IJi 2l A VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER
A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication University of Florida
Vegetarian 02-09 Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
September 2002 Cooperative Extension Service
(Note: Anyone is free to use the information in this newsletter. Whenever possible, please give credit to the authors.
The purpose of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing information and does not
necessarily constitute a recommendation of the product.)
M Print Version
* Water Movement in Strawberry Beds
* Fresh-Market Tomato Variety Trial NFREC, Quincy, Spring 2002
SVegetable and Melons Consumption Down in 2001, but Likely to Rise in 2002
* National Organic Standards
* Catfish and Cucumbers
List of Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR
Florida Drip Irrigation School. GCREC-Dover. November 13, 10:00-4:00. Contact Christine at 813-744-6630. Programs are
offered free of charge but require pre-registration.
Florida Drip Irrigation School. NFREC-Live Oak. December 4, 9:00-4:00. Contact Laurie at 386-362-1725. Programs are offered
free of charge but require pre-registration.
Cucurbitaceae 2002. Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club; Naples, Fla. December 8-12. Contact Don Maynard 941-751-7636 x239
or email@example.com .
116th Florida State Horticultural Society. Sheraton World Resort Hotel International Drive Orlando, June 8-10, 2003.
WATER MOVEMENT IN STRAWBERRY BEDS
An increasing concern for proper water usage and irrigation efficiency requires a better understanding of water movement in strawberry
beds. The major factor that determines water movement in the soil is macro- and micro- pore space in the soil. Pores in the soil are
simply free space not occupied by soil particles; this can be visualized as air filled spaces between soil particles. While there is no
definitive differentiation between macro- and micro- pores, macro-pores are generally considered to be larger than 0.06 millimeter in
diameter and anything smaller is considered a micro-pore. Sandy soils usually have a porosity of 35-50% and finer textured soils have
porosity of 40-60%. With larger soil constituents, sandy soils will have a greater number of macro pores. Water movement through
macro-pores usually is accomplished from mass flow. This is the movement of water due to gravity, generally in a downward direction. In
micro-pores water movement is more commonly a factor of capillary action, which can move water laterally. The distribution of macro-
and micro-pores depends on several factors, soil compaction, aggregation, and type. Soil compaction and aggregation can be altered to
some degree while soil type is a location specific factor that can only be changed by changing location or the movement of mass
quantities of soil.
Soil compaction may be the easiest factor to control in a field setting. The use of deep tillage, to breakup compacted layers in soil, can
improve the drainage of a field. Because macro-pore volume of the compacted layer is increased, gravitational water is allowed to move
freely through it instead of laterally on top of it. If this is true then the reverse should also be true. To improve the lateral movement of
water in a planting bed, a more compacted bed will have fewer macro-pores and more micro-pores due to the forcing of soil particles
together; improving movement to the sides or shoulders of the bed. As an example, in a "loose" bed water from a drip tape will
preferentially move downward, whereas in a "tight" bed water movement will still move downward, but not at as great a rate with more
water being moved towards the side of the bed through capillary action of the micro-pores.
Soil aggregation is the binding or flocculation of soil particles to one another. Soil aggregates are naturally occurring clumps of soil and
help increase the numbers of micro-pores present in the soil. There are four factors that control soil aggregation: physical movements of
soil particles, organic matter content of the soil, cation concentrations in the soil, and tillage. Organic matter in the soil is the major
factor contributing to aggregate formation. As organic materials break down, bacteria and fungi produce gels and other products which
bind soil particles together. Physical movement of soil particles can be accomplished through natural freeze thaw and wetting drying
cycles, action of soil organism, and root growth. These actions force soil particles together promoting aggregation. Some cations
(positively charged ions) such as calcium and magnesium (which both have a +2 charge) can help bind negatively charged soil particles
together in a process called flocculation. However, cations such as sodium (which only has a +1 charge) can cause the dispersal of soil
particles. Tillage can have both a positive and negative impact on soil aggregation. Incorporation of organic materials uniformly in the
soil (from crop residues or green manure and cover crops) enhances soil aggregation in the short term. However, in the long term,
repeated tillage operations speed up the break down of organic matter in the soil reducing aggregation and movement of machinery
through the field can break stable soil aggregates.
What does this mean to a strawberry grower? If the physical properties of a soil are known and how that soil behaves, determinations
can be made on the amount of water needed to irrigate to a certain depth or to wet a given volume of the bed. In the sandy soils
surrounding Plant City, lateral movement of water in the soil is very poor. Drs. Joe Noling and James Gilreath have preformed tests
using dyes to determine where water moves in terms of fumigant application. These tests were duplicated looking at the use of different
drip tapes with different flow rates and emitter spacing and their effect on water movement. On a commercial farm, two tapes with low
rates of 24 and 27 with flow rates of gal/100 ft/hour with 12 inch emitter spacing, and at the GCREC-Dover a tape with 4 inch emitter
spacing and a 32 gal/100 ft/hour flow rate were tested. Both test areas contained living strawberry plants spaced 15 inches apart and
had received no irrigation for a month. All beds in this study were "tight" beds, formed with 3 passes of bedding equipment. Irrigation
lengths of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 hours were the treatments (Table 1). During the first 20 minutes of irrigation of all beds, a blue indicator
dye was injected. At the end of each irrigation treatment, beds were dissected both length and cross wise to determine where water had
moved. The distance that the dye moved downward, lengthwise and crosswise was measured. Calculations were made to determine
percent of the root zone which was wetted. Root zone volume was defined as the width of the bed multiplied by distance between drip
emitters multiplied by a rooting depth of 15 inches. Wetted volume was the product of multiplying downward dye movement (15"
maximum) by lengthwise movement (with emitter spacing being the maximum) by width of dye movement towards the edges of the bed
Table 1. Effect of irrigation length on vertical movement
(distance from the tape to the bottom of the dye in inches) of
the water front for three types of drip tape.
Flow rate (gal/100 ft/hr)
It can be seen that there is little difference between the 24 or 27 gal/100 ft/hour tapes. It takes both of these tapes 6 hours for the
wetting pattern of two adjacent emitters (12 in apart) to converge. However, with the 32 gal/100 ft/hour tape with 4 inch emitter spacing,
the wetting patterns converged after only one hour. This tape also allowed for deeper penetration of water and provided less water
movement to the sides of the beds than the other two tapes. This is due to the fact that on the commercial farm a very distinguishable
compacted layer existed at a depth of 17 inches. No irrigation with any of these tapes was successful in wetting all the way to the
shoulders of the bed (Figures 1-6). In further studies at the GCREC-Dover the effect of pulsing irrigation through the drip system will be
explored as a means to move water to the edges of the bed obtaining uniform coverage for fertilizer and any other chemical supplied
through the irrigation system.
Fig. 1 Fig. 2
and a flow rate of 32 gal/100 ft/hr.
(Duval and Simonne Vegetarian 02-09)
F"RESH-MARKET TOMATO VARIETY TRIAL NFREC, QUINCY, SPRING 2002
During the 2000-2001 production season 43,800 acres of tomatoes were harvested with a farm-gate value of over $588 million. Total
production was 63.7 million 25-pound boxes or an average yield of 1,456 boxes per acre. Tomatoes accounted for more than 34% of the
total value of vegetables grown in Florida during the 2000-2001 production season making, it the most valuable vegetable crop in Florida
. In the panhandle area of Florida, tomatoes are by far the most valuable of the vegetable crops.
A tomato variety was conducted at the North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy during the spring season of 2002 to
evaluate fresh market (large rounds) tomato varieties and potential new hybrids. Tomato spotted wilt has become a serious problem in
the north Florida/south Georgia production area. This replicated trial included 22 entries, with 8 of them claiming resistance to Tomato
Entries were seeded on 6 February into planter flats containing a commercial media. Cell size of flats were 2 in. by 2 in. by 3 in.
Seedlings were fertilized weekly with a dilute solution of 15-16-17 (N-P205-K20) peat-lite special. Plants were hardened off before
transplanting by reducing temperature, water and fertilizer.
'I, ,p d
:": ...i ~ .;.
transplanting by reducing temperature, water and fertilizer.
Production was on raised full bed mulched system. Beds were fumigated with methyl bromide/chloropicrin (67/33) at 350 Ibs/acre before
mulch (black) application. Irrigation was with single drip tube placed 6 inches off center. Total fertilization was 195-60-195 Ibs/acre of N-
P205-K20. Row spacing was 6 feet between rows with a finished bed width of 36 inches. Transplanting was done on 27 March. Plots
consisted of 12 plants spaced 20 inches apart. Plots were tied 4 times and maintenance pesticides were used as needed to control pest
problems. Design was a random complete block with 4 replications. Fruit were harvested at or beyond the mature-green stage on 13, 19
and 27 June. At each harvest fruit were graded and sized into medium, large and extra-large fruit. Weights and fruit numbers of each
size along with cull weight were recorded. Tomato spotted wilt incidence was rated on 22 May and 12 June just prior to harvest.
This trial is one of the first to evaluate a large number of Tomato spotted wilt resistant hybrids. Seven of the resistant hybrids showed no
symptoms of Tomato spotted wilt, one hybrid, 'BHN 640' had one plant that showed symptoms of Tomato spotted wilt and presence of
Tomato spotted wilt virus was confirmed in lab by ELISA (Table 1). One other hybrid 'SVR 1432427' also showed low incidence (2
plants out of 48) to Tomato spotted wilt. This hybrid is not supposed to be resistant to Tomato spotted wilt but has resistance to Tomato
yellow leaf curl. I nddence of Tomato spotted wilt ranged from a low of 0.0 to a high of 37.5 % for 'Sunpac'. For yields, only total yield
information is being presented. Total yields ranged from a high of 2771 boxes/a for 'RFT 0849' to a low of 1493 boxes/a for 'RFT 6153'.
Fruit size ranged from 8.2 oz for 'BHN 543' to a low of 6.0 oz for 'Rockstar'
Since this is the first university replicated trial for many of the Tomato spotted wilt resistant hybrids, care is needed in using these results
for recommendations. Also all of these resistant varieties are using the same source of resistance.
Table 1. Tomato variety total yields and incidence of Tomato spotted wilt. Spring 2002. NFREC-Quincy.
RFT 0849 (R)z
BHN 640 (R)
BHN 444 (R)
BHN 577 (R)
SVR 1405037 (R)
HIMIX 0800 (R)
Fla. 7964 (R)
Average fruit weight
z Denotes variety resistant to Tomato spotted will.
SIlean separation Duncan's multiple range test, 5 '. level.
(Olson and -Vegetarian 02-09)
VEGETABLE AND MELONS CONSUMPTION DOWN IN 2001,
BUT LIKELY TO RISE IN 2002
In 2002, per capital vegetable and melon disappearance (also referred to as use or consumption) is forecast to rise 1 percent to 451
pounds. Increased use of fresh canning, and freezing vegetables is expected to outweigh reduced use of potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Canned and frozen vegetables are expected to rise 2 to 3 percent as the economy improves, output rises, and prices soften. Potato use
in 2002 is expected to decline due to higher retail prices most of the year caused by smaller storage supplies from the short 2001 crop.
In 2001, per capital vegetable and melon use declined 1 percent to 449 pounds. Fresh-market use (excluding potatoes) was unchanged
at 173 pounds while freezing (down 1 percent) and canning (down 3 percent) use were lower. Per capital use of potatoes, the largest
vegetable category, likely increased 1 percent to 140 pounds, reflecting lower prices stemming from the record-large 2000 fall potato
Highlights in consumption trends from 2001 include:
Record-high per capital use of fresh-market tomatoes, which reached 17.9 pounds. However, processing tomato use reached its
lowest point since 1988 as the recession slowed demand for food away from home;
The recession also impacted fresh-market onion use, which declined 1 percent to 18.1 pounds per person despite adequate
supplies and low prices;
Fresh-market sweet corn use posted a record-high 9.4 pounds per person, but the canning market continued its long-term decline;
Snap bean use continued to move slowly upward as small gains in fresh and freezing use outweighed reduced caning use;
Despite a small gain in the fresh market, carrot use declined for the fourth consecutive year after posting a record-high in 1997;
Pickling cucumber use may have hit its lowest point since 1952, but fresh use remained stable;
Melon use recovered from a brief slide in 2000 led by increased watermelon and cantaloupe use;
Despite the smallest fresh-market use since 1990, per capital potato use increased 1 percent as processing use rose 2 percent.
The Census Bureau released the final revised U.S. figures linking the 1990 and 2000 population censuses. The impact of incorporating
the final Census 2000 population estimates for 1991-2000 (and beyond) has been to reduce total per capital vegetable use. For example,
the estimate of total vegetable per capital use declined by 12 pounds in 1999 as total disappearance was divided into a larger population
base. The July 1, 1999 population estimate increased from 272.9 million to a revised 278.9 million. Although per capital use estimates
have been trimmed, all familiar long-term consumption trends remain intact.
This SUMMARY is published by the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20036-5831.
(White Vegetarian 02-09)
NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS
The American Vegetable Grower, August 2002 issue, has a special 23 page report on U.S. National Organic Standards. The Table of
Defining the Process
Setting the Standard
The Long and Winding Road
Earning a Seal of Approval
Look for the Label
Selling Quality Assurance
Page 23 on Organic Resources lists 21 web sites for more information. For anyone interested in growing organic or being able to provide
a client information, check out this source.
(White Vegetarian 02-09)
CATFISH AND CUCUMBERS
Alternative fumigation strategies and alternative marketing strategies are a few of the many alternatives being looked at to improve
profitability in agriculture. One alternative that has been worked on along the fringes of the mainstream is aquaponics growing aquatic
organisms and vegetables together.
One reason these techniques have not become widespread is that the ideal conditions for optimum yields of each product grown apart
don't necessarily coincide with the conditions that exist when you grow them together. Most of the work to date has been done with the
systems separated using the water from the fish tanks to fertilizer a bed of vegetables or using the crops to filter and clean the water
before it is returned to the tanks. Although a sound environmental approach, it probably doesn't improve profitability compared to each
product grown apart. So it must be said up front that more work needs to be done before aquaponics can be successfully combined into
commercial production systems beyond the hobby, educational, or eco-tourism uses.
A great review of work done to date is contained at the ATTRA site (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas)
http://www.attra.orq Just click on Greenhouse and look for the publication Aquaponics Integration of Hydroponics with Aquaculture.
One system covered in the paper is the University of Virgin Islands Aquaponic System which uses the floating raft design employed in
Florida and elsewhere as described in the University of Florida video Building a Hydroponic Floating Garden SV295. Floating
hydroponic raft systems seem to be a good fit for aquaponics. Recent work in Sanford has shown that using a floating raft that provides
more above water root zone volume will allow larger plants like greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes to be produced successfully
compared to the system described in the video which is best for leafy salad crops and basil. To combine this with aquaculture would
require deeper troughs and recirculating, filtered water.
Another Florida information resource, besides IFAS's own Sea Grant program, is the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Ft.
Pierce, FL (firstname.lastname@example.org or www.aquaculture-online.org). They have day long or week long courses on aquaculture. I spent three
days there this summer. Dorm accommodations are included in the class tuition and I must say I met some pretty interesting characters
passing through. HOBI is one of those places where they provide free bicycles on campus you just ride where you want to go and
leave the bicycle for the next person to pick up. For us dyed-in-the-wool horticulturist, a good starter resource is a book called Small
Scale Aquaculture by Steven Gorder which can be purchased from Aquatic Eco-Systems in Apopka, FL.
Aquaponics needs considerable research work to establish production guidelines and test economic parameters before it could be
recommended to commercial producers. However, considering the cost of aquatic products in the supermarkets and aquarium stores,
this could be a good fit.
(Tyson Vegetarian 02-09)
Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists
Daniel J. Cantliffe
Professor and Chairman
Assistant Professor. strawberry
Assistant Professor, vegetable production
Elizabeth M. Lamb
Assistant Ptofessot, pioduclion
Assistant Ptofessot. soils
Donald N. Maynard
Stephen M. Olson
Ptofessot. small farms
Ronald W. Rice
Assistant Professor, nutrition
Steven A. Sargent
Assistant Professor and editor, vegetable nutrition
William M. Stall
Ptofessot, weed conliol
James M. Stephens (telited)
Ptofessot. vegetable gardening
Charles S. Vavrina
James M. White
Associate Ptofessot. organic fa ming
Mark A. Ritenour
Assistant Ptofessot. posthaivest
University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Horticultural Sciences Department
Florida Cooperative Extension Service
North Florida Research and Education Center Suwannee Valley
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center Dover
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