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
Horticultural Sciences Department
Publication Date: August 1985
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087399
Volume ID: VID00213
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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FLORIDA
COOPERATIVE
EXTENSION SERVICE


VEGETARIAN

A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication

Vegetable Crops Department 1255 HSPPD Gainesville, FL 32611 Telephone 392-2154


Vegetarian 85-8


August 15, 1985


Contents

I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. ..Vegetable Crops Calendar

II. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Aldicarb Misuse on Watermelon (Update)

III. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. 1985 Florida Pepper Institute

B. Improving Our Vegetable Fertilizer Management

IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. State 4-H Horticulture Judging and Identification
Event


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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


INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIOA


I -


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I. NOTES OF INTEREST

A. Vegetable crops calendar

September 12-13, 1985. Agricultural Industry Representatives
Conference. Gainesville Hilton Hotel, Gainesville, Florida.
Contact Office of District Directors, McCarty Hall, University of
Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

October 1, 1985. Pepper Institute. LaBelle Civic Center,
LaBelle, Florida.

October 10, 1985. Florida Fertilizer and Lime Conference.
Quality Inn, Cypress Gardens. Contact Ed Hanlon, Soil Science
Dept. Gainesville.

October 28 November 1, 1985. International Society for
Horticultural Science Symposium on The Timing of Field Production
of Vegetables. Holiday Inn, Tampa International Airport Hotel,
Tampa, Florida. Contact D. J. Cantliffe, Vegetable Crops Dept.,
Gainesville.

II. PESTICIDE UPDATE

A. Aldicarb Misuse on Watermelons (Update)

A special alert from the office of the U.S. Secretary of
Agriculture stated that the U.S. Environmental Protection agency and
Union Carbide Corporation have notified USDA that evidence has been
received that the chemical aldicarb is being misused by some growers.
Aldicarb is a key ingredient in Temik.

Such misuse can seriously imperil public confidence in American
farm products. A recent widely-publicized case in California caused
watermelon growers throughout the country to suffer economic losses.
In that instance, it now appears that only a few growers in California
were actually involved. Yet, melon producers across the country
reported that sales sharply declined.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries reported
Temik residue had caused three people to become ill after eating a
melon believed to have come from a Florida farm.

In a release from the Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Service, George Fong, Chief of the Chemical Residue
Laboratory, stated that the tests of the melons taken from the
suspected fields in Holmes County revealed no trace of aldicarb. Fong
also indicated that the announcement of a suspected linkage with
Florida farms "was premature".

Fong pointed out Florida has the most stringent restrictions on
the use of aldicarb, an efficient nematicide, of any state in the
nation.








The use of Temik on watermelons is a label violation. Labeling
laws are designed to protect both growers and consumers. It is
imperative that growers, for their own protection and the protection
of the public, use agricultural chemicals in accordance with label
instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Violations reduce sales and public confidence in all farm
products, as we have seen from the California incident. The public
must be reassured of-the safety of food produced and sold in the U.S.

(Stall & Hochmuth Veg. 8-85)


III. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES

A. 1985 Florida Pepper Institute.

The 1985 Florida Pepper Institute will be held Tuesday, October
1, 1985, at the LaBelle Civic Center, LaBelle, Florida. The meeting
will start at 1:00 P.M. with registration and finish approximately at
4:45 P.M.

The meeting is designed to update pepper growers with the latest
recommendations in production of peppers and acquaint them with new
and promising research that is in progress.

A program of the Institute is as follows:


1985 Florida Pepper Institute

Moderator R. L. Brown Collier County Extension Director

1:00 PM Registration

1:30 Welcome D. J. Cantliffe Chairman
Vegetable Crops Dept. Gainesville

1:45 Pepper Fertilizer Management G. J. Hochmuth
Vegetable Crops Dept. Gainesville

2:15 Drip Irrigation of Peppers S. J. Locascio
Vegetable Crops Dept. Gainesville

2:45 Pepper Varieties D. N. Maynard
Vegetable Crops Dept. Bradenton

3:00 Pepper Plant Establishment Jonathan Schultheis
Vegetable Crops Dept. Gainesville


3:15 Refreshments




-4-


3:30 New Planting Developments L. N. Shaw
Dept. Agriculture Engineering Gainesville

3:45 Postharvest Handling of Peppers Mark Sherman
Vegetable Crops Dept. Gainesville

4:05 Breeding Bacterial Spot Resistance in Peppers Allen Hibbard
Vegetable Crops Dept. Gainesville

4:25 Bacterial Spot Control of Peppers T. A. Kucharek
Plant Pathology Dept. Gainesville

4:45 Questions and Discussion
Adjourn

(Stall Veg. 8-85)


B. Improving Our Vegetable Fertilizer Management

Vegetable production has become a very capital intensive business
requiring growers to continually seek ways of improving farming
efficiency. One significant factor in total production costs is
fertilizer. Often individuals argue that fertilizer costs are small
relative to labor, machinery, etc. As a result, fertilizer management
is often overlooked as a contributing factor in farming efficiency.
However, fertilizer costs for many vegetables can be very high
(greater than 10% of total production costs). In addition, there are
hidden costs of poor fertilizer management that need to be considered.
One "cost" is from soluble salt damage to plants from excess
fertilizer which can result in reduced yields and quality. These
salts tend to build up and can damage succeeding crops and even
contribute to groundwater pollution, a factor that could eventually
affect our access to groundwater for irrigation.

There are several practices we should encourage growers to
consider to help improve their fertilizer management capabilities.
Some of these are time-tested, logical practices, but some involve
relatively new tools.

1. Avoid over-fertilization. The use of soil testing should be
encouraged. Sixteen elements are required by plants, many of which
are commonly supplied by fertilizers. Without proper soil testing, it
is impossible to accurately plan a fertilizer program. Nutrients in
fertilizer are expensive and if used in excess can lead to crop
damage. Soil and plant tissue testing are the only accurate means of
guiding the calculation of fertilizer needs.

The "crop nutrient requirements" in the tables of the new
Commercial Fertilization Guide are amounts of N, P205, and K 0
believed to be needed for maximum production under many conditions.
It is extremely important to realize that these amounts are used as
fertilizer ONLY when the soil test shows very low amounts of these




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nutrients in the native soil. We must make sure everyone thinks of
fertilizer as a supplement to the soil fertilizer "bank". Therefore,
when we use the Fertilizer Guide, be sure to call attention to the
text appearing under the section "Crop Fertility Requirements".

2. Applicator calibration. Fertilizer spreaders need regular
maintenance and calibration to ensure proper application rates and
placement. Because of the corrosive properties of fertilizer
materials, frequent (several times per year) cleaning and calibration
is necessary.

3. pH control. Part of the reason for pH control is to assure
maximum availability of plant nutrients. Proper pH control is
especially important for the micronutrients. Without pH control, many
nutrients can be tied up in the soil in forms not available to plants,
thus reducing overall fertilizer efficiency. Where possible, the pH
should be maintained in the range of 6.0 to 6.5. On acid soil, lime
with dolomite (if magnesium is needed) or calcitic lime. It is not
economical to try to change the pH of calcareous soils. Here, we can
resort to methods such as banding or foliar applications of nutrients
to combat the high pH effect.

4. Unproven fertilizer sources. Avoid using sources of nutrients
that have not been proven beneficial in a sound fertility program.
Often these materials are not cost effective and simple field
demonstration tests may prove this. We should learn to READ THE
FERTILIZER TAG and make a critical analysis of whether or not certain
materials in the fertilizer are really needed. Sometimes a material
may be needed but there may be other, less costly, ways to supply it.
Again, first prove that the material is needed, and then see that you
can supply it in an effective and cost-efficient manner via the
fertilizer bag.

5. Slow release N sources. While more expensive, these nitrogen
sources such as sulfur-coated urea or isobutylidene-diurea may be
useful in certain fertilizer programs particularly long-term crops
such as pepper or strawberry. Research at Gainesville has shown some
benefit with these fertilizers. Be sure that they are carefully
planned into the program so they will provide the nutrients in correct
quantities when the plant needs them.

6. Fertilizer placement. For soil-mobile elements such as nitrogen
and potassium, placement will have a great effect on plant
utilization. These nutrients should be placed near the plant. For
wide-row crops such as watermelons, tomatoes, peppers, etc., this
means some type of "modified broadcast" or banding placement. Avoid
uniform broadcasting for wide-row crops on sandy soils since the
fertilizer not in the bed area may be lost to leaching. Phosphorus,
in most cases does not move in the soil and can be broadcast
uniformly. Many of our "old" vegetable lands are high in phosphorus
and may not need continued routine fertilizer phosphorus additions. A
more appropriate technique might be to apply small amounts of
phosphorus (10 to 20 Ibs P per acre) as a starter. This can be
applied as a band or as liquid starter solution at seeding or








transplanting and may be most effective for cool planting seasons.

7. Fertilizer timing. For mobile elements, often the best approach
is to apply the nutrients in several portions during the early part of
the growing season. Split-applications will thus avoid whole-sale
leaching losses that may occur if all fertilizer was applied in one
application. Split-applications also may help prevent soluble salt
damage when high rates of fertilizer are needed.

The use of plastic mulch should not necessarily prevent us from
thinking in terms of split-application. Split-applications can be
made where drip-irrigation tubes are present or where a liquid
fertilizer injection wheel can be used.

8. Mulching with polyethylene. Full-bed plastic mulch use is a
cultural technique with many benefits, one of which is reduction of
fertilizer nutrient leaching. Leaching may still occur where water
tables are maintained too high or are fluctuated in a seep irrigation
system. Heavy, flooding rains or excess overhead irrigation also may
leach nutrients. Therefore, where plastic mulch is used, irrigation
management is still important to prevent leaching.

An alternative to full-bed mulch is the "strip mulch"'system
developed several years ago. In this system, a narrow 10 to 12 inch
strip of polyethylene is laid over the fertilizer band to help reduce
leaching.

9. Cover crops. After harvest is complete, it may be a good idea to
plant a cover crop. This crop will utilize left-over nutrients in the
soil for growth and thereby "trap" them from being leached. The
nutrients are then returned to the soil upon plowing under the cover
crops and subsequent decomposition of the organic matter. Some cover
crops (legumes) may even increase soil nitrogen, reducing fertilizer
nitrogen needs.

10. Double cropping. Where economical, planting a successive
vegetable crop provides a good way to utilize residual fertilizer. To
ensure maximum yields of the second crop, a soil test should be
conducted to determine fertilizer needs above the residual. Of
course, if the grower has practiced many of the prior suggestions in
this article, there should be little residual fertilizer. In fact,
levels of residual fertilizer can be an indicator of how well the
fertilizer for the first crop was managed. Therefore, double cropping
should be thought of as a method to re-use inputs, such as mulch, drip
tubes, etc., rather than fertilizer.

11. Micronutrients. Like major nutrients, micronutrient fertilizer
programs should be based on soil and tissue testing. Routine
applications of these nutrients without soil or tissue evidence of
need might lead to toxicities due to buildup in the soil.
Furthermore, these nutrients aad to the cost of the fertilizer, and if
not needed, lead to wasted inputs. If micronutrients are needed,
ensure the fertilizer is formulated to provide adequate amounts and
that the micronutrient fertilizer sources are evenly distributed in









the fertilizer. Often micronutrients are added as a specified number
of "units" (one unit equals 20 pounds) per ton of fertilizer. Make
sure that your intended rate of application of that fertilizer will
provide you with the required amounts of micronutrients per acre. A
homogenized or granulated fertilizer may be a good choice to provide
even distribution.

12. Foliar fertilization. Foliar applications of N, P20, or K 0 are
rarely justified where sound soil fertilizer programs a e practiced.
It is difficult to apply enough of these nutrients to leaves
(especially early in the growth cycle) to satisfy crop needs. Growers
who use these fertilizers should compare economics of this method of
fertilization with ground applications. The argument that it is
"cheap insurance and easy to apply" may not be valid.

Foliar application may be useful for certain micronutrients, and
perhaps phosphorus, where high pH soils or cold winter temperatures
reduce nutrient uptake. An .example would be on the alkaline soils of
Dade county. Micronutrient deficiencies diagnosed anywhere in the
state can often be effectively controlled by foliar applications.

When using foliar micronutrients, be sure to properly calculate
rates and calibrate sprayers. There is a fine line between sufficient
amounts and toxicity.

13. Pesticides, Use caution when applying micronutrient-containing
fungicides. Examples are copper (Kocide, etc.), manganese (maneb),
and manganese and zinc (mancozeb). Avoid overuse of these chemicals
since the micronutrients they contain could build up in the soil to
toxic levels.

14. New tools. Relatively new tools, such as fertigation with drip
irrigation or overhead irrigation and the use of an injection wheel,
can provide growers with increased fertilizer management capabilities.
These tools basically allow the grower to increase his precision of
fertilizer timing so that fertilizer is applied corresponding to crop
demand periods. If properly managed, these systems can improve the
overall fertilizer program efficiency. For more on fertigation, see
Vegetarian issues 85-2, 4, 5, and 6.

The injection wheel is a new implement for applying liquid
fertilizer to mulched beds. From research studies conducted at
Immokalee, Bradenton, and Gainesville, there seems to be promise for
using this tool for split-applications of mobile nutrients to mulched
beds. In addition, it is an excellent tool for re-fertilization of
mulched beds for double cropping.

15. Crop cultivars. It is becoming widely accepted that vegetable
crop cultivars may vary greatly for fertilizer requirements.
Cultivars of different plant size and yield potential differ for
fertilizer need. However, even cultivars of similar size and yield
potential under high fertility have been shown to vary greatly in
growth and yield under reduced fertilizer. Growers have observed
this, and researchers are now beginning to breed fertilizer efficiency








traits into new cultivars. The area of "bio-technology" will play a
role in this research. Eventually, our soil testing and fertilizer
recommendations will use this factor in the overall process of making
fertilizer recommendations.

Summary. This article is meant to be a guide to help determine areas
where fertilizer efficiency might be improved. Fertilizer is,
afterall, an input that must be managed in a manner to maximize
profits. Often, problem areas may go unnoticed to the eye but may
become apparent after some simple field demonstrations. Growers
should be encouraged to review their fertilizer programs on a regular
basis and to seek help from the extension service in carrying out
field demonstration trials.

(Hochmuth Veg. 8-85)


IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING

A. State 4-H Horticulture Judging and Identification Event

As has been the case for at least the past 23 years, a state
competitive event was held for 4-H'ers in the identification and
judging of horticultural plants. The most recent event was conducted
July 30, 1985, in Fifield Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Nine county teams entered. The final placings were as follows:

Table 1. Team results, State 4-H Hort I.J. Contest (2700 Possible)

Placing County Team Score

1 Marion 2553
2 St. Johns 2024
3 Volusia 1891
4 Osceola 1806
5 Sarasota 1704
6 Leon 1600
7 Nassau 1224
8 Duval 1172


Table 2. Individual Placings (Possible score: 900)

Placing Contestant County Score

1 David Lane Marion 856
2 Joanna Theus Marion 850
3 Kelly Brady Marion 848
4 Larry Perryman Marion 786
5 Dana Robinson St. Johns 785
6 Laura Lee Harrelson St. Johns 742
7 Sean York Sarasota 696
8 Caroline Nylen Volusia 666
9 Sandra Hartman Volusia 659




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Jan Worthington
Eric Hernandez
Jennifer Dingfelder
Ricky Blackman
Nina Gibson
Angela Blackman
Doris Carnes
Shannon Butler
Suzy Murphy
Ann Morton
Johnny Longhurst
Melanie Shafer
Gwen Currutte
Missy Sparkman
Stacy Snyder
Stephanie Scott
Jennifer Phillips
Natalie Shafer
John Curin


St. Johns
Sarasota
St. Johns
Leon
Volusia
Leon
Osceola
Osceola
Osceola
Volusia
Leon
Duval
Nassau
Nassau
Duval
Nassau
Sarasota
Duval
Sarasota


The winning team from Marion County, coached by Agent Bob Renner,
will compete against best teams from other states as part of the
convention activities of the National Junior Horticultural Association
(NJH), October, 1985, Lexington, Kentucky.

(Stephens Veg. 8-85)


Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists


Dr. D. J. Cantliffe
Chairman

Dr. 6. J. Hochmuth
Assistant Professor

Dr. M. Sherman
Associate Professor

J. M. Stephens
Associate Professor


Kathleen Delate
Visiting Ext. Agent I

Dr. S. M. Olson
'Assistant Professor


Dr. W. M. Stall
Professor

Dr. D. N. Maynard
Professor


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