompt harvesting when mature lessens the risk. Excessive application of nitrogenous fertilizer which would produce too rapid growth should be avoided, likewise fungicides. Crop rotation and sanitation do not enter into the matter.
Slime. This term is used in a rather general way when applied to lettuce rot. It may appear as a slippery, soft rot or as a gray mold, which develops in the field or later in transit. It often follows tip-burn or other


injuries to the leaf. Sometimes it follows frost and excessive irrigation which render the plant susceptible to the attack by different fungi and bacteria. Damp weather and warm nights are favorable to its development.
Control. This rests largely in the prevention of conditions which may cause it, such as tip-burn and bruises which damage tissue through which the organisms may enter. Therefore, care should be exercised to prevent bruising in handling. Good drainage is necessary, and if the problem is serious the aim should be to have the crop mature in cool weather.
AnthraettO.se. While generally distributed throughout the country and prevalent in Florida this disease has not become a great economic hazard. Caused by fungus, it is characterized by the appearance of small water-soaked yellowish areas along the midribs on the under rides of the larger leaves. These enlarge, spread, and drop out, leaving circular holes. The disease may continue to the center of the plant in extreme cases, and open the way for attack by other organisms which will affect the lettuce in transit.
Control. Soil sterilization in the seedbed and sanitation are necessary to combat this disease. As its spores require moisture to develop, overhead irrigation should be avoided.
Cray Mold. Another common disease, gray mold, has become serious in Florida. It is sometimes spoken of as gray mold rot because one of the symptoms is a gray fuzzy growth about the base, similar to the white mycelial growth in the case of drop. This disease is caused by a soil fungus and first appears as water-soaked, dark, decayed areas on the lower leaves or on the stem near the ground, which enlarge and sometimes become yellowish. Next a gray mycelial growth appears and produces globular spores which are scattered by the wind and rain, causing infection of other plants. Sometimes this mold affects only a part of the plant but under favorable moisture and temperature conditions it may progress until it breaks down the entire plant.
Control. Sanitation and crop rotation are the principal means of prevention, although diseased plant?


should be removed from the field and destroyed. Spraying young plants in the seedbed with a 2-4-50 Bordeaux mixture retards the development of spores, and since moisture favors their growth overhead watering should not be practiced.
Bottom Rot. Though not as widely prevalent as other diseases mentioned, bottom rot is common in Florida. It also comes from a soil fungus and first attacks in the seedbed, producing damping off of seedlings. It thrives in muck soils, and in poorly drained fields and the loss from it may be considerable. This fungus attacks the roots and spreads to the lower leaves which turn brown and rot. It also continues its attack on new roots and the plant is stunted and begins to wilt, somewhat as in drop. On removal of the plant from the soil disease can be readily identified by the scarcity of roots.
Control. This fungus may be controlled by sterilization of the soil in the seedbeds. Sanitation and rotation of crops are the only remedy in the field. Poorly drained soil should be avoided.


INSECT ENEMIES AND THEIR CONTROL
Lettuce is unusually fortunate in its comparative freedom from insect enemies. When these do appear and cannot be controlled by the methods described here, the county agent of the United States Department of Agriculture should be consulted.
Cutworms. The seedling lettuce crop is particularly liable to the depredations of cutworms. These may winter in the soil as immature worms and attack the early-planted crops, while later crops are subject to attack by cutworms that have wintered in the egg stage, or that hatch from eggs laid in the spring or later.
Cutworms feed mostly at night and lie inert just below the surface of the soil during the daytime. They can be kept under control by the careful use of a poisoned-bran bait made and used in accordance with this formula:
Ingredient
Dry Bran
White arsenic or
Paris green Sirup or molasses Water
Small Quantities
1 peck or 5 pounds
14 pound 1 pint
3 or -1 quarts
Large Quantities
25 pounds
1 pound
2 quarts
15 to 20 quarts
Bran and dry poison must be thoroughly mixed so that each particle of bran will carry a little of the poison. Mixing with the hands is effective, but must be done with great care as soluble arsenic is absorbed to a slight degree through the pores. If there are scratches, cuts, abrasions or chafing on hands or wrists do not put them into the mixture. Use paddle instead, or, Cor large lots, use shovel and rake as in mixing concrete.
Mix sirup and water and add to the bran and poison mixture. Add slowly and stir constantly, using only sufficient solution to make a crumbly mass.
This bait may be broadcast over the fields, using ten to fifteen pounds to the acre, or it may be sowed along the rows or around the base of the plants. Application should be made in the evening and repeated two or three times at two-day intervals if needed.
Because cutworms winter in the ground it Is wise to treat the field with this poison-bait before planting, thus eliminating many of the worms before there is a crop to attack.


Plant Lice or Aphids. The leaves of the lettuce plants are sometimes attacked by plant lice or aphids. These can be kept under control by nicotine dust with 2 per cent nicotine. Apply to under sides of leaves when the plants are dry and the air temperature is 70 P. or above. Do not use nicotine dust later than ten days before harvesting the crop.
Loopers, Army Worms, and Wireworms. Experiments for the control of lettuce loopers, army worms, and wire-worms are going forward but no effective and satisfactory method has as yet been developed. Arsenical treatments are effective but should not be used on leaf vegetables except in the very earliest stages of growth. If these pests appear the county agent should be consulted.


1940-41 ACREAGE, PRODUCTION AND PRICES
Because adverse weather conditions prevented a normal showing in 1940-41, production figures can best be given by quoting from a letter from J. C. Townsend. Jr., Agricultural Statistician of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, dated June 12, 1941:
"The Iceberg lettuce deal this year requires a little explanation to give you a clear picture of just what happened. You will notice in our figures below that I am showing a planted acreage and harvested acreage with yield and price on harvested production.
"In the season of 1939-40 Iceberg lettuce was grown successfully in several sections of the state. This developed considerable enthusiasm among Florida growers and also served to bring in lettuce shippers and growers from California and Arizona. Several packing houses were built and plans were made to expand the acreage very considerably. In fact, these plans were for the most part carried out and by the first of January 1941, approximately 5,000 acres of lettuce had been set in the various sections of the state, the more important being Manatee and the muck sections of the Everglades around Belle Glade and Clewiston, with smaller acreages in Dade, Orange, Seminole and DeSoto counties. Plans were also under way at that time to have an additional 2,000 acres for later planting. These later settings were made in Marion county. Our figure of 2,000 acres for that part of the crop harvested or partly harvested is preliminary, since I have not had the opportunity to check all sections yet.
"The reason for such a small percentage of the acreage being harvested was a freeze in the middle of November, followed by six weeks of drouth which was in turn followed by very heavy rains every week or two. Just when lettuce would be coming into harvest the various sections would be deluged with a heavy rain, causing most of the lettuce to be abandoned. This happened throughout the winter months. Some lettuce, of course, was shipped but quality was poor. There were 427 carloads of lettuce by rail and truck from the state in 1940-41. This included possible 150 to 200 cars of


the Big Boston variety. In other words, as far as Florida is concerned this year the Tceberg lettuce deal was a failure. However, most growers and shippers that I have interviewed towards the end of the season lay the blame to adverse weather and expect to carry on in 1941-42.
"In view of the large expansion in acreage several packing houses were erected. Two of the packing houses have the most modern equipment, similar to that used in California and Arizona. One of these was located at Clewiston on the Kurtz operation. Mr. Sawyer at Palmetto had a similar type plant. There were two or three other new plants built, in the Manatee-Ruskin section. At Belle Glade two or three packing houses were equipped with lettuce machinery similar to the endless wire belts used for celery. I did not see the packing houses at Weirsdale or at Arcadia nor the ones in Dade County but believe these were similar to the Belle Glade operation. In these packing houses lettuce was placed on a wire endless belt and passed under the spraying system for cleaning. Packer selects his heads from this belt and along both sides of the belt to the back of the packer facilities for icing were placed, in all houses the regular California package and system of grading and packing were used."
Preliminary Estimate of Florida Iceberg Lettuce 1940-41 Season
Subject to revision, December 1941
Acreage ................ 7,000 planted2,000 harvested
Yield per acre ...75 Western crates Production ...........150.000
Price .....................$1.80
Value ....................$270,000."


REFERENCES
Breeding Vegetable Crops, Bulletin No. 1581, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Marketing Commercial Lettuce, Bulletin No. 712, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
From Field to Market with Florida Vegetables and Citrus Fruits, Series No. 88, State Department of Agriculture.
Florida Vegetables, Bulletin No. 90, University of Florida, Agriculture Extension Service.
Some Florida Truck Crops, Bulletin No. 23, State Department of Agriculture.
The Southeast Can (Jrow Good Iceburg Lettuce, article from Plant Food Magazine, October 1929.
Diseases of Lettuce, Romaine, Escarole, and Endive, Bulletin No. 426, New York State Department of Agriculture.
Head Lettuce in Western Washington, Bulletin No. 19,
State College of Washington. Joe B. Johnson, Fort Myers Head Lettuce Production in California, Bulletin No. 105,
College of Agriculture, University of California. Lettuce A Promising Money Crop, article in Florida
Grower, November 1940. Rebirth of Lettuce Industry in Florida, Bradenton (Fla.)
Herald, February 19, 1939. Planning to Recoup Lettuce Markets, Florida Magazine,
November 1939. Lettuce Acreage, Production, and Price, Bulletin TC-40:
812, Agricultural Marketing Service, U. S. Department
of Agriculture.
GROWERS AND SHIPPERS DIRECTLY CONSULTED
C. D. Miller, Ruskin
M. P. Anderson, Bradenton
C. W. Sawyer, Ruskin
Paul B. Dickman, Ruskin
J. V. Saffold, Tampa
R. E. Kurtz, Fort Myers
Joe B. Johnston, Fort Myers
C. S. Lee, Oviedo
W. N. Seegar, Ocoee
F. F. Button, Sanford


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