INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication
VeI labic Crops Deparmenl 1255 HlcPP Gainesville. FL 32611" Telephone 392-2134
February 15, 1989
I. NOTES OF INTEREST
A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
A. Watermelon Institute.
B. High-tech Vegetable Packaging.
C. Vegetable Crops Library.
D. National Agricultural Plastics Association -
Benefits to You and Your Growers.
E. Preliminary Pruning Trial of Spring Produced
'Solar Set' Tomatoes.
III. PESTICIDE UPDATE
S, A. Bolero 8EC (Thiobencarb) Section 18 on Lettuce,
Endive, Escarole, and Celery.
.B. Section 18 for Diquat in Tomato and Pepper Row
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
I J A. Keeping Tabs on Florida's Record-Size Vegetables.
SNote: Anyone is free to use the information in this
W newsletter. Whenever possible, please give credit to the
f.i authors. The purpose of trade names in this publication is
'% solely for the purpose of providing information and does not
S'''-.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.
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I. NOTES OF INTEREST
March 6-9, 1989. National
Agricultural Plastics Assoc. 21st
Congress, Orlando Hyatt Hotel,
Kissimmee, FL. (Contact
March 9-10, 1989. Florida Weed
Science Society. Lake Alfred.
(Contact S. J. Locascio).
June 19-23, 1989. State 4H
Horticultural Institute, Camp Ocala.
(Contact Jim Stephens).
II. COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
The January 1989
Watermelon Institute seemed to be a
good success with about 120
attendees. I thought that level of
attendance was good considering that
many growers are very busy taking
advantage of the weather.
I have sent a few extra
Proceedings out to the major
watermelon counties. If I omitted
you, please let me know. We have a
few copies left over.
(Hochmuth, Vegetarian 89-02)
Two California firms are
offering high-tech broccoli packs
aimed at increased convenience, shelf
life and decreased labor and
transportation costs. Projections
are to expand this packaging
technology to cauliflower, carrots,
lettuce, some other vegetables, and
strawberries. Ice is not used in
either of the technologies.
FreshCo Inc. relies on a
gaseous mixture within the pack to
maintain freshness and extend the
shelf life. This modified-
atmosphere technique utilizes a
mixture of oxygen and nitrogen which
is injected into each bag (probably
a low concentration of oxygen and the
remainder as nitrogen) and is
intended to lower the respiration
rate of the broccoli. This method
was developed by Transfresh, a sister
company of FreshCo. Another
modification of this iceless package
is that spears are trimmed to 4
inches instead of the more
conventional 6 in., and therefore all
of the product is useable. The new
shipping carton contains about 12
lbs. of broccoli instead of the
conventional 20 22 Ibs. Estimates
are that a trailer could hold about
1500 of the new cartons. FreshCo
intends to target restaurants and the
foodservice industry, nationwide.
The other firm, Fresh Western
Marketing Inc. and backed by Hercules
Inc., employs a breathable film to
control respiration of the broccoli.
The package film is composed of
microporous poly- ethylene pasted
over 10 holes in a heat-sealed
plastic container, thus restricting
the escape of carbon dioxide and the
entrance of oxygen. Shelf life of
broccoli in this pack is "about
double the standard pack", according
to the developers. Fresh
Western/Hercules also trim broccoli
that goes in the pack and ship a 12
Both firms, FreshCo and Fresh
Western, contend that the broccoli
must be held at 340F, continually.
Herein lies the packaging success for
both firms. Broccoli held constantly
at 34F respires at a minimal rate
and should have a shelf life of up to
14 days, regardless of the type of
package. Whether broccoli, or any
other perishable vegetable, quality
can best be maintained by proper
selection of the vegetable, packaging
to protect the product, precool to
the most favorable temperature, and
maintain the desired temperature
during transport and merchandising.
Hightech modifications will be
developed to assist in maintaining
quality but as yet there are no
substitutes for the basic principles
of proper handling.
(Gull, Vegetarian, 89-02)
B. Vegetable Crops Library.
A new vegetable book is
available to add to your reference
library Vegetable Production by I.
L. Nonnecke, 448 pages, 1988.
$69.00. The dealer's description
'Here is an up-to-date
comprehensive text and reference on
vegetable production in the United
States and Canada for vegetable
growers, handlers, and marketers.
CONTENTS: Principles of
Vegetable Production; Scope of the
Vegetable Industry; Classification of
Vegetables; Seed Production; Soils-
Fertilizer Vegetables; Environmental
Modifiers Influencing Vegetable
Production; Mechanizing Vegetable
Production; Postharvest Vegetables;
The Market Place; The Science and
Technology of Vegetable Crops;
Solanaceous Crops; Legumes Pulse
Crops; Bulbs and Roots; Cole Crops;
Sweet Corn; Mushroom; Leafy and
Petiole Crops; Cucurbits; Perennials;
Herbs or Pot-Herbs; Okra; Tropicals;
Also three valuable books that
I have in my personal library are now
on sale at bargain prices due to an
Diagnosis of Mineral Disorders
in Plants. Edited by J. B. D.
Vol. 1 Principles. C. Bould,
E. J. Hewitt, P. Needham. 176 pages,
1984, 102 color plates.
PARTIAL CONTENTS: Essential
and Functional Mineral Elements;
Effects of Mineral Deficiencies and
Excesses on Growth and Composition;
Methods of Diagnosing Nutrient
Disorders in Plants; Occurrence and
Treatment of Mineral Disorders in the
Vol. 2 Vegetables. A. Scaife
and Turner. 100 pages, 1984, 237
PARTIAL CONTENTS: Diagnosing
Mineral Disorders by Eye; Plant
Analysis and Sap Testing; Production
of Illustrations; Some Observation on
Trace Element Deficiencies in
Vol. 3 Glasshouse Crops. J.
B. D. Robinson. 168 pages, 1987, 110
CONTENTS: Discusses special
needs of glasshouse crops water
supply, light, fertilizer and soil,
and explores in detail the following
crops; cucumber; lettuce; pepper;
tomato; carnation; chrysanthemum;
These books are available now
for $10.00 each. I paid full price
which was over $200 for these books
and was well satisfied. All of the
above are available from Chemical
Publishing Co., Inc., 80 Eighth
Avenue, Dept. 691, New York, NY
(Maynard, Vegetarian 89-02)
C. National Agricultural
Plastics Association Benefits to
You and Your Growers.
On March 6-9, the National
Agricultural Plastics Assoc. will be
holding its Congress at the Orlando
Hyatt Hotel in Kissimmee, FL. There
will be many papers and talks
presented on mulch and row cover use
from all over the world. On Tuesday,
there will be tours to major
vegetable and ornamental production
areas. If you would like to learn
more about the use of plastics in
agriculture, plan on spending a day
or so at the Congress.
A special "Growers' Day" has
been set aside for Wednesday, March
8. Presentations have been selected
that have special appeal to Florida
growers. These include strawberry
production, use of row covers in
Florida, degradable mulches in
Florida, drip irrigation, fertilizer
management with plastic mulch and
drip irrigation, and more.
Please let your growers know
about the Congress and specifically
about the special "Growers' Day". A
special one-day registration is
available. For more information call
George Hochmuth (904) 392-7912 or
Carl Hoefer (904) 797-0299.
(Hochmuth, Vegetarian 89-02)
D. Preliminary Pruning Trial
of Spring Produced 'Solar Set'
'Solar Set' is a new cultivar
of tomatoes developed by Dr. Jay
Scott at the GCREC, Bradenton. It is
a fresh market hybrid which sets
fruit under high temperature and
humidity conditions. The vine vigor
is not as strong as 'Sunny' but is
similar to 'Duke' and 'FTE 12'.
Fruit size is good. Information on
certain cultural practices such as
pruning is limited. A study was
conducted at the NFREC, Quincy to
look at how various degrees of
pruning affect yield, fruit size, and
percent marketable fruit.
Soil type was an Orangeburg
loamy fine sand. Amount of ferti-
lizer used was 181-148-211 lbs N-
P205-K20/acre. Between row spacing
was 6 feet (7,260 linear feet/A) and
in-row spacing was 20 inches. Pro-
duction was with full-bed plastic
culture. Soil was fumigated with
methylbromide/chloropicrin (67/33) at
220 Ib/A. Plants were planted on
March 21, 1988 and were staked and
tied. Pesticide applications were
applied as needed. Plants were
pruned on April 11, 1988. Treatments
consisted of no pruning, removing 4
suckers from bottom up (ground
suckers were counted) and all suckers
removed from ground to first fork
(sucker below first bloom cluster).
Plants were pruned only once. Four
harvests were made and weights and
fruit number were recorded. Design
was random complete block with 4
replications (12 plants/rep).
Yields (Table 1) were decreased
with increased amount of pruning.
Highest yield occurred with no
pruning but resulted in smallest
fruit weight. The fruit size
increased with heavy pruning over
none. There were no differences in
percent marketable fruit between
none and heavy pruning. As amount of
pruning increased the amount of fruit
sunburned increased because of lack
of foliage. In contrast to 'Solar
Set', 'Sunny' had increased yields
with light pruning over none but
yields decreased with heavy pruning
(data not presented).
Based on this preliminary
trial, 'Solar Set' performed best
with no pruning but fruit size was
reduced. Further trials will be
conducted to see if these results
Table 1. Effect of degree of pruning on yield, fruit weight, and
percent marketable fruit of spring planted 'Solar
Set'. NRFEC. Quincy 1988.
Pruning Yield Fruit weight Percent Marketable
method (25 lb boxes/A) (oz) fruit
None 2685 aZ 7.1 b 77.6 a
Light 2243 b 7.7 ab 73.0 ab
Heavy 1482 c 8.3 a 64.6 b
ZMean separation by Duncan's multiple-range test at P=.05.
(Olson, Vegetarian 89-02)
III. PESTICIDE UPDATE
A. Bolero 8EC (Thiobencarb)
Section 18 on lettuce, endive,
escarole, and celery.
The U.S. EPA has issued a
specific exemption under Section 18
of FICRA for the use of Bolero 8EC
(thiobencarb) on lettuce, endive,
escarole and celery grown on organic
soils (muck) to control Portulaca
oleraceae (purslane) and Echinochloa
sp (barnyardgrass). The exemption
will expire August 31, 1989.
Bolero will be applied in a
single application at a maximum rate
of 8.0 Ib a.i. at the time of
transplanting, prior to weed
emergence. A 70 day PHI is to be
observed. Applications are to be
using a ground sprayer with a minimum
of 20 gallons/A. A maximum of 9100
acres of celery grown on soils with
greater than 20% organic matter may
2. Lettuce, endive or escarole.
A maximum of 14,000 acres may
be treated on soils greater than 20%
organic matter. A single ground
application at a rate of 6 lb ai per
acre in 60-80 gallons of water at the
time of direct seeding or
transplanting and prior to weed
emergence is authorized. A 60-day
PHI is to be observed.
Have the supplemental label in
hand and follow all restrictions
B. Section 18 for Diquat in
Tomato and Pepper Row Middles.
A specific exemption under
Section 18 of FIFRA has been granted
for the use of diquat dibromide
(Diquat H/A) as a directed
application to row middles in
tomatoes and green peppers to control
nightshade and parthenium.
A maximum of 2 applications at
a rate of 0.5 Ib a.i. per acre
be made by ground equipment.
day pre harvest interval (PHI)
The specific exemption
expire August 31, 1989.
(Stall, Vegetarian 89-02)
IV. VEGETABLE GARDENING
A. Keeping Tabs
From time to time, county
agents will be asked to verify the
size of some Florida-grown vegetable
as to whether or not it is a state
record. Until now official records
have not been kept just for Florida.
Of course, the Guinness Book of World
Records keeps up with those grown
anywhere, including Florida, but does
not maintain a Florida file.
Therefore, it is my intent to
initiate a mechanism for recording
Florida's largest vegetables, and act
as the official records keeper. But
I will need the help of County
Extension Agents. I have received
the approval of agents at various
Extension Home Horticulture Planning
Conferences, so here is the procedure
to be followed.
Gardeners who grow a large-size
vegetable and request that it be
considered for record status should
inquire through the County Extension
office. On their behalf, an agent
would call Jim Stephens (904) 392-
7916 to determine if a larger size is
already on computer file. If none
larger is on file, then the gardener
may proceed to establish his entry as
an official Florida record.
The procedure involves the
completion of the Official Entry Form
as discussed here. Upon verification
as a record by me, I will enter the
pertinent data and information about
the record, including the Official
Entry Form, in the computer file kept
in my office at 1235 Fifield Hall.
I~----- --- ~`
From that point on, these files shall
be deemed the Official Record and the
basis for determining the merits of
subsequent entries through the years.
The Official Entry Form is in
two parts. Part I of the official
rules outlines the procedures that
must be followed in order to have a
vegetable specimen officially
designated as a Florida record. Part
II Agent Certification Form,
officially documents the vegetable as
to size and grower. It is not
included in the newsletter. Copies
may be obtained from me at
Is Your Vegetable a Florida Record?
VC Form 1989-1
Official Entry Form Part I: Rules
for Submitting Entries
by James M. Stephens
Purpose: This form is to be used by
county agents of the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service, as a
means of certification for large-size
vegetables grown in the counties of
Florida. Florida produced vege-
tables, certified by the Extension
Service, may be officially entered in
the computerized records kept in
Gainesville by the State Extension
Vegetable Specialist Jim Stephens.
A file of largest-size specimens
grown in the state provides a means
of answering the many inquiries
received annually by Extension
concerning the status of a particular
1. Records are kept in computer
file at 1235 Fifield Hall,
University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL 32611. Phone:
2. For a vegetable to be entered in
the Florida records file, the
grower must process a claim
through the Extension Agent in
the Florida county in which the
vegetable is grown, using the
Agent Certification Form.
(Copies available rom J M.
3. The agent must weigh or
otherwise measure the specimen,
and check to see that the
specimen is not altered in any
way which would add to its
dimensions. Note: Growers are
advised to delay harvest until
Agent advises grower to harvest
4. A photograph (black-white or
color) must accompany the
submitted record all the way to
5. Agents must certify the
specimen as to the correct
kind, type, or variety for
which the record is claimed.
6. Agent may first contact the
Recording Specialist at
Gainesville to determine
whether or not a larger
specimen is already on record.
If a larger specimen is
recorded, no further action is
taken other than to notify the
grower of such information.
Specimens smaller than the
existing state record-size
vegetable will not be entered
into the file.
7. The State Specialist, upon
receiving this form properly
processed, may review the claim
with the submitting agent and
has the option of seeing the
specimen before accepting it as
an official state record.
8. The State Specialist is the
final authority in designating
any submitted specimen as an
official state record
9. Once a vegetable specimen is
duly recorded, the State
Vegetable Specialist will
present a Certificate through
the county agent to the grower
in recognition of the record.
10. State records will not be
submitted to keepers of national
records (usually the Guinness
Book of World Records). Such
admission is the responsibility
of the grower.
11. Only those vegetables, kinds,
types, or varieties shown on the
official list will be considered
for entry into the official
records under the auspices of
this project. The list is
compiled by the State Vegetable
Specialist and may be modified
only by his approval. (see item
13. All recorded largest vegetables
prior to 1989 will be
maintained in the files. Also,
previous record-holders will be
kept, after their records have
14. Vegetables: Bush bean, pole
bean, lima bean, beet, cabbage,
cantaloupe, carrot, cauli-
flower, celery, sweet corn,
cucumber, eggplant, endive,
lettuce, mustard, okra, onion,
English pea, southern pea, bell
pepper, Irish potato, radish
(summer), radish (winter),
spinach, squash (summer),
squash (winter) and pumpkin,
sweet potato, tomato, turnip,
watermelon. Reminder: Get a
copy of the Official Entry
forms from J. M. Stephens.
(Stephens, Vegetarian 89-02)
12. The official list also includes
the rules for preparing a
vegetable for measurement or
weighing. In most cases the
specimen will be weighed.
However, some vegetables, such
as beans, will need to be
measured (pod length).
Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
Dr. D. J. Cantliffe
Dr. G. J. HochmutA
Dr. S. M. Olson
Mr. J. M. Stephens
Dr. D. D. Gull
Dr. D. N. Maynard
Dr. W. M. Stall
Dr. S. A. Sargent