.-- F FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
S UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
,.'' / INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
Vegetable' (' rops DeLpart incut
January 12, 1966
TO: COUNTY AGENTS, ASSOCIATES AND ASSISTANTS
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Roadside Marketing of Vegetables
2. Poultry Manure and Possible Boron Toxocity
3. Seed Size and Depth of Planting
4. Aluminum as a Possible Repellent for Aphids
5. Additional Herbicides for Vegetable Crops
6. Other Items of Interest:
(a) Marigolds and Nematode Control
(b) Vegetable Field Days
(c) Compatibility of Insecticides, Fungicides,
and Foliar Fertilizers on Watermelons
(d) Effects of Soil Fumigation on Fertilization
1. Roadside Marketing of Vegetables:
One type of marketing of vegetables that has not progressed much
over the past years is retailing at roadside markets. The states of
New Jersey and Indiana each have about 1500 roadside markets selling
fresh farm produce. A large percentage of these are grower owned and
operated. Some growers sell practically all they can produce through
this type of outlet.
It would certainly be worthwhile for some of our vegetable growers
to look into roadside marketing as a means of selling their produce.
Success in roadside marketing depends on a number of factors:
(1) Good Location The best locations are farms adjacent to
well-travelled roads and near to centers of large popula-
tions. The outlet should be neat looking, well pointed
out by signs, and have easy accessibility from road and
ample parking for automobiles.
(2) Good Produce The housewife will pay a premium for high
quality, fresh produce with good appearance. A wide
variety of farm products for sale on a regular schedule
over a long period of the year will bring repeat buying
from an increasing number of customers in a short time.
Prices must be competitive with those of regular retail
outlets. Vegetables that lose quality rapidly or must be
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harvested somewhat immature for the normal trade
are naturals for roadside markets. These include
sweet corn, garden peas, vine ripe tomatoes, field
ripe cantaloupes, strawberries, greens, etc.
Those interested in the possibility of roadside
marketing should get a report of a joint study made
by the University of Delaware and the United States
Department of Agriculture entitled "Farm Roadside
Marketing." It is available for $2.00 from Food
Business Institute, University of Delaware, Newark,
2. Poultry Manure and Possible Boron Toxocity:
At least two or three times each year, we run into situations
where vegetable plants in seedbeds or fields show a boron toxocity
as a result of application of poultry manure. Boron may reach
extremely high levels in poultry manure if the poultryman cases
borated compounds as insecticides to control fly larva where the
droppings accumulate. In one sample, a grower added the equivalent
of twenty-one pounds of borax per acre by the application of five
tons of chicken manure to the acre.
Poultry manure is an excellent fertilizer for vegetable crops,
provided it does rot contain toxic levels of boron or possibly
other harmful materials. If in doubt, have a representative sample
analyzed before using it.
3. Seed Size and Depth of Planting:
Uniform maturity in most vegetable crops is extremely important
for once-over harvest, large yields, uniform quality and grade and
for efficient use of labor and harvesting equipment. Work done in
the Vegetable Crops Department by Mr. Alam and Dr. Locascio demon-
strated quite clearly the effect of size and depth of planting on
seedling emergence and subsequent rate of growth.
The research showed that the uniformly-sized, larger seeds
germinated earlier, produced larger plants and yielded and matured
earlier than the smaller seeds. Depth of planting had considerable
effect on time of seedling emergence. The deeper the small-size
seed of a crop, like broccoli, are planted, the longer they take to
emerge and for the plants to grow to maturity as compared with the
larger seed of the same crop planted at the same depth.
This work points out the advantages of "precision planting."
For uniformity of maturity, etc., more and more vegetable growers
in the future will be planting sized seed, properly spaced at a
uniform depth in the soil.
4. Aluminum as a Possible Repellent of Aphids:
There have been several reports recently in trade and
technical journals dealing with aluminum as a repellent for
aphids. Aphids not only cause injury to plants directly, but
transmit harmful viruses from plant to plant. Control or
exclusion of aphids would indeed be a major breakthrough in
Dr. W. D. Moore and associates tested aluminum as well as
other materials to determine if aphids could actually be repelled.
They used yellow straightneck squash as the indicator crop in two
experiments. Their results showed that aluminum foil and white
plastic used as a mulch reduced the incidence of watermelon mosaic
(a good measure of aphid infestation) to a highly significant degree.
These results are only preliminary and are not ready to be
recommended on the commercial farm. Considerably more testing must
be done to determine details on methods of application, costs,
possible returns, etc.
5. Additional Herbicides for Vegetables:
Several new herbicides have been approved for use on certain
crops within the past year or so. Most of these herbicides are
being suggested for use on a trial basis only until they are tested
further by the Experiment Stations and more experience is gained with
them by growers. The recently approved herbicides and the crops on
which they can be used are:
(1) Amiben peppers, tomatoes and squash (yellowcrook or
(2) Benefin lettuce
(3) Linuron carrots
(4) Pebulate (formerly PEBC) tomatoes
(5) Trifluralin bush beans, Lima beans, broccoli, cabbage,
cauliflower, okra, southern peas, peppers and tomatoes
With an already serious labor problem at hand, growers are
looking for all "laborsaving devices" available. Herbicides, when
properly used, can lower labor needs as surely as other recognized
laborsaving practices, such as use of mechanical harvesters, precision
placement planters, bulk loading and unloading equipment, etc.
Herbicides will play a more important role in vegetable production
with each passing year.
f. Other Items of Interest:
(a) Marigolds and Nematode Control -
Preliminary work of the U. S. Department of Agriculture and
other agencies has shown that a South American type marigold may
control several species of nematodes when grown in a soil. This
work is very preliminary. The Experiment Station is conducting
re:iearch on this crop now. Marigolds are not yet recommended
for this purpose.
(b) Vegetable Field Days -
We are already starting on the 1966 round of vegetable field
days. Dr. J. W. Wilson announced one for February 15th at 1:30 P. M.
at t:ie Central Florida Experiment Station, Sanford, Florida.
(c) Compatibility of Insecticides, Fungicides and Foliar
Fertilizers on Watermelons -
We have mentioned this on several occasions before. Here is
the summary of a paper presented by Drs. Adlerz and Schenck. Draw
your own conclusions.
"A 3-year study was conducted on compatibility of 48 combina-
tions o- 4 insecticides, 4 fungicides, and 3 foliar fertilizers.
Only 4 treatments never showed evidence of incompatibility and
were commonly above average in disease or insect control or yield.
Only 4 combinations of materials were clearly incompatible each
year. Many other combinations gave evidence of incompatibility,
but not consistently. A study of 3 or more years is necessary to
determine whether a material will be consistently incompatible."
(d) Effects of Soil Fumigation on Fertilization -
There seem to be a few misconceptions on the effects of soil
fumigation and the fertilization to follow after fumigation. Here
are some established facts that should be taken into consideration
in planning a fertilization program on vegetables following fumigation:
(1) Minor elements are not greatly affected by fumigation. There
is no need to change the minor element program following soil fumigation.
(2) Nitrogen behavior in the soil is affected by fumigation,
however. The microorganisms necessary to convert organic nitrogen to
inorganic nitrogen and further nitrate nitrogen are greatly reduced.
It is absolutely necessary, therefore, to supply a large percentage
of the nitrogen in the readily available nitrate form following
fumigation. Nitrification returns to normal gradually in four to
twelve weeks depending upon many factors.
F. Jamison, Chairman asl=.
F. amison, Chrman ames Montelaro
Vegetable Crops Department Vegetable Crops Specialist
Mason E. Marvel
Associate Vegetable Crops Specialist