A Vegetable Crops Extension Publicatior
ietablc Crops Deparl mcnl 1255 HIPP Gaincsvllc, FL 32611* Telephone 392-213
November 12, 1985
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
Vegetable Crops Calendar
II. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Cucurbits removed from Sonalan label
III. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
Herbicides inadvertent misuse
Crop production on reclaimed phosphate mined
lands in Florida
Fall quarter vegetable acreage
Correction Cucumber variety article
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Know your minor vegetables Chicory
Anyone is free to use the
Whenever possible, please
information in this newsletter.
give credit to the authors.
The use of trade names in this publication is solely for
the purpose of providing information and does not
necessarily constitute a recommendation of the product.
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
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar
November 25-27, 1985. County agent in-service training meeting:
teaching fertility and fertilizers to farmers. Columbia County
Agriculture Center. Lake City, FL. Contact: G. Kidder, Soil
December 3-4, 1985. Retail Farm Sales Conferences, sponsored by
Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Farm Bureau, and
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Choose
one of two locations: Dec. 3, Milton, FL (Civic Center) and Dec.
4, Tallahassee AGricultural Center. Contact John Stiles, Divison
of Marketing, Mayo Bldg., Tallahassee, FL 32301.
December 10, 1985. Eighth annual conference for technical and sales
representatives serving the commercial vegetable industry.
Contact: Phyllis Gilreath, Manatee County Extension Service.
B. New Publications
1. Florida Cooperative Extension Service Cir. 104, Vegetable
Gardening Guide, has been reprinted and county request orders
made earlier are now being filled. The guide will be revised for
spring use. Contact: Chick Hinton, IFAS publications
2. Cucurbit Variety Evaluation 1985, LBG Research Report 85-3, by G.
W. Elmstron, AREC Leesburg, P.O. Box 388. Leesburg, FL 32749
(Contact: Gary Elmstron).
3. Glossary for Horticultural Crops. 1985. James Soule. John
Wiley & Sons, Inc. Publishers. 605 Third Ave. NY, NY 10158.
The Glossary, authored by Jim Soule, Professor Emeritus in
the Fruit Crops Dept., lists and defines about 6,500 terms common
to all phases of horticulture, including 250 illustrations. The
current price is $42.50 ($37.50 for ASHS members ordering
directly from the Society). Contact: Don Maynard for more
4. Florida Extension Circular 555, Broccoli and Cauliflower
Production Guide. 1985. S. M. Olson and Mark Sherman. Contact:
Chic Hinton, IFAS publications.
5. Vegetable Seed Sources. VCR 85-1 (1985). Don Maynard and Jim
Stephens. (Revision of VCR 82-8, by MacDonald and Stephens).
Note: one copy is included with this newsletter. For single
copies, contact authors.
II. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Cucurbits removed from Sonolan label.
Elanco Products Company has announced its decision to remove
cucurbits (cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupes) from the recommended
crops list for Sonolan EC.
In a letter from Elanco, they stated that the decision was a
result of a number of reports of crop injury from "inadvertent misuse"
of the product by growers using varied cultural practices across the
United States. Elanco elected to remove cucurbits from the Sonolan
label, the letter goes on, due to the high value of cucurbits and the
resulting high potential for product liability.
Please remove Sonolan (ethalflurolin) from the recommended
herbicide list for cucurbits.
III. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Herbicides inadvertent misuse
Precision spraying is required for applications of herbicides.
The term herbicide means plant killer. Ideally the crop to which a
herbicide is applied will have a wide tolerance to the chemical while
the weed plants found in the field will have no tolerance. What more
often happens is the crop has a narrow tolerance to the chemical only
when applied at a specific stage in its growth.
In the last two months, two companies have removed cucurbit crops
from their respective herbicides' label. Cucurbits have historically
had only narrow tolerances, if any, to herbicides. One company has
stated that their decision to remove the herbicide label for cucurbit
crops was crop injury due to inadvertent misuse (see pesticide
A herbicide is labeled to be applied at a specific rate
(Ibs/A-broadcast), and a specific way (preemergence, preplant, post
transplant, directed-shielded, etc). Also are included several other
points of information that must be followed for correct application.
An applicator may not intentionally apply a herbicide in a method
other than prescribed on the label, but may do so, due to carelessness
(legally negligence). This is what is meant by inadvertent misuse.
This brings up the question of what are the major things that
cause inadvertent misuse? There are two reasons:
1. Mistakes that change the rate of application,
2. Mistakes in method and time of application.
Rate of Application (gallons per acre)
The rate of application is figured by the nozzle size, the
pressure used and the speed of the applicator.
Nozzles. Many mistakes are made with nozzles. Old nozzle tips
can wear, giving uneven and higher distribution. What I have seen
more times than I wish is different nozzles in the same boom. All may
be 800 nozzles but may vary from 8003 to 8004 tips. An 8004 may put
out 1/3 more gallons per acre than 8003 at higher pressure. This
could mean a 1/3 higher rate of herbicide in a band.
Pressure. When calibrating the sprayer, make sure a constant
pressure is maintained. Herbicides should be put out at 20-40 psi. A
miscalculation of pressure can cause up to 10 gal/A more being
Speed. Tractor speed across a field is obvious in putting out
different amounts. Speed calibrated on a hard surface will probably
be lower when going across a loosely compacted field. A 1 mph
difference in speed could add 5 GPA to the crop.
If an applicator did not check or calibrate the rig before
applications, a missapplication of double is possible. Obviously that
much overspray would be seen quite rapidly but 5-10 gals/A on 3 or 4
nozzles could be quite serious and are harder to detect until crop
A herbicide sprayer should be checked as to nozzles, pressure &
Method and Time of Application
Method and Time. How & where to put out a herbicide are
specified on the label. These are usually preplant surface or
preplant incorporate (PPI), preemergence (pre), post emergence (PE),
or post transplant (POST, PT), or directed sprays.
In many Florida soils, incorporating the herbicide gives it a
higher efficacy. It also can be more phytotoxic to the crop when
A problem can also arise if a preemergent herbicide is applied
too late. Problems have been seen when preemergence herbicides are
applied just prior to emergence or at emergence and a rain follows.
A post transplant application instruction does not mean post
emergence. Growers should be made aware that any misuse of a
chemical, even inadvertent misuse, is jeopardizing the number of
materials labeled for vegetables, small as it is.
(Stall Vegetarian 85-11)
B. Crop Production on Reclaimed Phosphate-mined Soils in Florida
Florida produces nearly 75% of the nation's, and, up to 30% of
the world's phosphate. Begun in the late 1800's, Florida phosphate
mining occurs mostly in south central Florida (Bone Valley) and to a
lesser degree in extreme north Florida. About 90% of Florida
phosphate is used in agricultural fertilizers and 5% goes into animal
feed supplements. The remainder is used in many products including
soft drinks, flame proofing compounds, insecticides, plastics, and
Phosphate rock, deposited from sea water at least 10 million
years ago, occurs in strata of variable thicknesses and depths. This
strata, or ore, is made up of a mixture of roughly one-third each
phosphate rock, sand, and clay.
The mining process begins when large draglines remove up to 50
feet of "overburden", including topsoil, which is placed in piles to
be used later in site reclamation. Following removal of overburden,
the ore body, or matrix, is removed and placed in a pit where it is
liquefied with water and pumped via pipeline to a processing plant
where the phosphate rock is extracted.
The ore is washed, centrifuged, crushed, and vibrated in several
steps designed to separate phosphate particles from sand and clay.
These mechanical processes result in three products: coarse phosphate
rock which goes to inventory piles, fine clay suspended in water which
is pumped to a holding (settling) area, and "feed" which is a mixture
of sand and fine phosphate. Feed material requires further processing
in several steps with mild chemical additives. The separated sand is
pumped to the mining area to fill the "cuts", and the phosphate is
conveyed to inventory piles.
After mining, the disturbed landscape consists of piles of
overburden, piles of sand (tailings), and clay settling areas. About
two-thirds of mined land consists of clay settling ponds. Since 1975,
state law has required that mined lands be reclaimed through a
detailed procedure that would return the land to such forms as natural
wet-lands, pastures, forests, and other agricultural land useful for
Crop production uses of unclaimed lands has been minimal except
for some citrus grove establishment. Return of reclaimed land to
production of high value crops, such as citrus and vegetables, is very
important to the overall economy of the counties in the Bone Valley
area. Land values, thus taxes, are greatly reduced once phosphate
rock has been mined. As the mining is completed in one county, and
moves southward, there is a potential negative effect on the county
On October 1, 1985, the Polk County Mined Lands Agricultural
Research and Demonstration Project was established. The goal of this
project is to determine and demonstrate production practices for high
value agricultural crops. Funding for the ten-year project will be
largely provided from the Florida Institute for Phosphate Research,
which is a Florida state agency funded from a severance tax on
phosphate ore. Other funds will come from Polk County and from
"in-kind" support from the University of Florida, Institute for
Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). Research and demonstration projects
will be conducted largely by IFAS faculty, county personnel, and by
private cooperators on several mined sites in Bone Valley.
Since clay settling ponds comprise the largest portion of
reclaimed land, the Project will focus on intensive crop production on
these lands. This focus will include vegetable, grain, and ornamental
The phosphatic clay areas present several unique challenges for
crop production unlike clay soils in other parts of the U.S. When
deposited, these clays are only 5% solids and usually take many years
of consolidation before they will support traffic. Even then, the
rooting (aerated) zone may only be several inches deep. Below, the
clay remains in semi-liquid form. Recently, new techniques have been
used to hasten the drying process so that phosphatic clay surfaces
will support machines in only a few years from initial draining.
The phosphatic clay "soil" of these ponds is nutrient-rich in
almost all plant nutrients except nitrogen. The clay contains high
quantities of P, Ca, Mg, and some micronutrients. Potassium is
usually in moderate supply. The largest problem confronting the use
of these clays for crop production is soil tillage, equipment traffic,
and crop stand establishment.
The main objectives of the Project will be to develop, or
translate existing technology for crop production on these clay soils.
Already, independent research projects are aimed at producing biomass
crops, and at modifying the surface of the phosphatic clays with a
layer of sand/clay mixture to encourage plant rooting and improve
The vegetable research at the Project will involve soil
modification by incorporation of organic matter from sources including
sludge and in-situ-produced biomass. Methods will be studied to
modify the soil surface to promote surface drainage allowing rapid
surface drying following rain. This effort will involve study of
various land forming and bedding practices.
Studies also will be directed at modification of the rooting zone
to provide optimum aeration and water drainage. Organic matter and
sand/clay mixes will be included in these studies. Methods to aid
crop stand establishment, such as anticrustants, will be evaluated on
amended and unamended clay surfaces.
In addition to applied production studies, researchers will
evaluate the economics of various cropping systems. These studies
will help determine crop selection and timing of production that will
fit most appropriately into Florida's overall vegetable cropping
Florida produces nearly 20% of the nations fresh vegetables, but
available, highly productive soil is becoming scarce. Urbanization is
claiming large areas of agricultural land in much of the warmer parts
of the state, and oxidation of muck will remove large tracts of land
from production in the future. The phosphatic clays represent a
potentially useful area for intensive crop production. Returning this
land to high value crop production would benefit the population of an
area that would otherwise lose economically as phosphate mining is
completed. However, large challenges are presented to the use of
these lands for crop production. The Mined Lands Project is a
cooperative effort among many participants, including the phosphate
companies, Polk County, state of Florida, and IFAS. The determination
and demonstration of specific production practices is the critical
first step to returning these soils to the aesthetic and financial
benefit for the affected counties and for the state of Florida.
(Hochmuth, Vegetarian 85-11)
C. Correction Cucumber variety article (September Vegetarian)
In the article, Cucumber Varieties for Florida, in the September
Vegetarian, the developers of two pickle varieties were listed
incorrectly. 'Calico' was developed at the North Carolina
Agricultural Experiment Station and 'Explorer' was developed at the
South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station and released by Asgrow.
(Maynard Vegetarian 85-11)
D. Fall quarter vegetable acreage
The USDA Statistical Reporting Service has released estimates of area
to be harvested for seven fresh market vegetables in major producing
VEGETABLES FOR FRESH MARKET, PROSPECTIVE AREA FOR HARVEST,
Area 1985 area
Harvested Harvest as percent
CROP AND STATE 1983 1984 1985 of 1984
Calif1 23,900 25,600 21,200 83
Calif other 8,200 9,000 8,900 99
Tex 3,800 2,100 2,500 119
GrouplTotal 12,000 11,100 11,400 103
Calif 16,000 15,100 14,000 93
Calif South Coast 2,300 1,900 1,900 100
Central Coast 4,700 5,300 5,300 100
Fla 1,700 1,900 1,700 89
Group Total 8,700 9,100 8,900 98
Calif 1,200 1,100 1,000 91
Fla 12,800 13,000 12,400 95
Group Total 14,000 14,100 13,400 95
Ariz 700 300 600 200
Calif 2,700 2,900 2,400 83
Group Total 3,400 3,200 3,000 94
Ariz Western 9,100 11,700 11,700 100
Other 2 4,600 4,500 4,800 107
Calif Blythe 2 5,200 4,400 4,200 95
Central Coast 25,300 29,200 27,000 92
San Joaquin Valley 10,700 12,200 9,600 79
Fla 2,500 2,700 2,700 100
N. Jersey 1,300 1,300 1,400 108
N. Mexico 3,000 1,400 1,900 136
Tex 1,200 2,000 1,500 75
Group Total 62,900 69,400 64,800 93
Fla 12,800 12,300 12,000 98
Tex 500 500 500 100
Group Total 13,300 12,800 12,500 98
1 Includes total for fresh market and processing uses.
2 The actual harvest period begins before and/or extends beyond the
quarter in which the crop is shown to be harvested.
(Maynard Vegetarian 85-11)
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Know Your Minor Vegetables Chicory
Chicory Cichorium intybus L. Chicory is one of those
vegetables which has several common names due to the diverse usage of
the edible parts of many forms and varieties. Some of the more
frequently used names are succory, Belgian endive, French endive,
witloof chicory, and Italian dandelion. Chicory belongs to the same
genus as common endive. In fact, the Florida trade often refers to
endive as "chicory" as a means of separating curly endive from the
broader leaf escarole.
True chicory is a root vegetable whose green leafy tops also are
used as cooking greens or in a salad. Roots are ground to make the
well known coffee supplement, and they are "forced" to grow the
delectable salad vegetable known as french endive.
Types and varieties While there probably are several new
varieties, there are three most often encountered: common chicory,
Brunswick, and Magdeburg.
Common chicory This form was gathered wild all over Europe for
centuries for use in salads. Cultivated types lost their bitterness
so that leaves could be eaten raw or cooked. When the roots are
forced, a blanched vegetable known as Barbe-de-capucin results which
is similar to French endive. The plant resembles a large dandelion
plant with long slender pointed leaves deeply notched or toothed.
Color is dark green with some red tones. Usually the plant is low
growing, but wild forms have been found to grow 6 feet tall.
Brunswick and Magdeburg These are large-rooted varieties which
are grown for use as a coffee substitute. The roots are 2 inches
thick at the top and 12 inches long. 'Brunswick' has deeply cut
leaves like dandelion leaves, while the 'Magdeburg' has erect, undi-
vided leaves. Leaves, somewhat resembling those of mustard and
turnips, are about 15 inches long and grown in a whorl from the top of
the bulbous roots. Magdeburg is considered to be the most vigorous of
A sub-variety of the Magdeburg is 'Witloof' which has very broad
leaves making it suitable for the production of French endive, Belgian
endive, or witloof chicory. The edible part is a compact head of
blanched leaves closely resembling the inner portion of romaine
Culture All the forms of chicory mentioned will grow well in
Florida gardens for the production of the leafy tops. Sow seeds
September through March, for the tops will withstand frost. If grown
just for the leaves without intention of forcing the roots, sow
thickly as for mustard, then cut the leaves as needed. Seeds also may
be sown indoors and seedlings transplanted to the garden.
Forcing The idea is to first grow the roots, then dig them up,
replant and force to grow a top. Reports indicate roots do not need a
rest period, so may be forced at any time they are large enough.
Briefly, here is the procedure to follow: Dig and trim to 6-inch
lengths roots which are from 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Place upright
an inch apart in a box or bed. Cover with moist sand or sandy soil.
No fertilizer is needed, as the root will produce leafy sprouts from
its own stored food reserves. Keep the forcing bed in a dark warm
place. An 8-inch layer of clean white sand is sometimes placed on top
of the roots to exclude light as you want the shoots to be clean and
well-blanched. Growth increases with heat so try to keep at about
Use Leaves from seeded plant used in salads or as a cooking
green. Dried, ground roots are used as a coffee substitute. Forced
tops are delectable as a salad.
(Stephens Vegetarian 85-11)
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
Dr. D. J. Cantliffe
Dr. G. J. Hochmuth
Dr. M. Sherman
J. M. Stephens
Visiting Ext. Agent I
Dr. S. M. Olson
Dr. W. M. Stall
Dr. D. N. Maynard