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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: February 1981
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00169
Source Institution: University of Florida
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INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES COOPERATIVE
lAS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA EXTENSION SERVICE


VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER
III E S ^ ^ ^ ^ II I II I I


February 1, 1981

Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

D.N. Maynard
Chairman


S.D. Gray
Assistant

R.K. Showalter
Professor

COUNTY EXTENSION
-HORTICULTURE)


James Montelaro
Professor


Mark Sherman
Assistant Professor


W.M. Stall J.M. Stephens
Assoc Pr ssor Associate Professor

DIRECTORS AND AGENTS (VEGETABLE AND


FROM: Susan D. Gray, Assistant in Vegetable Crops,/odc.-. o

Vegetable Crops Department
1255 HS/PP Building
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone: 904/392-2134

VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER 81-2

IN THIS ISSUE: SPECIAL FOCUS ON EFFECTS OF THE FREEZE

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Factors Affecting The Replanting Of Cold Damaged Crops

II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Cold Weather Causes Freezing and Chilling Injury Prob-
lems

B. Florida Labor Situation, January 1981

C. Effect of the Florida Freeze on the Transportation Situ-
ation

III. HOME VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. Effects of January Freeze Florida Vegetable Gardens



The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research,
educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, or national origin.
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


TO:









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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

I. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLE PRODUCTION

A. Factors Affecting The Replanting Of Cold Damaged Crops

The January freeze has damaged much of the vegetables in produc-
tion in the state. Unfortunately, and/or fortunately, depending on
which way you look at it, we do have experience from the January 1977
freeze on replanting decisions and choices that the growers must make.

The first and foremost caution is do not overplant and cause a
market glut. In the southern portion of the state it is too late to
direct-seed and produce tomatoes, peppers and eggplant for a timely
market. The mad scramble for transplants is now probably over with
growers looking for other choices.

Choice 1: Procure transplants from other states or Mexico. His-
torically, this is not the best choice. The transplants coming from
other states and especially Mexico have to be inspected before enter-
ing the state. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services, Division of Plant Inspection is responsible for this func-
tion.

For information on inspection procedures from different areas or
to set up inspections contact:

North Florida: Richard Clark (904)372-3505, Gainesville
Central Florida: Bob Griffith (305)886-4375, Apopka
South Florida: Curt Dowling (305)251-9540 or 238-6561, Miami
State Office: Ralf King or Earl Graham (904)372-3505,
Gainesville

Choice 2: Plant alternate crops. This is an excellent way to
use the fertilizer and cultural expenditures already invested. The
big caution here is to check on whether there will be a market for the
crop at the time of harvest. A few growers found to their sorrow
after the "77" freeze that the alternate crop they chose to grow
either could not be harvested due to lack of labor or could not be
sold due to a lack of a market caused both by a glut and in other
cases no demand and lastly, lack of transportation.

Other growers were able to recoup their losses and make a profit
on alternate crops sold nationally and locally.

Choice 3: "Suckering" to produce atleast partial crops. After
the 1977 freeze this method worked surprisingly well. The methods fol-
lowed were based on the degree of damage to the plant and consisted of
hand pruning, mowing plants back to a stump and in a few cases leaving
plants untouched. Eggplants responded more uniformly then did
tomatoes or peppers, producing higher quality fruit. In tomatoes,
'Flora-Dade' and 'MH-1' sized fruit a little better than 'Walter'. In









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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

pepper, plants recovered satisfactorily but did not produce the
blocky, "crown-pick" type of fruit. They did grade out with a high
percentage of fancy fruit however.

In areas where crops were completely destroyed and replanting or
reseeding of the same crop or alternate crops can be made there are
several factors that should be kept in mind:

1. Fertility (Rates and Placment)

Refertilization may raise the soluble salt levels in a
field to an excess and cause damage to the young seedlings.

2. Herbicides

Here again be careful not to overdo it. Also, in plant-
ing alternate crops check the tolerance of the crop to pre-
viously applied herbicides. Alternately, herbicides applied
to the alternate crop may not be compatible with pesticides
such as nematicides applied to the first crop.

3. Crop and Variety Selection

Don't plant any old crop just because seed or trans-
plants are available. Check for marketability and suitabil-
ity for the area before planting.

4. To Plant or Not to Plant

The winter isn't over yet and there are possibilities
for other frosts and freezes, as experienced by the weather
last March.

A decision should be made by each grower, depending on
his situation, whether the investment output is worth the
gamble in replanting. In many cases where all the grower's
plantings were not destroyed, it may be more efficient and a
wiser choice to protect the remaining crop, which should be
assured a decent market price, than to replant and possibly
over extend himself and lose both.

Another problem could blossom, if you'll forgive the
pun, from the extended cold period.

This is the vernalization of many cool season crops.
Vernalization is the specific promotion of flower initiation
by a previous cold treatment. The vernalization requirements
of each crop vary with the number of hours below a certain
temperature, the stage of maturity of the crop and in some
cases the day length. Vernalization requirements also vary
among cultivars within a crop. An example of this is the









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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

early cultivars of celery being prone to bolting. The newer
cultivars have been selected in many cases to have a higher
tolerance.

Lettuce will probably bolt more rapidly when the tem-
peratures begin to warm, now that it has had an exposure to
long cold period. On the other hand, some crops could be de-
vernalized by a significant temperature increase.

Growers of celery, cabbage and other crucifers, lettuce,
carrots, etc. should be aware of the possibility of their
crop being vernalized and thereby keep an eye on it during
its development.

(Stall)


II. HARVESTING AND HANDLING

A. Cold Weather Causes Freezing and Chilling Injury Problems

Vegetable handlers may have to deal with freezing and chilling
injuries after the record breaking cold spell in Florida. Freezing
injury occurs at temperatures below 320F (0C) and involves the forma-
tion of ice within plant tissues. In contrast, chilling injury occurs
at temperatures above 320C (OC) and does not involve ice formation
within plant tissues. Generally, symptoms of freezing injury appear
rapidly, but symptoms of chilling injury are slow to develop and may
even require a period of time at warm temperature to appear.

Although the points above contrast chilling and freezing injury,
they do have a number of features in common.

1. Extent of injury is time and temperature dependent. That
is, longer times and lower temperatures are more likely to
cause injury.

2. Species vary greatly in their susceptibility to injury.
Table 1 adapted from Agriculture Handbook 66, "The Commercial
Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery
Stocks", groups crops according to their susceptibility to
freezing injury.

Not all vegetables are affected by chilling injury. Generally,
those that had their origin in the tropics or subtropics are suscep-
tible. Table 2 groups crops according to their susceptibility to
chilling injury.










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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER:




Table 1. Susceptibility of Fresh Vegetables to Freezing Injuryl

Most Moderately Least
Susceptible2 Susceptible2 Susceptible2


Beans, snap

Corn, Sweet4

Cucumbers

Eggplant

Lettuce

Okra

Peppers, sweet

Squash, summer

Tomatoes

Watermelons


Broccoli, sprouting

Cabbage

Carrots

Cauliflower

Celery

Onions (dry)

Parsley

Radishes3


Beets3

Kale

Kohlrabi

Parsnips

Rutabagas

Turnips


Squash, winter


1Adapted from Lutz, J.M. and R.E. Hardenburg. 1968. The Commercial
Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks.
Agriculture Handbook 66. United States Department of Agriculture.

2Most susceptible, those that are likely to be injured by even one
light freezing; Moderately susceptible, those that will recover from
one or two light freezing; Least susceptible, those that can be
lightly frozen several times without serious damage.

3Without tops.

4Due to husk damage.









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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER



Table 2. Susceptibility of Various Vegetables to Chilling Injuryl


Low2 Moderate2 High2
(Below 5C(410F)) (Between 5C & 10C(50F)) (Above 100C)

Snap beans Okra Cucumber
Summer Squash Bell Pepper Eggplant
Tomato, ripe Winter Squash Sweet Potato
Muskmelon Watermelon Tomato,mature
green
Yam

1Adapted from Ryall, A.L. and W.J. Lipton. 1979. Handling, Transpor-
tation and Storage of Fruits and Vegetables, Volume 1, 2nd Ed.

2Temperatures approximate upper limits for induction of chilling in-
jury. Susceptibility may vary with cultivar, maturity, growing sea-
son, and length of storage.


3. Both types of injury show cumulative effects. This refers to
the fact that induction conditions can occur in the field,
storage, transport, and at destination and their effects can
be additive. There is little that can be done about induc-
tion conditions in the field, but steps should be taken dur-
ing handling to insure against further injury (i.e. maintain
the product at temperature above susceptible level).

4. Both types of injury can result in product dessication (water
loss).

5. Both injuries shorten the storage life and lower the quality
of the product.

Freezing Symptoms:

Freeze-damaged vegetables are characterized by a water-soaked ap-
pearance. Formation of ice within the tissues causes the rupture and
destruction of the individual cells. Therefore, freeze-damaged tis-
sues do not have their normal rigidity and become mushy when thawed.
Damaged areas lose water quickly and are extremely susceptible to
decay.

Chilling Injury Symptoms:

Visible symptoms of chilling injury may not be evident while the
vegetable is held at chilling temperatures but they often become ap-
parent after transfer to higher temperatures. Symptoms depend on










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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

vegetable involved but may include one or more of the following:
decay, discoloration, pitting, and abnormal ripening. Decay is almost
universally observed because the product is in a weakened condition.
Discoloration can occur both internally and externally. Russeting of
snap beans is an example of external discoloration; eggplant may deve-
lop tan, brown, or black internal discolorations. Pitting is another
common symptom of chilling injury and is especially noticeable on
peppers, cucumbers, and watermelons. Abnormal ripening is a symptom
of vegetables that are ripened postharvest. Chilling injured
mature-green tomatoes may color unevenly, fail to soften, and never
develop good eating quality. In tomatoes, sensitivity to chilling
injury decreases as they ripen. Pink fruits are more tolerant of low
temperatures than mature-green fruits and red ripe tomatoes are more
chilling tolerant than pinks.

Losses are already extensive from the freeze. Further losses can
be avoided by not harvesting and shipping freeze-damaged vegetables.
Chilling injury is difficult to detect, but over the next few weeks as
chilling symptoms develop, steps should be taken to eliminate injured
products on the grading line. Careful grading will help to cut addi-
tional losses resulting from the cold spell.

(Sherman)

B. Florida Labor Situation, January 1981

The freeze of January 13, 14, 1981 did not produce uniform damage
throughout the state, nor was the affect on labor demand uniform.
Some areas were devastated while other areas not too distant were
virtually untouched. While the physical damage to citrus, for
example, was widespread, the impact on labor was to increase the
demand for labor in the short and intermediate run. In other areas,
particularly vegetable producing areas, the impact was to reduce the
demand for labor after a one to three week period of salvage and
replanting operations.

Three vegetable producing areas were hit quite badly by the
freeze. These were: Collier-Hendry County (Immokalee area), Eastern
Palm Beach-Broward County area, and Dade County (Homestead area). The
Immokalee area sustained the most severe damage of any area in the
state.

Interviews with growers, county agents and others indicate that
roughly 5,000 jobs would be lost in the Immokalee area within about a
week after the freeze, and it would be another five or six weeks
before production was back to a point where there would be a demand
for this harvest labor.

Estimates for the East Palm Beach-Broward County area indicate
that as many as 2,000 harvesting jobs were eliminated by the freeze.









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THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

InterestLngly, the Glades area of Palm Beach County was spared exten-
sive damage and growers Indlcated it is "business as usual" in the
Glades area.

Observers in the Homestead area indicated that growers are al-
ready engaged in replanting operations and the demand for farm Labor
may stay relatively strung for two to three weeks. Following this
short-run period or replanting and salvage operations, estimates indi-
cate that about 2,500 jobs will be allminated for five to six w-eks
while the new crop is maturing.

(C.D. Covey)
(Food and Resource Economics Department)


C. Effect of the Florida Freeze on the Transportation Situation

The effects of the freeze on Florida fruits and vegetables are
continuing to be documented. The freeze damaged both fruits and vege-
tables and will at a minimum decrease shipments for a time from our
state. Concerns have been expressed over the effect of the freeze on
the transportation system and whether an adequate supply of trucks
will be shipping from Florida when we attain a more normal production
level later in the spring. Early indications are that a surplus of
trucks are in the state now as a result of the freeze and that ade-
quate numbers will be on hand when produce becomes more available.

The normal situation which exists for producers is to sell their
produce for market and to schedule shipments through truck brokers.
Truckers consist of two major groups, independent truckers who haul
primarily produce and fleet truckers who haul Florida produce on a
backhaul after delivering some product to the state of Florida.

During the winter months Florida, southern California, Arizona
and south Texas are the primary areas for shipping produce. Because
of this limited market there is normally a surplus of truckers. A
freeze in Florida which restricts shipments will cause an even greater
surplus of trucks to exist here. Because of this surplus a possibi-
lity of declining truck rates exists for the next few weeks, although
it is doubtful that rates will decline substantially. Early indica-
tions (January 20, Federal-State Market News Service) are that truck
rates have not as yet changed. They could decline some, however, in
the weeks to come.

Given normal conditions in the weeks to come, adequate numbers of
trucks should exist for our produce. Those producers able to ship
produce may be able to save transportation costs because of the in-
creased competition to haul their produce. There does not seem to be












THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

any reason to fear a truck shortage later in the season. Should we,
however, have another freeze later in the year the situation could
change.

(J.T. VanSickle)
(Food and Resource Economics Department)


III. HOME VEGETABLE GARDENING


A. Effects of January Freeze On Florida Vegetable Gardens

Many thousands of winter gardens were in all stages of production
throughout Florida when the extremely low temperatures hit the state.
Most of the crops growing in north and central Florida were the cool
season vegetables, but south Florida gardens contained a mixture of
warm season crops along with the cool season types.

Premature seeding (bolting) may now be a problem with some vege-
tables like celery and Chinese cabbage. Seed stalk development will
occur fastest on those plants which were older, larger, and more
vigorously growing when exposed to temperatures below 40F for two
weeks or more.

With all these crops, the amount of injury which occurred varied
considerably with stage of growth and location around the state. In
most cases, however, the assessment remains that cool season vege-
tables were injured but not destroyed.

Warm season vegetables in south central and south Florida gardens
did receive considerable damage. Again, the injury varied from a
total loss to such items as tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, pepper,
beans, and sweet corn in more northern areas to relatively light in-
jury in other less severely hit areas. Many gardeners did success-
fully attempt to protect their tender vegetables from temperatures
that fell only slightly below freezing.

From this point on, gardeners should trim away old damaged leaves
and the most severely scarred fruits. Fruits of cucumber will show
whitish, slightly depressed areas of injury. Bell pepper pods will
have black discoloration, and may be distorted in shape. Tomato
fruits may be windscarred and have whitish, discolored shoulders.
However, unless very severe, all these fruits are edible, and should
be left on the plant to mature further. Tomato fruits may have suf-
fered chilling injury and likely will not ripen properly. Even though
they do not develop their characteristic deep red color, they are
still edible.











THE VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

Severely damaged plants of tomato, pepper, and eggplant
should be pruned back to sound plant material. The result-
ing regrowth will produce satisfactory yields providing good
weather continues.

Should prices of fresh produce rise due to the loss of
commercial crops and subsequent reduction in supplies, any
remaining garden produce will be even more valuable and cer-
tainly worth the effort to keep growing.

(Stephens)


Statement: "This public document was promulgated at a cost
of $ 19 or 43 per copy for the purpose of communicating
current technical & educational materials to extension, re-
search and industry personnel.




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