Title: Vegetarian
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Title: Vegetarian
Series Title: Vegetarian
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: October 1973
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00090
Source Institution: University of Florida
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I FAS

TEACiiiM i RESARCH EXTE ISIO


October 9, 1973




Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


3. F. Kelly
Chairman


James Montelaro
Professor


J. M. Stephens
Assistant Professor


S. R. Kostewicz
Assistant Professor


J. R. Hicks
Assistant Professor


TO: COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLES AND HORTICULTURE)
AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN VEGETABLE CROPS IN FLORIDA

FROM: J. R. Hicks, Assistant Vegetable Crops Specialist


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 73-10

IN THIS ISSUE:


K


I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION


A. Lettuce Seed Indexing for Better Mosaic Control
in Florida
B. Onion Production Potential in Florida
C. Curing and Storage of Sweet Potatoes

II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Marketing Red-Ripe Tomatoes

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Arsenic in Chicken Fertilizer
B. Know Your Vegetables Scarlet Runner Bean


NOTE: Anyone is
possible,


free to use
please give


the information in this newsletter.
credit to the authors.


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS. STATE OF FLORIDA, IFAS, UNIVERSITY
OF FLORIDA. U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. COOPERATING


r, LV- I. I I IVlr- _^ 1 1 7IA I I IUIVII WIIIIIII lF
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

VEGETABLE CROPS DEPARTMENT

The VEGETARIAN Newsletter


Whenever




* .


THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Lettuce Seed Indexing for Better Mosaic Control in Florida

Mosaic is a very destructive disease of lettuce in all of the major
producing areas. It is caused by a virus which attacks all types of lettuce.
A rather unique characteristic of lettuce mosaic is that it can be transmitted
through the seed. A very small percentage of mosaic-infested seed can result
in almost total failure from lettuce mosaic disease in a commercial planting
due to field spread by aphids.

Work done in California showed that incidence of lettuce mosaic could
be reduced by at least 80 to 90% simply by the use of mosaic-free seed combined
with good sanitation practices by all growers. The knowledge and experience
gained in California are being put to use in Florida to help in the control of
lettuce mosaic. Florida now has a regulation in effect for the purpose of
excluding lettuce mosaic-infested seed from the major lettuce producing areas
of central Florida and Belle Glade. Anyone wanting a copy of the regulation can
obtain it from the Plant Industry Division of the Florida Department of Agri-
culture or from this office.

The regulation states that lettuce seed shipped into the two areas must
be certified to meet the requirement of "0 lettuce mosaic in 30,000 seeds."
Seed lots meeting the specifications set up in the regulation are referred to as
"double-tested seed" since they have been actually tested twice--first by the
seed company and secondly by a grower-controlled laboratory.

Growers outside the two regulated areas of Florida are not presently
required to plant double-indexed lettuce seed. However, when it is available,
growers are urged to use double-indexed seed since it would be to their advantage
to do so.

It is important, therefore, for growers to familiarize themselves with
the terminology used in the seed trade with reference to mosaic-indexed lettuce
seed. It is somewhat confusing and can easily mislead a grower into thinking a
lot of seed labeled "mosaic-indexed" to be the best available when actually it
may not be.

There are now four general classifications of lettuce seed which are
available in some of the seed catalogs under various names and descriptions.
The descriptions given below will serve to identify the various groups or classes
of lettuce seed available to growers.

Group I. Common or Non-indexed: Since it has not been tested, the
chances for the development of mosaic are much greater than from mosaic-tested
seed lots.

Group II. 0 in 10,000 seeds: Indexed and certified that when 10,000
seeds were tested, no mosaic virus was found.

Group III. 0 in 30,000 seeds: Indexed and certified that when 30,000
seeds were tested, no mosaic virus was found.




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Group IV. 0 in 30,000 seeds (double tested): Indexed twice--first by
seed company and secondly by grower-controlled testing laboratory. Certified
to show no mosaic virus in both tests.

It has been said that good seed is cheap at any price and 0 in 30,000
double-indexed seeds (Group IV) is the best seed available. When Group IV
lettuce seed is not available, growers should try to obtain the next best which
is Group III seed, etc. There are times when growers may have to plant seed
of Group II or even Group I, because Group III and Group IV seed will not be
available for all lettuce varieties and types.
(Montelaro)

B. Onion Production Potential in Florida

For years, the Vegetable Crops Department of the University of Florida
has stressed the potential of onions (dried bulbs) as a promising vegetable crop
for the State of Florida. Very little interest was generated until last season
when onions sold for a record price. It appears now from the number of inquiries
received that some growers are seriously considering producing onions in hopes
of obtaining record prices again. Rushing headlong into production of an "untried
crop" on a large scale can be a financial disaster to growers as well as a set-
back to the orderly development of a potentially promising crop in the future.

Extension vegetable specialists of the University of Florida continue to
advise caution as they have in the past. Onion production should be approached
on a limited scale in the beginning. A five-acre planting is more than enough
the first year to permit a grower to gain a lot of valuable know-how and experience
with this crop. Such a planting is large enough to test the machinery and prac-
tices that might be used subsequently for large-scale production.

Onions can be harvested from late March in south Florida to early June
in north Florida. Growers who plan to grow onions should familiarize themselves
with recommended production practices. Extension Circular 176 entitled "Onion
Production Guide" was recently revised and is available from county extension
offices or from this department. Although the information is covered in the
guide, it might be advisable to emphasize a few of the major points in onion
production which can spell the difference between success and failure.

(1) Do not use a soil fumigant which contains bromine. Onions are
susceptible to bromine injury.

(2) Use a short-day onion variety as recommended in Extension Circular
176.

(3) Check seeding dates carefully. If planted too early, onions are apt
to produce big necks and possibly seedstalks. On the other hand, onions planted
too late will not bulb satisfactorily.
(4) Plan to use herbicides on direct-seeded crops. Hand weeding can
be very costly in onions.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


(5) Seeding rate should be adjusted in accordance with size of onions
desired. Wide spacing encourages production of jumbos suitable for the ham-
burger or fried onion ring business. Closer spacing results in smaller onions
for the general retail market trade.

(6) Do not over-fertilize. Onions are shallow rooted and susceptible
to salt injury. Heavy fertilization, by producing rank growth, may cause
undesirable onion "splits."

(7) Plan to artificially dry onion bulbs after harvest. Florida's humid
climate in April and May is not conducive to field curing. Forced hot air at
110 to 1120 F. for 36 to 48 hours is ample to dry onion bulbs.

(8) Check potential brokers and buyers for advice on market needs.
(Montelaro)

C. Curing and Storage of Sweet Potatoes

A small acreage of sweet potatoes has been grown in the State this year.
Several requests have been received for information on curing and subsequent
storing of sweet potatoes. Successful curing and storage begin with good pro-
duction practices. The processes of curing and subsequent storage do not improve
the quality of sweet potato roots. However, if properly done, these processes
will maintain the original quality over a relatively long period of time. In
other words, to have a good storage crop, you must first have a good crop to
store.

The following are a few pointers to keep in mind when setting out to cure
and store the crop.

(1) Sanitize the curing and storage facilities thoroughly and adequately
before using. This includes crates, grading equipment, etc. A disinfectant such
as a chlorine compound can be utilized at about 100-150 ppm to wash the empty
house, etc. There are several fungicide materials which can also be used to help
clean up the operation before its use.

(2) Select only healthy, high-quality potatoes for curing and storage.
Attempts to cure and store low-quality or diseased sweet potatoes can only end
in failure. If it is decided that the crop will not cure and store well, wash,
grade and sell the crop uncured as soon as possible. However, if it is judged
that the crop has good storage potential, the crop can thus be cured, stored,
and then washed, graded and sold as required.

(3) Make sure the curing and storage equipment (heaters, ventilation
equipment, fans, etc.) is in proper working order.

(4) Stack crates of sweet potatoes correctly in the facility to allow
for circulation of air.

(5) Begin curing operation as close to harvest as possible. Avoid
unnecessary damage to roots during harvesting.




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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


(6) Maintain the curing conditions scrupulously at 80 to 900 F. and
85 to 90% relative humidity for 5 to 7 days.

(7) Excessive time (greater than 10 days) between curing and storage
temperature (i.e. cooling down period) should be avoided. The higher temperatures
will cause the roots to lose excessive moisture and cause shriveling.

(8) Storage temperature should be in the range of 55 to 600 F. Maintain
relative humidity at 75 to 80%.

(Kostewicz)

II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Marketing Red-Ripe Tomatoes

For many years, Florida tomato growers have been marketing tomatoes which
were harvested mature-green. There is a number of reasons for this which
includes (1) less frequent harvesting of the crop than is required for the
traditional "vine-ripes" or "pinks", and (2) mature-green tomatoes will tolerate
rougher handling than will riper fruit. There are some very distinct disadvan-
tages to marketing mature-green fruit. There is a number of steps in the tomato
marketing chain, and while mature-green fruit may tolerate rougher handling to
a certain degree, they are extremely sensitive to temperature. If, for example,
someone in the chain overbuys and has a surplus of fruit, the normal practice is
for that individual to lower the temperature to reduce the ripening rate and try
to hold the fruit until he can market it. Such practices greatly reduce the
quality of tomatoes. Although the grower may harvest and sell top-quality fruit,
the quality of the product the consumer purchases may be far removed from the
original level.

The riper a fruit is before harvest, the less chance that someone in the
marketing chain will ruin the quality. Riper fruits are more tolerant to low
temperature, and in addition, they do not need to be handled as often although
they do require more gentle handling. The release of 'Florida MH-1' has pre-
sented an opportunity to introduce a new concept into tomato marketing. Because
the fruit will remain firm even after attaining "full color" (or becoming com-
pletely red), it is possible to harvest fruit of this variety at a red-ripe stage
and deliver an extremely high-quality tomato to the consumer. Since the fruits
are harvested fully ripe instead of at the "breaker" stage as is done with vine-
ripes, the frequency of harvest is greatly reduced.

Since quality is an elusive term and sometimes appears to defy definition,
it was decided to let the consumer measure the quality of this product. Taste
panels have been conducted at the University of Florida, in cafeterias, in a
number of counties throughout the State, and in Chicago. In addition, sales have
been monitored in retail outlets in Florida and in Pennsylvania. In all of these
tests, the quality of the 'Florida MH-1' tomato rated very high. In sales, the
'Florida MH-l' harvested red-ripe far outsold another variety which was harvested
vine-ripe.

These tests have demonstrated that it is possible to harvest and market
a 'Florida MH-l' tomato after it becomes completely red-ripe. In fact, in order






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


for machine harvesting of fresh market tomatoes to become a reality, it will
probably be necessary to handle ripe fruit. Regardless of how the fruit is
harvested, the handling procedures will have to be adapted for red-ripes.
The consumer response has certainly been encouraging and should warrant some
commercial grower-packer trials. Because of geographical location and proximity
to terminal markets (which means less handling and/or shorter transportation
time), Florida growers would certainly have an advantage on any market developed
for red-ripe tomatoes.

The work mentioned involved numerous people in both research and extension.
(Hicks)

III. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Arsenic in Chicken Fertilizer

Calcium arsenate (Kilmag) is quite often used by Florida poultry producers
to kill housefly larvae in bird droppings, although other materials such as Cygon,
Rabon and Supona are probably more extensively used. The value and use of poultry
manure as fertilizer have been well established in vegetable gardens and other
cropping systems. Such utilization provides a beneficial solution to waste
disposal problems. Yet, many have expressed concern that manure treated with
arsenic and then used for fertilizer would present a safety hazard for both the
plants and consumers.

The cause for the concern, of course, comes from the fact that at suffi-
ciently high concentrations, arsenic compounds are toxic to living organisms,
including man. Such compounds as calcium arsenate, lead arsenate, and cupric
arsenite (Paris green) have been used as insecticides for a long time, and others,
such as sodium arsenate, have been used as weed killers. Small amounts are not
harmful to man, however, as is evidenced by the treatment of certain human diseases
with organic compounds of arsenic, and the fact that most plants and living cells
contain minute amounts of arsenic.

Gardeners should be advised that manure properly treated at recommended
rates with calcium arsenate is not harmful to plants or persons consuming those
plants. This advice is based on many studies exploring the activity and effects
of arsenic compounds when applied to the soil. Yet, the home gardener would be
wise to avert any possibilities of hazard by obtaining, where possible, manure
which had not been treated with arsenic. Where treated manure is the only source
available, he should not apply more than a ton per acre (5 pounds per 100 square
feet) per year where yearly successive applications are made to the same plot,
or not more than 3 tons per acre (15 pounds per 100 square feet) where only one
application is to be made.

Only a very small amount of arsenic is applied to the soil when treated
manure is used as fertilizer, if the spray was used as directed. The present
recommended rate is 1 pound of 83% calcium arsenate in 2 gallons of water sprayed
on 500 square feet of droppings. An application of one ton of poultry manure
per acre would result in only one pound of calcium arsenate applied per acre.
Thus, the amount of calcium arsenate applied to the top 6 inches of soil would







THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER


be about 1 ppm (less than 1 ppm arsenic). If the gardener applied the very
large amount of 10 tons per acre, as might happen with successive applications,
the amount of arsenic applied would be less than 10 ppm. Usually, less than
6 tons of manure per acre are applied at any one time, so we are talking about
less than 5 ppm arsenic applied through treated manure. Many natural soils
have as much as 5 to 10 ppm, or more. With only 10-15 ppm arsenic present in an
acre of soil, extremely large amounts of plant material would have to be eaten
before levels dangerous to humans would be reached.

The small amount of arsenic applied to the soil would be made less toxic
due to a chemical tie-up with any aluminum or iron present, or by leaching out
if sufficient metals were not present. Furthermore, it has been shown that
organic matter and manures effectively reduce the soluble arsenic content of
soils.

Even should the arsenic level be excessively high, as might be the case
where 25 to 100 pounds of calcium arsenate per acre where applied in successive
applications on coarse sandy soil, or 1,000 pounds on heavy clay soils, the
initial major problem resulting would be plant injury. Where arsenic toxicity
is the cause, plants exhibit one or more of these symptoms: (1) root rotting,
(2) reduced seed germination, (3) reduced seedling growth, and (4) wilting tops,
or other signs of root injury.

Most often, on soils with high levels of arsenic (15 to 2,500 ppm), the
arsenic is confined to the soil or to the soil water. Where it does associate
with the plant, it normally accumulates in or on the roots, with very little
reaching the plant tops. Apparently, root growth is adversely affected before
appreciable levels reach the foliage, although soils contaminated with arsenic
have produced vegetation of higher arsenic content than uncontaminated soils.
Thus, it might be surmised that vegetables grown for their tops would be even
less likely to have arsenic contamination than the root crops.

In summary, arsenic treated manures appear safe when properly used as
vegetable fertilizer due to the following reasons: (1) small amounts applied,
(2 arsenic tie-up and leaching, (3) first evident as crop injury, and (4)
limited accumulation in plants. Yet, anyone in doubt would best be advised to
avoid using such treated manures to eliminate any chances for hazard, or to be
very careful to avoid excessive applications.
(Stephens)

B. Know Your Vegetables Scarlet Runner Bean

Other names for the Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus) are Scarlet,
Conqueror, Fire Bean, Mammoth, Red Giant, Scarlet Emperor.
This species belongs to a group of flowering beans that are of comparatively
little importance in the U. S. Like the others in the runner group, Scarlet
Runner is mostly planted as an ornamental climber due to its rapid growth and
abundance of large, brightly colored flowers. The Scarlet Runner in Florida has
been reported to climb up ground-based television antennas.






THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

There are many strains of this variety in cultivation, all of which
are similar, but differ slightly in length and width of pods and seeds. The
following description applies generally to Scarlet Runner as a type of bean.

Plant Large, 12-15 feet, climbing, open in habit, vigorously grow-
ing. Leaves are dark green, with underside of veins tinged with purple.

Flowers Scarlet, very large, about 20 on each flower stalk.

Pods Dark green, fair quality, somewhat brittle and stringy, firm
flesh, but coarse. Size medium long to very long, broad and stout.

Seeds Very large, lima bean shaped. Seed scar is large, white and
flattened, somewhat incurved. Color varies from shining black to violet black
mottled with deep red (ox-blood to carmine).

Another variety similar to Scarlet Runner is Butterfly. It has bi-
colored flowers, white and orange; seeds are grayish olive, mottled with salmon
and having a russet brown eye ring.

Edibility Both the pods and the green shelled beans are edible in the
fresh stage and sometimes are substituted for limas.


(Stephens)




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