COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
STATE OF FLORIDA
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, AND COUNTY AGENT AND
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT Vegetable Crop Specialists HE DEMONSTRATION WORK
OF AGRICULTURE, COOPERATING V G E T A R A GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
No. 17 March 10, 1953
Mr. COUNTY AGENT:
Guess we owe you a report on a few vegetable crop items. Let's start with
the first field day of the year, down on the marls at Homestead. Steffani and
staff invited us to the Annual Potato Grower's Day....turned out about 80, along
with other industry members.
Drs. Ruehle and Wolfenbarger, and Mr. John Noonan were in the Potato plots
giving the details from the Sub-Tropical Experiment Station. Here are some notes...
Fungicides: Yield data will come later, but nabam plus ZnS04, nabam plus
MnS04 (field mix), zineb, neutral copper-zinc-phygon, Lo 738, and orthocide 406
SeedDiece Decay: Seed were cut and planted at once; allowed to suberize
48 hours; dipped with phygon, orthocide, aemesan bel; and dusted with orthocide.
Statistical stand differences were not indicated. In another test formaldehyde
dust (l1A formalin) and orthocide dust were compared as seed treatments; no differ-
ences. It was noted in both tests that one week's difference in planting gave a
considerable difference in the amount of decay encountered.
Varieties: None particularly outstanding; yield data may prove different-
ly. Test included two sources of Triumph. Pontiac, La Soda and Cherokee. Several
lines were interesting because of reputed l&te blight add sc&b resistance. Basedd
on above-ground characteristics, Cherokee and 1354 were unsuited.
Nutrient Spray: A plot had be-n sprayed with iron oxalate twice at 3 pounds
per 100 gallons water. With good eyes and the right light, a greening response was
visible. No yield data.
Insecticides: Compared chlorinated hydrocarbons, dilan, phosphatics and
systemics; no conclusions. To date no insecticide affected incidence of late blight,
applied alone or in combination with fungicides.
Concentrate (5X) Sprays: Compared a mist blower (5X), a low pressure (80#)-
low gallonage (5X) sprayer, and a regular high gallonage (175)-high pressure (400#)
sprayer. 0. K., the 5X means in one-fifth the usual amount of water. Readings are
being made on insect and disease control. Don't throw away the standard type.
Diversification: Considerable interest centered around a planting of a wide
selection of vegetable types, from Rhubarb Swiss Chard to crops as southern as col-
lards. Several varieties of each individual type gave additional interest. Other
areas of the state might profit by similar farsightedness....
You say you're not in a potato county...maybe not, but look close this year...
you might be.
ANTIBIOTICS:...plants get in the act.
See where the miracle drugs are in the plant field now! They're saying anti-
biotics may have at least a dual effect; like terramycin in speeding up growth of
sweet corn, and streptomycin in inoculating bean plants against halo blight....
another substance is antagonistic to Rhizoctonia, and another to powdery mildew.
Think what it'll be to keep up with recommendations then.
Wide interest in antibiotics as fungicides was shown at recent meetings of the
American Institute of Biological Sciences.
For any of you boys who like to vaccinate...stick around.
HERBICIDES...now it's cucurbits, no less.
Continue to keep your guard up when chemical weed killers are mentioned on,
in, or around vegetable crops but things are looking up when materials show prom-
ise on something like vining crops.
Yep, a weed killer for cucumbers, cantaloupes and watermelons might indicate
a fighting' chance, not too far away, for many other vegetables. Anyway, research
at such institutions as the University of Missouri and Indiana's Purdue indicates
strong possibilities for N-l naphthyl phthalmic acid as a pre-emergence treatment
Just the name should choke out a few weeds....
COLD TOMATOES...now they freeze 'em, yet.
Suppose you've considered tomatoes as being one crop they'd never handle as
a frozen food. You might still be right, but- -
Up at Pennsylvania State, the tomato either whole, sliced,cubed, o, in the
form of juice has been successfully frozen and has appeared palatable and suitable
for culinary use, in quality comparing very favorably with other frozen fruits and
vegetables. That's good...
Now, how'd we get off on that? Well, from the production end, in general it
was found that the first picking gives the most satisfactory frozen product. Toma-
toes which were picked at the latter part of the growing season did not appear to
be either uniform in ripening or satisfactory in appearance. Frequently, late pick-
ings were more watery and would serve reasonably well in frozen juice, but not as
whole, sliced or cubed frozen tomatoes.
Ketchup will be harder than ever to get out of the bottle, hey?
INCREASE PESTICIDE EFFICIENCY...magnetic personalities maybe.
You boys with hair would remember this...ever wonder about that force which
sometimes pulls a wisp of dry hair to a comb? 0. K., a pair of graduate students
up at Michigan State College seem to have put it to work to aid pesticide dust
particles "seek-out" the plant surfaces.
They put an electrostatic charge on the pesticide particles which literally
slapped the dust on leaf surfaces. Field trials were promising and better insect
control was obtained on some of the crops tested.
You ask didn't the insects get a charge out of it?...no, but the grower might...
when and if machines become available.
FERTILIZER-FUNGICIDE MIXTURES...another angle?
Might sound new to you, after you've wondered why someone hasn't thought of it
before, but some of the current research on fertilizer-fungicide mixtures dates back
Anyway, a research professor of botany at the University of Massachusetts re-
views the earlier work and reports his research that fungicides were safely, effec-
tively, and conveniently applied to soil in commercial fertilizer used as a carrier.
The method resulted in better control of danring-off than was obtained when fungi-
cides were applied to soil in water. Even mentioned controlling clubroot of cabbage
as it occurs on seedlings using the method.
Alright, it's all preliminary and a long way from being standard practice..,
didn't take insecticides long to wedge-in, did it?
- 1 -
LARGE vs. SMIALL GROWERS...not avoirdupois, boys.
Noted in several county reports and plans (sure, we read 'em) references to
difficulties of the small vs. large grower. Granted...but look over the tables
below and you may find some thought-provoking material.
Of course, Donald L. Brooke of the agricultural economics staff passed along
some other good points at the recent Extension vegetable marketing conference. He
qualifies the tables below with, "Realize this is a general average of areas and
growers, and should not be interpreted as covering the entire state." Fair enough.
You might figure that 5% of the growers planted 22% of the vegetable acreage
that season, and note the yield comparisons by grower size.
How does your county stack up?
Table 1. Proportion of State Acreage of Snecified Vegetable Crops Produced
b La ge Growers, Florida, 1950-51. -1
Number of Acres Percent of
Vegetable growers planted State acreage
Celery 21 5,761 53.1
Tomatoes 59 14,582 31.4
Sweet Corn 28 8,367 28.6
Snap Beans 42 22,963 24.4
Irish Potatoes 14 4,135 17.6
Cabbage 21 3,158 16.6
l/ Source: USDA, BAE, Fla. Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, "Florida Vegetable
Crops, Vol. VII", 1951.
Table 2. Average Acreage Per Grower and Yield Per Acre of Specified Vegetable
Crops for Large and Small Growers, Florida, 1950-51. i/
Areas of Large Growers Areas of Small Growers
Vegetable Acres per : Yield per Acres per : Yield per
grower : acre grower : acre
Celery 274 630 crts. 35 747 crts.
Tomatoes 247 181 bu. 11 180 bu.
Sweet Corn 299 131 crts. 49 120 crts.
Snap Beans 547 60 bu. 15 59 bu.
Irish Potatoes 295 216 bu. 102 281 bu.
Cabbage 150 244 sx. 18 397 sx.
I/ Source; Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta., "Vegetable Crops in Florida, Vol. VI", AE Series
CORN BOILS WATER...nope, didn't reverse the words.
Stan Rosenberger, of Extension retail merchandising fame, reminds us that a ton
of sweet corn starting at 800 F. gives off enough heat in 24 hours to boil a barrel
of water! 0. K., it's your problem to accumulate the BTU's and release them at one
time. Now do you question the need for haste and precooling?
Sincerely, as usual,
Forrest E. Myers
Assistant Vegetable Crop Specialist