COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
STATE OF FLORIDA
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, AGRtCULTURAL EXTENSION 81RVICe
UNIVERSITY or FLOi.t, AND Vegetable Crop Specialists CouNTY AG rNT AND
UNITED STATaS DEPARTMENT OF HOME DEMONsBRATION WORK
AnRICULTURE. COOPERATING V E G E* T A R A N GANrBVI .LE, FLoIDoA
January 15, 1959
.Let's review some new developments (and possibly some old) in the field of
vegetable production. Many of these have already been mentioned in magazine and
news articles, grower meetings, vegegrams, etc. In selecting the items to be
discussed, you may find that we missed some important developments. If so,
please drop us a note so that it can be included in future newsletters.
EXTENDER: A new all-purpose bush, green, snapbean. Extender was bred and
released by Dr. J. C. Hoffman of the Southeastern Vegetable Breeding Laboratory,
Charleston, South Carolina. Many of you will recognize Extender as B2567-1 the
code number under which it was tested in Florida for a number of years. Its
performance was quite satisfactory in most Florida tests. It is reportedly
suitable for fresh market and freezing. Seed is being increased by eleven
seed companies and it should be generally available now.
INDIAN RIVER: A new tomato variety possessing moderate resistance to
grwal. Credit for this important contribution goes to Mr. N. C. Hayslip
of the Indian River Field Laboratory and to Dr. J. M. Walter and Mr. Dave
Kelbert of the Gulf Coast Experiment Station. They report that Indian River
has demonstrated it will produce well for fall, winter and spring harvests"
on the ground or on stakes in many producing areas of Florida. A drawback
may be its failure to size up late-set fruits; As soon as seed becomes avail-
able, why not put this new tomato in small trial plantings?
GARRISONIAN: A new watermelon for growers who want a big melon in the 30
to 50 pound class. It is dark-green striped with a light green background.
Garrisonian is elongated in shape, has deep-red high quality flesh. It is
resistant to anthracnose, but highly susceptible to Fusarium wilt. This
variety sets only a few melons per vine which probably accounts in part for
its ability to size up well.
BLACKSTONE: Another new watermelon variety worth close observation. It
might be classed as a Cannonball type, being round to oblong in shape and solid,
medium green in color. Flesh is deep red and of high quality. It is resistant
to anthracnose but only slightly resistant to Fusarium wilt. Maturity is as
early or slightly earlier than Cannonball.
TRI-X 317: A seedless type watermelon that may be considered as a novelty.
Seeds are quite expensive and special techniques must. be employed in germination
TAKII GEM: A very small melon in the New Hampshire Midget class. Takii
Gem has good flesh color and quality.
SOUTHERN PEAS: Considerable progress has been made by Dr. A. P. Lorz of
the Gainesville Experiment Station. He has several advanced breeding lines
that are being prepared for release. One is a brown, semi-crowder which produces
high yields of attractive, green pods. The other two are cream type peas; each
possessing specific desirable characteristics. One line promises to be adopted
to mechanical harvest for processing. The other, a fresh market type has yielded
well when planted in August for harvest in lateOctober and early November.
It is doubtful that any of these will be available at the retail level
until the spring o 60.
EMERALD: A new early blight resistant, pascal celery. Enerald celery was
bred and released by Mr. E. A. Wolf, Everglades Experiment Station in cooperation
with Cornell University and Central Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
Mr. Wolf reports that Emerald is highly resistant to early blight and quite
tolerant of blackheart. He states that it appears to be slightly more brittle
than summer pascal varieties. Brittleness is evidenced by node-cracking. It
is also more susceptible to premature seeding than summer pascal. Seed should
be available in limited amounts to growers from seedsmen following harvest of
the 1958 seed crop.
CANTALOUPES: Just a reminder to say that this crop has not been forgotten.
Satisfactory progress is being made in breeding by Mr. B. F. Whitner at the
Central Florida Experiment Station and workers at the Gainesville Station.
Dr. Jamison is placing an advanced line of cantaloupe in field demonstrations
with County Agents in selected counties throughout Florida. This melon appears
to have resistance to downy and powdery mildew. It also possesses many desirable
horticultural characteristics such as good size and shape, excellent flesh
color and taste, heavy netting and ability to yield. It will not be available
for commercial plantings until it has been tested further.
Now, to review some new developments in other fields:
PRE-PANTING TREATMENT: SNDC (Vapam, VPM Soil Fumigant) looks very
promising for use in the field in the production of certain vegetables. The
chemical has been tested on sandy soils by Dr. Nelson Brooks at the Strawberry
Investigations Laboratory on strawberries and okra. It has also been tested
extensively by Mr. Donald Burgis and Mrs. A. J. Overman at the Central Florida
Station on tomato and other crops. If applied properly, the treatment will
give good control of weeds, nematodes and damping-off fungi. A general suggestion
for rate of application is one pint of SMDC per 100 lineal feet of row. There
are many precautions that have to be taken to insure success of the treatment
such as proper soil preparation,. good soil moisture, injection to about five
inch depth, compaction of soil after injection and seeding after a safe period
of 10 to 14 days in such a way as to prevent untreated soil from being moved
to the treated area. A grower would do well to test this treatment on a small
scale at first to acquaint himself with details in proper application.
WATERMELON SPACING AND FERTILIZATION: Results of a one-year study by Mr.
L. H. Halsey of the Gainesville Station has brought out some interesting points
to consider in spacing and fertilization of watermelons. He found that the
largest number of melons using the Charleston Gray variety were produced at the
closer spacings when adequate fertilizer and moisture were available. Surpris-
ingly, size of melon was not forfeited to a great extent under closer spacings.
For more details on this subject, read the complete article in the January
issue of the Sunshine State Agricultural Research Report. Remember, this is
not a recommendation.
DYRENE: A new fungicide that may fit into a spray schedule for control
of certain diseases of celery and tomatoes. Dr. John F. Darby of the Central
Florida Experiment Station tested dyrene for the past three years and found
it to be very effective for the control of early blight of celery. Fortunately,
dyrene is also quite effective against late blight of celery.
Dr. R. A. Conover of the Sub-Tropical Experiment Station and Dr. R. E.
Stall of the Indian River Field Laboratory have tested dyrene on tomatoes and
found it to be effective in the control of gray leaf spot. Dr. Conover found
that dyrene, although superior to maneb and zineb in the control of gray leaf
spot of tomato, is inferior for control of late blight. Dyrene should, therefore,
be used only where gray leaf spot is the principal disease and where late blight
is not a threat.
MECHANICAL AID FOR HARVESTING VEGETABLES: A mechanical aid for harvesting
vegetables, built and tested by Mr. E. S. Holmes and Mr. L. H. Halsey of the
Gainesville Station, has been improved considerably since the first working
model was made in 1957. It is estimated from preliminary tests that the
harvester aid reduces labor requirements for harvesting and handling by 50
percent. In addition, there was less injury to cabbage by the use of this
method of harvesting as compared with the old conventional method where cabbage
heads were tossed into a cart. Detailed plans for this machine are available
from Mr. Holmes.