Title: Vegetarian
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Title: Vegetarian
Series Title: Vegetarian
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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: February 2003
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Volume ID: VID00460
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IJE2l A VEGETARIAN NEWSLETTER

A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication University of Florida
Vegetarian 03-02 Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
February 2003 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.)
Vegetarian Archive Vegetarian Index



M Print Version

COMMERCIAL VEGETABLES
* Planting by the Signs in February Resource Information for Extension Agents
* Southwest Florida Vegetable Research Investment Fund
* Update and Outlook for 2003 of Florida's BMP Program for Vegetable Crops
* Proliferation Ability of Nutsedges




UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR*

Florida Postharvest Horticulture Industry Tour. Statewide. March 10-13, 2003. Contact Steve Sargent at 352-392-1928 or
sasa@mail.ifas.ufl.edu OR Mark Ritenour at 561-201-5548 or mrit@mail.ifas.ufl.edu
Drip Irrigation School. Ft. Pierce-IRREC. March 13, 2003. Contact Betsy Lamb at 772-468-3922 x138 or
emlamb@mail.ifas.ufl.edu OR Ed Skvarch at (561)462-1660 or eask@mail.ifas.ufl.edu. This program will provide CEU and CCA
credits and certificates of attendance.
Urban Farming Workshop. Seminole County Extension Auditorium. Sanford, FL. April 12, 2003. Contact Richard Tyson at
rvt@mail.ifas.ufl.edu
Florida Postharvest Horticulture Institute at FACTS. (Florida Agricultural Conference & Trade Show). Lakeland. April 29-30,
2003. Contact Steve Sargent at 352-392-1928 or sasa@mail.ifas.ufl.edu

Vegetable Field Day. GCREC-Bradenton. April 10, 2003. Contact Don Maynard at 941-751-7636 x239 or dnma@mail.ifas.ufl.edu

116th Florida State Horticultural Society. Sheraton World Resort Hotel International Drive Orlando, June 8-10, 2003.


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PLANTING BY THE SIGNS IN FEBRUARY RESOURCE
INFORMATION FOR EXTENSION AGENTS

The University of Florida/IFAS neither recommends nor has it done research to make recommendations to plant according to
moon phases nor the astrological signs. The purpose of this article is informational. However, I wish I had a dollar for every time
over the last 22 years when I've been asked (mainly by old-timers) if the signs were "right" to plant a crop. Lately, we've had more
clientele with organic [Circular 375 Organic Vegetable Gardening (1) is an excellent resource to help clientele and agents] and bio-
dynamic approaches to vegetable gardening and production. It helps to understand where they are coming from (4). See Table 1. for
explanation of numbered references in parentheses.

J. Raymond Joyce, Extension Agent for Laurens and Johnson counties in Georgia, simplified some basic principles for clientele that you
might want to access on the web (3). A website (2) that helps explain the philosophy and mechanics of gardening by the moon, how
calculations are made, and how to generate a calendar for the month is referenced as well as a chapter from a classical book
documenting southern agriculture lore (7). Not that we're advocating the practice, just trying to understand where clientele are coming
from, to better communicate and extend our applied research-based information to Extension clientele.

For agents to better communicate UF/IFAS vegetable planting recommendations, the UF/IFAS Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (6)
recommended planting date ranges could be used. A starting point with a client, is understanding that clients will use something like the
Farmers Almanac (5) or calendar with lunar and other signs as their main reference to integrate local Extension recommendations into
their February, 2003 garden (experienced repeatedly by senior author's 22 years of interacting with rural clientele):

Table 1.
February 2003 Planting Dates
Vegetable Crop North Florida Central Florida South Florida
Beans (bush, pole, lima) ---- --- 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Beets 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27
Broccoli 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 ----- ---
Cabbage 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 ---- ----
Cantaloupes 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Carrots 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27
Cauliflower 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 ---- ---
Celery 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 ----
Chinese Cabbage 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 ---- --- ---
Collards 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Corn, Sweet----- 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Eggplant 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Kale 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 ----
Kohlrabi 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27
Leeks 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Lettuces (crisp, butter head, 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
leaf, romaine)
Mustard 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Okra ------- ---- 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Onion, Bunching 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Onion, Multipliers 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27
Parsley 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 ----
Peas, English 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Peas, Southern -- ------4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Pepper 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Potatoes, Irish 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27
Potatoes, Sweet 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27
Pumpkin 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Radish 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27
Squash, Summer 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Squash, Winter 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Tomatoes 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15
Turnips 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27


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The dates in the integrated planting guide are for moon-sign best planting dates without regard to optimum frost-free periods; using the
UF/IFAS Vegetable Planting Guide recommended planting months. The Farmers Almanac Outdoor Planting Table for the Southeast
U.S. takes average last frosts and length of growing season into consideration, so planting dates are conservatively moved later into the
growing season, so there may be some discrepancies between table dates (which are strictly based on moon signs) and Farmers
Almanac recommendations. Additional information moon sign information that might be helpful with clients:

February seedbeds are planted the 17th, 18th, 25th, 26th, and 27th.
February plant pests are to be controlled on the 5th-7th, 19th-22nd.

4-H Agents may want to test these dates in controlled, replicated trials as 4-H Plant Science projects or youth Science Fair projects,
testing the hypothesis of age-old tradition (planting dates of root vs. leaf crops, etc.) Documented results would surely make for a
colorful and interesting 4-H Demonstration or Science Fair project, as will be shown by the co-author (8) in the remainder of this article in
his own words:

... "I first heard about gardening by the signs from my dad. He said that his Grandpa only planted when the signs were right. To be
honest, it sounded like a lot of hocus-pocus. I decided that it would make a good science fair project. The purpose of the project was to
see if the moon had any effect on the plants rate of growth. There are two aspects of planting by the moon. The first part involves
planting according to lunar phases, Table 2. The moon has four phases, each lasting about seven days. The first and the second phases
of the moon are supposed to be the best time to plant an above ground crop. During this time, the moon has a greater gravitational
force bringing water to the above ground parts of the plant. The third and fourth phases of the moon are supposed to be the best time
to plant a below ground crop (radish, peanuts, potatoes) since more water will be available in the root zone. The second part of
gardening by the moon involves the astronomical signs. Farmers know them by names such as the head, heart, twins, feet etc.
However, most people refer to these as the signs of the zodiac. Examples include, Taurus, Cancer, Gemini, and Leo etc. Each of these
signs is known as being fruitful or barren, watery or dry, fiery or earthy. Planting guides such as the Old Farmers Almanac say that the
best time to plant is when a moon phase and the most ideal sign occur together for a particular crop. The materials that I used to
conduct my project were commercial potting soil, pots, and Sparkler radish seed. I sowed the seed on the best and worst days for
planting according to the Almanac. Each planting was allowed to grow for a period of thirty days. (No fertilizer was used) At the end of
the thirty- day period the plants were removed. The roots and vegetative parts were measured. The Almanac had predicted that the best
day for planting below ground plants would be on October 27th. This was during the third phase of the moon under the sign of Cancer
(considered to be the most fruitful). This sign gave the best result for all of the plantings. The worst possible day for planting yielded the
poorest result. There is evidence to suggest that the signs may truly have an affect on a plants rate of growth. My next project will be to
test the signs on an above ground crop next spring."

Table 2. Radish growth when planted according to signs and lunar phases.
October, 2002
Planting Date Sign Lunar Phase Root Growth Top Growth
17th Aquarius 2nd 7.9cm 4.3cm
19th Pisces 2nd 8.0cm 4.1cm
21st Aires Full 9.3cm 3.9cm
24th Taurus Third 9.0cm 4.0cm
25th Gemini Third 5.5cm 4.0cm
27th Cancer Third 9.5cm 4.7cm



Figure 1. Recording centimeters of root
Sand shoot growth of all treatments at end of experiment.

1.- i r
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References:

Circular 375 Organic Vegetable Gardening, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH019
Gardening by the Moon, http://www.gardeninqbythemoon.com/signs.html
Planting by the Signs of the Moon, http://www.griffin.peachnet.edu/ga/laurens/ag/hort/hortnews/plantbymoon.html
Planting by the Moon, http://home.att.net/~millero/lunar.html
Southern Edition of the Old Farmer's Almanac 2003, Yankee Publishing Inc., Dublin, NH. Pp. 144- 115.
SP 103 Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021
Wigginton, B.E. 1972. The Foxfire Book. Anchor Books, Random House. New York, NY. Pp. 212-227.
Williams, C.A. 2002. Gardening by the Moon Fact or Fiction. Middle School Science Fair, Lake Butler, FL, 11pp.

(Jacque Breman, Union Co. Ext. Dir. and Clint Williams, Union Co. 4-H Member- Vegetarian 03-02)


SOUTHWEST FLORIDA VEGETABLE RESEARCH INVESTMENT FUND

Vegetable farming has never been an easy proposition but in recent years it has become even more difficult in a rapidly changing and
dynamic world economy. Survival in this environment has not been easy.

Over the past decade, the number of vegetable growers in Southwest Florida has fallen precipitously to a point where the number of
vegetable growers in Southwest Florida is now approximately the same as the number of Florida panthers estimated to be surviving in
the wild. Unlike the panther, however there has been little public sympathy for their plight and none of the multi-millions of government
and private dollars that have been allocated toward saving the big cat.

There is no question that the industry has undergone massive transformations and has overcome tremendous challenges in the past
quarter century. Although they are farming differently than in the past, Florida growers remain among the most productive in the world.

The success of the industry has been due to a number of factors. Favorable climate, abundant land and water, as well as the tenacity
and rugged individualism of our growers have all been major factors contributing to the development and survival of the industry.

Vegetable growers in Southwest Florida also acknowledge that much of the strength and progress in the vegetable industry can be
directly attributed to the strong partnership and collaborative effort between growers, government, educational institutions and industry in
conducting agricultural research aimed at finding solutions to growers' problems. While all of these factors have made positive
contributions, the dynamics of the industry are changing and will continue to change at an increasingly rapid pace.

During the past decade, there has been an enormous upsurge of foreign competition with tremendous negative impact on the entire
industry. Although pests and diseases have always been a menace to agricultural producers, new pests and diseases have appeared to
plague growers. In addition, new problems have emerged. The industry now has to contend with environmental concerns, labor
availability, water shortages and many other issues.

Another thing that has changed is American demographics; agricultural producers now constitute less than 1% of population. With the
reduced involvement with agriculture, public perception of agriculture is changing. These changes have impacted the sources of funding
available to support agricultural research. Policy makers at every level have placed greater emphasis on addressing such national issues
as education, the environment, social issues, and technology.

In December 1999, a group of grower and other industry representatives attending a meeting of the Southwest Florida Vegetable
Advisory Committee expressed dissatisfaction with the direction, focus and quantity of vegetable research being conducted by IFAS.
These concerns lead to a meeting with the director and research faculty at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education
Center. The meeting proved to be quite informative for the committee members.

At the meeting, growers came to realize that there were several factors to be considered. Firstly, as government support for agricultural
research has dwindled, remaining funds have often been applied to more basic research efforts as well as so-called sustainable
agricultural research that often seems to have little practical application in relationship to the growers immediate needs and wants.
Secondly, although private corporations still fund agricultural research in many areas, these efforts tend to be motivated by profit and
focused on specific products. Lastly, research costs money and lots of it and as the old saying goes he


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who pays the piper calls the tune. Quite simply, if the committee hoped to influence the future direction of vegetable research and
guarantee the continuation of unbiased research that addresses growers' needs; sufficient funds would have to be put in place.

With this realization, the committee decided to explore their options. Research into how other commodity groups handled this dilemma
revealed that the citrus and sugar industries had already come to this conclusion and had well-established commodity based research
efforts. Acting on this information, the Southwest Florida Vegetable Advisory Committee launched the Southwest Florida Vegetable
Research Investment Fund in June 2000. Now in it's third year, over 45 growers and industry partners have joined together and
contributed more than $85,000 to fund vegetable research in southwest Florida.

To date, the fund has successfully funded eleven projects in three priority areas: methyl bromide alternatives, water management and
conservation and Integrated Pest Management. The majority of this research has been conducted on growers' farms. Examples of
research that has been funded over the past few years includes:

Field Demonstration Studies of Fumigant Alternatives for Double Crop Nematode Control and Comparisons of Sampling
Techniques J.W. Noling, J.P. Gilreath, and G. McAvoy,
Evaluating Insecticidal Rotations for Optimizing Control of Pepper Weevil D.J. Schuster, P.A. Stansly and J. Conner,
Irrigation Scheduling Using Real Time Soil Water Data for Vegetable Production in SW Florida S. Shukia, T. Obreza, C.
Vavrina, E. Simonne, and G. McAvoy
Soil Based Phosphorus Rates for Vegetable Production T. Obreza and G. McAvoy, and
Tomato Row Middle Weed Control W.M. Stall and G. McAvoy.

Generous in-kind contributions by cooperating growers has allowed the fund to greatly leverage it's research dollars producing results
that would have cost far more in a traditional research setting. The novel approach taken by the fund to ensure the continuation of
practical vegetable research needed to keep growers competitive in the global market place has also lead to a renewed and closer
relationship between researchers and producers.

Members have been enthusiastic about the fund's progress. A. J. Nychyk of Nychyk Brothers Farm commented "the research fund
marks the first time that vegetable growers have come together to attack common problems affecting all growers." Chuck Obern of C&B
Farm observed, "Grower directed research ensures that growers will receive a final product that is practical in nature and meets the
industries needs." In essence, the fund is a strategic partnership of growers and others in the vegetable industry that came together to
pool their resources to address research needs of common concern.

The SW Florida Vegetable Research Investment Fund is managed by the contributor-members who prioritize and fund research projects
through a democratically elected advisory committee. Membership is based on contributions of one dollar per cropped acre per year or
flat fee for industry partners. Contributors hold the purse strings and are free to choose from public or private research groups and hold
researchers accountable for performance. To ensure transparency and application of proper accounting of member contributions, all
funds are held in an escrow account maintained by the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association Education Foundation on behalf of the
SW Florida Vegetable Research Investment Fund. Association with FFVA also ensures that contributions are tax-deductible.

In addition to helping to meet the research needs of Southwest Florida vegetable producers, the fund is also fostering a new spirit of
cooperation and communication between growers and researchers as well as increasing the exposure of UF/IFAS within the local
agricultural community.

The formula that has made the Southwest Florida Research Investment Fund a success is a testimony to the extension model. Listen
to clients, identify their perceived needs and wants, provide a product that meets their needs and evaluate the results.

The process of change is certain and will continue to proceed even faster. Challenges will continue to confront the vegetable industry.
Foreign competition is here to stay and will undoubtedly increase. Southwest Florida vegetable growers and their industry partners
realize that they will never be able to compete on the basis of cheap land or labor but must maintain their competitive edge through
technological advances based on sound research.

Hopefully establishment of the Southwest Florida Vegetable Research Investment Fund will help ensure that the vegetable industry will
continue to contribute more than 10,000 jobs and $300 million dollars per year to the regional economy of Southwest Florida.

(Gene McAvoy, Ext. Agt. II, Hendry Co. -Vegetarian 03-02)


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UPDATE AND OUTLOOK FOR 2003 OF FLORIDA'S BMP
PROGRAM FOR VEGETABLE CROPS

Increased environmental concerns supported by reports of high NO3-N and P levels in some springs and streams in Florida, have
resulted in the passage of the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Act of 1987. Together with the Federal Clean
Water Quality Act of 1977, the SWIM Act created a program that focused on preservation and/or restoration of the state's water bodies
through the development and implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs). BMPs are cultural practices that should increase
or maintain yields while being environmentally robust, economically feasible, and based on science and best professional judgment.
BMPs are based on IFAS research results, and therefore, follow IFAS recommendations (Maynard and Olson, 2001). Florida growers,
faced with the new BMP program, legitimately requested reliable data documenting the impact of current production practices on water
quality. Much of this research has been completed as outlined in Table 1.

In this context, the goal of our multi-disciplinary research and extension program is to (1) actively participate in the development of the
BMP manual, (2) develop research-based information supporting the efficacy of fertilization and irrigation BMPs, and (3) provide
vegetable growers with recommendations and educational programs that help them comply with the new legislation. This paper outlines
the current status of the BMP manual for vegetables, describes several research projects on the testing of possible BMPs for vegetable
crops, and discusses challenges and opportunities for the implementation and adoption of the BMP program in Florida.

The BMP Manual for Vegetables Grown in Florida

The 'Agronomic and Vegetable Crops BMP Manual for Florida' will describe BMPs for the 142,000 ha, $1.4 billion vegetable industry in
Florida (Witzig and Pugh, 2001). The seven sections of the manual are 'Pesticide management', 'Conservation practices and buffer',
'Sediment control', 'Irrigation and nutrient management', 'Water resources', 'Seasonal and temporary farming operations', and 'Record
keeping and accountability'. Each section is divided into specific BMPs. Each BMP description is 2 to 3 pages long, consisting of a title,
pictures, working definition, set of 'things to do' (BMPs), 'things to avoid' (potential pitfalls), supplemental technical criteria, and
references (Table 1 and Table 2).

In a competitive marketplace where only the most efficient producers remain in business, the cost of implementing BMPs is of great
concern to the grower community. Thus, several cost-share programs are available to partially reimburse the cost of BMP
implementation. These programs are administered by USDA's Farm Agency Service (the Conservation Reserve Program, and the
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (the Environmental Quality Incentive
Program, Emergency Conservation Program, Small Watershed Program, Stewardship Incentive Program, Wetlands Reserve Programs,
Wildlife Incentives Program), or by state or local agencies (Tri-county Agricultural Area Water Quality Cost Share Program -see
Livingston-Way, 2000; the Indian River Citrus Area Water Quality Protection Program, Alternate Water Supply Construction Cost-
Share Program, the Suwannee River Partnership).

Current Research Projects With Drip Irrigation

While extensive, recommendations for vegetable production are readily available (Maynard and Olson, 2001), the documentation of the
environmental impact of these recommendations is still incomplete (Table 3). As illustrated in the following research projects, several
strategies are under investigation to reduce the risk of N leaching.

In a project entitled 'Field testing of possible BMPs for watermelon' conducted at the North Florida Research and Education Center -
Suwannee Valley (NFREC-SV), spring watermelons were grown between 1998 and 2002 following current IFAS fertilization and
irrigation recommendations (Maynard and Olson, 2001). Nitrate levels in the soil water at the 1.6-m and 7-m depth were monitored
every three weeks with suction-cup lysimeters and wells. Watermelon marketable yield ranged between 43,680 and 72,280 kg/ha, which
was comparable to current commercial yields (Witzig and Pugh, 2001). Nitrate-nitrogen concentration in the lysimeters ranged from 20
to 150 mg/L NO3-N except when cover crops were grown between vegetable crops. Under cover crops, nitrate concentration in the
lysimeter samples ranged between 5 and 20 mg/L NO3-N. Nitrate concentration in the monitoring well samples was always below 20
mg/L NO3-N. It was concluded that economical yields of watermelon may be produced with current fertilizer and irrigation
recommendations. However, it was not possible to maintain NO3-N levels in the soil water or the shallow groundwater below the EPA
drinking water standard, when current production recommendations were followed.

The relevance of using the EPA drinking water standard (10 mg/L NO3-N; USEPA, 1994) as the threshold for discharge monitoring has
been questioned because the fate of nitrate below the root zone is unknown, and water just below the root zone of vegetables is
typically not used for potable water supply. Monitoring water below the root zone does account for dilution of nitrate in the root zone.
However, this concentration has been selected because no alternative threshold exists for shallow water.


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Because N03-N moves with the water front, optimizing irrigation management may reduce nitrate leaching. Scheduling drip irrigation is
the topic of an on-going project (2000-2003) at NFREC-SV. The goal of this project is to develop specific guidelines for drip irrigation
scheduling of bell pepper using real-time weather data. In one experiment, bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) was grown with plasticulture
under factorial combinations of three N (75%, 100% and 125% of the recommended 224 kg N/ha rate) and four irrigation rates (33%,
66%, 100%, and 133% of 1-3, the reference rate). Varying drip tape and fertilizer injector numbers created factorial combinations of N
and irrigation rates. For 1-3, daily drip irrigation was based on class A pan evaporation and a crop factor ranging between 0.20 and 1.00
depending on crop growth stage. Total seasonal irrigation was 74,687 L/100 m of bed for 1-3. Soil water tension decreased with
increasing water amounts and remained under 20 kPa with the 66% 1-3 rate in the top 30-cm soil zone. Bell pepper yields were
significantly affected by N and irrigation rates (all p<0.01). Fancy yield was significantly greater with 125% than with 100% N rate.
Fancy and marketable yields responses to water rates were both quadratic (p<0.01) and maxima occurred at 97% and 94% of 1-3,
respectively. A combination of 280 kg/ha of N and 95% 1-3 resulted in highest bell pepper yields grown with plasticulture (Simonne et
al., 2001).

In another experiment conducted at NFREC-SV, three levels of sensor-based, high-frequency irrigation treatments and four levels of
twice-daily irrigation treatments were applied to bell pepper. The two highest sensor based irrigation treatments resulted in yields similar
to the two highest daily irrigation treatments (marketable yields ranged between 17,000 and 20,000 kg/ha for these treatments), but
used approximately 50% less seasonal irrigation water. This resulted in irrigation water use efficiencies of 1209-2316 kg/ha/m3 for the
sensor- based treatments while daily treatments ranged from 703 to 1612 kg/ha/m3. Sensor based irrigation treatments resulted in
significantly higher soil volumetric moisture levels at the 15 and 30 cm depths. These results indicate that high frequency irrigation
events can maintain crop yields while reducing irrigation water requirements.

Another possible strategy to reduce the risk of nutrient leaching in Florida sandy soils is to increase soil water holding capacity (SWHC)
by using inorganic amendments such as Phyllipsite-type zeolyte (Agriboost, ASI Specialties, Washington, DC). Its alumino-silicate
arrangement creates an open, three dimensional, cage-like structure which can absorb and retain cations. Because of their high specific
surface, zeolites are able to absorb up to 30% of their dry weight in gases such as nitrogen and ammonia, over 70% of water, and up to
90% of certain hydrocarbons. Phillipsite is one of the zeolites with high CEC and water retention capability of potential application in
plant production (Dwairi, 1998). Blends (w:w) of air-dried USGA-approved sand and Agriboost were made at rates of 100:0, 92:8,
88:12, 75:25, 70:30, 60:40, 50:50, and 0:100. The SWHC of the 100:0 and 0:100 mixes (sand alone and Agriboost alone) were 26%
and 31%, respectively. The addition of Agriboost linearly increased the SWHC of the USGA sand. However, in this test, the magnitude
of the increase was practical at rates exceeding common rates used for soil amendments (few tons per hectare). Depending on pricing
strategy, the use of this type of amendment may be limited to high value areas such as golf courses and up-scale landscapes.

Current Research Projects With Seepage Irrigation

Bare-ground culture with seepage irrigation is another production system used in Florida for many crops including potato (Solanum
tuberosum). With seepage irrigation, the height of a perched water table is controlled by the flow of water into irrigation ditches spaced
between planting beds. Two cultural practices are under investigation to reduce the potential for N03-N movement into the perched
water table. The first is the use of legumes planted as both summer cover crops and fall cash crops to supply N to the following winter-
spring potato crop. With legumes in rotation, growers may be able to supply potato plants with high N rates while meeting the BMP rate
for inorganic N. The treatments are cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), sorghum/sudan grass hybrid, or no summer cover crop in combination
with fall planted green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Potatoes were planted in all plots following beans and fertilized at four nitrogen rates
(0, 112, 168, 224, 280 kg/ha). The summer and fall legume crops add approximately 55 kg/ha of N to the system. We found that
growers may reduce the inorganic N rate well below the 224 kg N/ha BMP rate and still maintain historic yields.

The second alternative production system is the use of controlled release fertilizers to replace all or part of the N required for
production. Research to identify a CRF program that releases N at a rate and concentration that matches potato plant need during the
season is ongoing. However, initial experiments have shown that total applied nitrogen can be reduced by 45% using some CRF sources
compared to the BMP recommendations without impacting yield (Hutchinson and Simonne, 2002).

Extension Educational Efforts

Specific educational programs cannot be implemented until the final approval of the BMP manual. Yet, state, county and commodity
meetings are increasing the importance of water and regulatory issues. The Florida Drip Irrigation School is a day-long program that
focuses on fertilizer, water and chemical management in plasticulture (Simonne et al., 2002). Education, communication, patience, and
economical feasibility will be keys to the successful implementation of this BMP program in Florida.


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References

Dwairi, I.M. 1998. Evaluation of Jordanian zeolite tuff as a controlled slow-release fertilizer for NH4+. Environ. Geol. 34(1):1-4.
Hutchinson, C.M. and R. Mylavarapu. 2002. Utilization of legumes in rotation with potato to reduce nitrate leaching in Florida
watersheds. HortScience (abs.) 37(5):745-746.
Hutchinson, C.M. and E.H. Simonne. 2002. Development of controlled-release fertilizer program for potato production. The Vegetarian.
http://www. hos. ufl.edu/vegetarian/02/march/mar02. htm .
Livingston-Way, P. 2000. Tri-County Agricultural Area Water Quality Protection Cost Share Program, Applicant's Handbook. St. Johns
River Water Management District, Palatka, FL.
Maynard, D.N. and S.M. Olson. 2001. Florida Vegetable Production Guide, 267 pp., Univ. of Fla., Gainesville, Fla.
Simonne, E., M. Dukes, G. Avezou, R. Hochmuth, G. Hochmuth, D. Studstill, and W. Davis. 2001. Crop factors for scheduling irrigation
of bell pepper grown with plasticulture. NFREC-SV Res. Rep. 2001-07.
Simonne, E., D. Studstill, R. Hochmuth, T. Olczyk, M. Dukes, R. Munoz-Carpena, and Y. Li. 2002. Drip Irrigation: The BMP era. Citrus
& Vegetable Mag., Oct. pp.6-18.
Witzig, J.D. and N.L. Pugh. 2001. 1999-2000 Florida agricultural statistics vegetable summary. Fla. Dept. Agric. Cons. Ser.,
Tallahassee, Fla.

Table 1. Proposed sections in the 'Agronomic and Vegetable Crops BMP manual for Florida' and corresponding BMPs.
General ArealArea of
Application BMP Area
Pesticide management / Farm Integrated pest management, Precision agriculture, Pesticide record keeping
level Personal protective equipment, Pesticide storage, Spill management, Pesticide application
equipment washwater and container management, Pesticide equipment calibration
Pesticide mixing and loading activities
Conservation practices and Field border, Riparian buffers, Wellhead protection, Wetlands protection, Windbreak
buffer/watershed and farm level
Sediment control/Watershed Access road, Bed preparation, Conservation tillage, Contour farming, Critical area planting
and farm level Ditch construction and maintenance, Filter strip, Sediment basin, Grade stabilization
structures, Land leveling, Grassed waterway
Irrigation and nutrient Soil survey, Soil testing/soil pH, Micronutrients, Proper use of organic fertilizer materials,
management/ Field level Linear bed foot system for fertilizer application, Chemigation/fertigation, Controlled-release
fertilizers, Optimum fertilizer management, Supplemental fertilizer application, Irrigation
scheduling, Irrigation system maintenance and evaluation, water supply, Frost and freeze
protection, Tail water recovery systems, Tail water reuse and waterborne pathogens, Tissue
testing, Double cropping, Cover crops, Conservation crop rotation
Water resources/farm level Farm pond, Flood protection, Pipelines, Springs protection, Water control structure, Water
table observation well
Other Seasonal and temporary farming operations
Record keeping and Fertilizer record keeping, Rainfall/irrigation record keeping, Inventory of on-farm pesticide
accountability storage, Pesticide applicator's record keeping, Worker protection training log


Table 2. Type of action and expected type of impact on water quality for fertilization and irrigation practices targeted by the
BMPs.
Fertilization and irrigation Relative level of Expected impact on Type of action on nutrients
proposed BMP supporting research data water quality
Soil survey Complete for Florida Remote Increase overall farming efficiency
Soil testing and soil pH Complete Indirect Provides basis for adequate
nutrient applications
Micronutrient Complete Indirect Apply adequate amounts and form
Proper use of organic fertilizer Extensive Indirect Supply some nutrients; increase
materials soil water holding capacity
Linear bed foot system for Complete Indirect Make adequate fertilizer
fertilizer application calculation for plasticulture
Chemigation/fertigation Complete Indirect Increase overall farming efficiency;
supply adequate fertilizer amounts
in the bed
Controlled-release fertilizer Very limited Direct Sunnlv adequate fertilizer


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amounts; reduce leaching risk
Optimum fertilization Complete Direct Supply adequate fertilizer amounts
management
Supplemental fertilizer Extensive Indirect/Adverse Replace leached fertilizer based on
application leaf or petiole results
Irrigation scheduling Incomplete Direct Reduce leaching risk from
irrigation water
Irrigation system maintenance Complete Indirect Increase overall farming efficiency;
and evaluation increase irrigation and fertilization
uniformity
Water supply Complete Mostly indirect Define water quality parameters
for proper irrigation management
Direct Use of back-flow prevention device
Frost and freeze protection Needs updating Direct Reduce leaching risk from frost
protection irrigation
Tail water recovery systems Extensive Indirect Creates structures for recycling
drainage water and run-off
Tail water reuse and Incomplete Direct Recycling drainage water and run-
waterborne pathogens off
Tissue testing Extensive Indirect Monitoring tool for fine-tuning
fertilization
Double cropping Extensive Mostly indirect Increase cost-efficiency of
production
Traps residual fertilizer
Cover crops Incomplete Indirect Traps residual fertilizer, adds
nitrogen to the soil (legumes),
increases soil organic matter
content
Conservation crop rotation Complete Indirect Management of air-borne and soil-
borne pathogens




Table 3. Supporting research, expected impact on water quality and benefits of proposed BMPs.
Proposed Fertilization and Supporting Expected Impact on Society, Grower, and
Irrigation BMPs Research in Florida Water Quality Environmental Benefits
Soil survey Complete Remote Increase overall farming efficiency
Soil testing and soil pH Complete Indirect Provides basis for adequate
nutrient applications
Micronutrient Complete Indirect Apply adequate amounts and form
Proper use of organic fertilizer Extensive Indirect Supply some nutrients; increase
materials soil water holding capacity
Linear bed foot system for Complete Indirect Make adequate fertilizer calculation
fertilizer application for plasticulture
Chemigation/fertigation Complete Indirect Increase overall farming efficiency;
supply adequate fertilizer amounts
in the bed
Controlled-release fertilizer Very limited Direct Supply adequate fertilizer amounts;
reduce leaching risk
Optimum fertilization Complete Direct Supply adequate fertilizer amounts
management
Supplemental fertilizer Extensive Indirect/Adverse Replace leached fertilizer based on
application leaf or petiole results
Irrigation scheduling Incomplete Direct Reduce leaching risk from irrigation
water
Irrigation system maintenance Complete Indirect Increase overall farming efficiency;
and evaluation increase irrigation and fertilization
uniformity


Water supply


Complete


Mostly indirect


Define water quality parameters for
proper irrigation management


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Direct


Use of back-flow prevention device


Frost and freeze protection Needs updating Direct Reduce leaching risk from frost
protection irrigation
Tail water recovery systems Extensive Indirect Creates structures for recycling
drainage water and run-off
Tail water reuse and Incomplete Direct Recycling drainage water and run-
waterborne pathogens off
Tissue testing Extensive Indirect Monitoring tool for fine-tuning
fertilization
Double cropping Extensive Mostly indirect Increase cost-efficiency of
production
Traps residual fertilizer
Cover crops Incomplete Indirect Traps residual fertilizer, adds
nitrogen to the soil (legumes),
increases soil organic matter
content
Conservation crop rotation Complete Indirect Management of air-borne and soil-
borne pathogens

(Simonne, Hutchinson, Michael Dukes, George Hochmuth, and Bob Hochmuth -Vegetarian 03-02)



PROLIFERATION ABILITY OF NUTSEDGES

I was asked by Mike Aerts, FFVA, to come up with some literature that documents the proliferation of nutsedges. This review was for a
branch of EPA, in their review of the Methyl bromide petitions. Thank goodness for graduate student's literature reviews which I quickly
pulled and scanned.

The results of review clearly indicates the need for growers to clean their equipment well when going from an area of nutsedge into a
nutsedge free area. It also gives good credence to chemically fallowing fields with high nutsedge populations during the off season
(summer). I thought many of you would be interested in some of the information in the review.

Purple Nutsedge

Purple nutsedge develops a pronounced rhizome system and perenniates by sexual propagation through tuber production. Purple
nutsedge tubers contain at least six buds, which normally sprout between 10 to 40 C. Rhizomes can grow nearly 30 cm horizontally.
When rhizomes have produced 6-8 nodes, their tips thicken and differentiate into new shoots or new tubers. Shoots and tubers generate
more rhizomes, the process being repeated creating a system of rhizome-tuber-shoot chains.

Hauser (1962b) reported that tuber formation started 6 weeks after emergence and several tuber chains were visible 10 weeks after
emergence of the first shoot. He determined that six weeks after sprouting, underground biomass comprised more than 50% of the total
dry weight of purple nutsedge plants, and that 20 weeks after shoot emergence, 6 to 12 tons of subterranean biomass per ha were
produced. In a separate study, Hauser (1962a) reported that purple nutsedge tubers planted 90 cm apart, yielded 11 million tubers and
basal bulbs and 7.7 million shoots per ha in one season. In Israel, a single tuber planted in the field infested the soil to a radius of 90
cm in 90 days and continued invading the field at a rate of 2.8 m2 per month, producing 10 million tubers per ha in 2 seasons (Horowitz,
1972).

Studies conducted in Florida showed that one tuber can produce 6 to 10 new tubers in 40 days. (Morales-Rayon et al, 1995). Studies in
mulched tomato production showed that with an initial viable tuber density of 25/m2, a nutsedge infestation of 400 tubers were found 13
weeks later at final harvest (Morales-Payan, 1999).

Yellow Nutsedge

Yellow nutsedge reproduces sexually and asexually. Although the significance of seed production is questioned, Hill et al (1963) showed
that one yellow nutsedge seedling developed into a stand that produced over 90,000 seeds with an average germination of 46%. The
vigor of seedlings has been reported to be less than that of tuber sprouts (Bell, et al., 1962). Asexual reproduction appears to be
predominant, and the production of tubers is prolific. Yellow nutsedge tubers are produced at the end of rhizomes. The rhizomes of


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yellow nutsedge may grow 60 cm horizontally and produce 30 internodes before the apex differentiates, developing either a basal bulb or
a tuber. As in purple nutsedge, a complex network of subterranean structures (rhizomes, roots and tubers) is formed by yellow
nutsedges. However, yellow nutsedge tubers develop only at the end of rhizomes; without forming rhizome-tuber chains such as those
formed in purple nutsedge.

One yellow nutsedge plant is able to produce several thousand tubers in one season. One tuber planted in a field in Minnesota produced
36 plants and 332 tubers in 16 weeks (Tumbleson and Kommendahl, 1961), while in Georgia, one tuber gave origin to 622 tubers in 17
weeks (Hauser, 1968). In one year a single tuber planted in a field produced, 1,900 plants and 7,000 tubers (Tumbleson and
Kommendahl, 1962). In studies of yellow nutsedge infesting mulched tomato production in Florida, 1500 nutsedge plants/meter were
found 12 weeks after an initial nutsedge count of 50 plants/meter (Morales-Payan, 1999).

Literature Cited

Bell, R.S., W.H. Lachman, E.M. Rahn, and R.D. Sweet. 1962. Life history studies as related to weed control in the northeast. Nutgrass.
Rhode Island Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 364, p. 33.
Hauser, E. 1962a. Establishment of nutsedges from space-planted tubers. Weeds 10:209-212.
Hauser, E. 1962b. Development of purple nutsedge underfield conditions. Weeds 10:212-215.
Hauser, E. 1968. Yellow Nutsedge: problems, research trends and outlook. Proc. Northeastern Weed Control Conf. 22:37-48.
Hill, E.W., W. Lochman and D. Maynard. 1963. Reproductive potential of yellow nutsedge by seed. Weeds 11:160-161.
Horowitz, M. 1973. Competitive effects of Cynodon dactylon, Sorghum halepense and Cyperus rotundus on cotton and mustard. Exp.
Agric. 9:263-273.
Morales-Payan, J.P., B.M. Santos, and TA Bewick. 1995. Dry matter accumulation pattern in yellow and purple nutsedge at different
densities. Proc. Southern Weed Sci. Soc. 48:197.
Morales-Payan, J. P. 1999. Interference of purple and yellow nutsedges (Cyperus rotundus L. and Cyperus esculentus L.) with tomato
(Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) PhD Dissertation, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, 315 pgs.
Tumbleson, M. and T. Kommendahl. 1961. Reproductive potential of yellow nutsedge. Weeds 9:646-653.
Tumbleson, M and T. Kommendahl. 1962. Factors affecting dormancy in tubers of Cyperus esculentus. Bot. Gazette 123:186-190.

(Stall Vegetarian 03-02)

Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

Daniel J. Cantliffe Ronald W. Rice
Professor and Chairman Assistant Professor, nutrition
John Duval Steven A. Sargent
Assistant Professor, strawberry Professor, postharvest
Chad Hutchinson Eric Simonne
Assistant Professor, vegetable production Assislani Professor, vegetable nuirilion
Elizabeth M. Lamb William M. Stall
Assistant Professor, production Professor and editor, weed control
Yuncong Li James M. Stephens (retired)
Assistant Professor, soils Professor, vegetable gardening
Donald N. Maynard Charles S. Vavrina
Professor, varieties Professor, transplants
Stephen M. Olson James M. White
Professor, small farms Associate Professor, organic farming
Mark A. Ritenour
Assistant Professor, postharvest


Related Links:
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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This page is maintained by Susie Futch.... if you have any questions or comments, contact me at zsf@mail.ifas. ufl.edu


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