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Title: Vegetarian
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087399/00243
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Title: Vegetarian
Series Title: Vegetarian
Physical Description: Serial
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: March 1989
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Volume ID: VID00243
Source Institution: University of Florida
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A Vegetable Crops Extension Publication

VeStable Crops Department 1255 ISPP Gainesville FL 32611 Telephone 392-2134

Vegetarian 89-3

March 20, 1989



A. Vegetable Crops Calendar.

B. New Publications.


A. Crop Nutrient Requirement or Crop Nutrient

B. Gulf Coast REC 38th Vegetable Field Day Program

C. Vegetables and Health.


A. Agrisoil Compost From Municipal Solid Waste.

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.

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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A. Calendar.

April 21, 1989.
Vegetable Judging and
Union 8:30 A.M. 11:30
(Contact Jim Stephens).

State FFA
I.D. Reitz

May 18, 1989. Vegetable Field
Day, Gulf Coast Research and
Education Center, Bradenton (Contact
Don Maynard).

June 19-23, 1989. State 4H
Horticultural Institute, Camp Ocala.
(Contact Jim Stephens).

B. New publications.

Detecting Mineral Nutrient
Deficiencies in Tropical and
Temperate Crops by D. L. Plunknett
and H. B. Sprague. Westview Press,
5500 Central Avenue, Boulder, CO
80301. $47.50 (1989). This book
contains several chapters on
nutrition of specific vegetable

Production of Miniature
Vegetables in Florida by D. N.
Maynard. Fla. Coop. Ext. Ser. VC
Fact Sheet 36 (1989).

(Maynard, Vegetarian 89-03)


A. Crop Nutrient Requirement
or Crop Nutrient Removal?

Over the years, soil testing
has been promoted as a key to
profitable vegetable production. How
many times have we asked growers "Did
you get a soil test?" But how many
times have we followed up by
explaining the advantages and the
pitfalls of soil testing (if the
grower is not careful about the
details)? Other articles in previous

VEG issues have discussed the
problems associated with choosing the
wrong lab to analyze your samples.
I would like to use this column to
discuss an important philosophical
question concerning fertilizer
recommendations for vegetables. This
concerns the difference between
making recommendations based on a
crop nutrient requirement concept and
those made on the crop nutrient
removal approach. Only the crop
nutrient requirement concept fully
utilizes the power of soil testing.

Everyone has probably seen
tables of crop nutrient removal
values in textbooks. These numbers
represent the total amount of
nutrients such as nitrogen (N),
phosphorus (P), potassium (K), etc.
that are removed by a certain crop.
To arrive at these numbers,
researchers simply analyze the whole
plant (usually above-ground parts)
plus fruit for nutrients. Usually a
certain level of yield (bushels per
acre, tons per acre, etc.) is
associated with the numbers.

The crops used for these
studies are usually grown under
optimum fertilizer and irrigation
regimes. As a result, the plants
will accumulate amounts of some
nutrients e.g. N and K in excess of
what the plants actually require for
optimum yield. This phenomenon is
referred to as luxury consumption and
the nutrients come from those in the
soil and from fertilizer applied.

Many soil testing labs and
persons making fertilizer
recommendations use these numbers as
fertilizer recommendations.
Sometimes they are used without
regard to any soil testing. In this
case, no regard is given whatsoever
to nutrients that may be in the soil
and available to the crop. Often the
crop removal values are used in
conjunction with a soil test. Here,
the lab has an idea of what soil test

level of a particular nutrient should
be maintained in the soil and will
recommend fertilizer in at least the
crop removal amount to "maintain" the
nutrient level and replace the
nutrients removed by the crop.

You can see by now that the
crop removal philosophy always
recommends adding fertilizer. The
weaknesses with this approach are:
1. Crop nutrient removal values
often represent luxury values (excess
nutrients) and 2. The approach
ignores the fact that there might
already be enough of certain
nutrients in the soil, (even in sandy
soils) to be "mined" by the crop for
several to many years. As long as
the crop can obtain the nutrient, it
does not care whether it came from
the native soil or from applied

The crop nutrient requirement
concept on the other hand only
recommends that nutrients be added
when a response will result. Soil
testing is used to its fullest
advantages because the calibrated
soil test tells us whether or not the
soil already contains enough of
specific nutrients for the crop.

If the soil test tells us that
there is enough P or K already in the
soil (from native P or K or from
residual fertilizer) then no
additional P or K will be
recommended. If the soil cannot
supply all of the crop nutrient
requirement, then the correct
calibrated amount of the nutrient is

The bottom-line difference
between the two concepts lies in
fertilizer efficiency because both
approaches can result in high yields.
Only the crop nutrient requirement
approach is efficient in fertilizer
management. Fertilizer materials are
not cheap and are not in endless
supply. Those adhering to the crop

removal approach could be
jeopardizing fertilizer needs of
future generations and adding extra
cost to our crops today.
(Hochmuth, Vegetarian 89-03)

B. Gulf Coast REC 38th
Vegetable Field Day Program.

Gulf Coast REC, Bradenton, University
of Florida, IFAS

Thursday, May 18, 1989

Field Day Coordinators John Paul
Jones and Don N. Maynard

Moderator: Dr. Don N. Maynard,
Extension Vegetable Specialist

8:30 AM Registration







W. E. Waters, Welcome and

J. M. Davidson, Overview
of Future IFAS Programs

D. J. Schuster, Biology
and Control of the
Sweetpotato Whitefly

J. P. Gilreath, Vegetable
Herbicide Research Update


Tour 1 (Choice of Tour
a, b, or c)

12:00 PM Lunch





Tour 2 (Choice of Tour
a, b, or c)

Tour 3 (Choice of Tour
a, b, or c)


Individual talks with

Three tours will be available:

(a) vegetable crop improvement

(b) vegetable crop protection

(c) vegetable crop production


Dr. P. R. Gilreath, Manatee County

Dr. S. S. Woltz, Plant Physiologist,
GCREC Bradenton

Dr. J.F. Price, Assoc. Entomologist,
GCREC Bradenton

Mr. J. W. Prevatt,
Economist, GCREC Bradenton


(Maynard, Vegetarian, 89-03)

C. Vegetables and Health.

Florida is a major producer
of fresh vegetables in the U.S.
Because of postharvest technology and
transportation systems, garden-fresh
vegetables are available to consumers
in the U.S. and Canada throughout the
year. Furthermore, these fresh
vegetables play an important role in
human nutrition.

The National Academy of
Sciences recommends Americans
increase consumption of fruits and
vegetables. A report issued March 1
by the academy's National Research
Council recommends Americans reduce
their risk of heart disease, cancer,
and other chronic illnesses by:
eating five or more
servings a day of a
combination of vegetables
and fruits, especially
citrus and green and
yellow vegetables;

increasing starch and
complex carbohydrate

consumption to six or-
more servings per day to
bring carbohydrates to
more than 55 percent of
total calories;

reducing total fat
consumption to 30
percent or less of
calories, saturated
fatty acids to less than
10 percent of calories,
and cholesterol to less
than 300 milligrams
daily; and

consuming only moderate
amounts of protein, not
exceeding 1.6 grams per
kilogram of body weight.

The National Academy's report
confirmed the recommendations of the
nation's leading health authorities,
including the U.S. Surgeon General,
the National Cancer Institute, and
the American Cancer Society. All of
the organizations have recommended
increased consumption of fresh
fruits and vegetables as part of a
balanced diet to reduce risk of
chronic disease.

However, during the past few
weeks produce safety has been on the
firing line. The National Resources
Defense Council (NRDC), an
environmental advocacy group which
is trying to relate pesticide
hazards to the foods people eat in
order to advance an agenda for
environmental policy reform,
released a report "Intolerable Risk:
Pesticides in our Children's Food".
In order to get maximum public
exposure for its report, the NRDC
decided to offer 'he report
exclusively to CBS "60 Minutes",
which aired Sunday night, February
26. The NRDC study is a compilation
of old data, some of it going back
several years, that has been pulled
together in bits and pieces to
support the group's ends. NRDC has


no expertise in the field of diet and
health. The Center for Produce
Quality contends this advocacy group
is trying to use free airtime to
promote a toll-free number which will
sell books and membership in their

The national furor created by
the NRDC report is based on the
contention that --"our nation's
children are being harmed by the very
fruits and vegetables we tell them
will make them grow up healthy and
strong"; --"preschoolers are being
exposed to hazardous levels of
pesticides in fruits and vegetables";
--"fundamental reforms in federal
regulation are necessary if
preschoolers are to be adequately
protected from pesticides in food".
Although "pesticides" are mentioned,
the main emphasis was on daminozide
(Alar) in apples, apple sauce, and
apple juice. Only about 5% of the
apples produced are exposed to Alar.
The EPA announced on Feb. 1 that
within 90 days it will begin
proceedings to cancel Alar's
registration. However, a tolerance
of 20 ppm will remain for Alar
residues on apples until July 31,
1990. The EPA believes this very low
level is safe to consumers.
Noteworthy is the fact that no
specific mention was made concerning
pesticides and vegetables.

In establishing pesticide
tolerances, EPA contends that it
takes special pains to address issues
related to infants and children. The
Agency says: "....in animal studies
used for human risk assessment
purposes, chemicals are administered
to test animals beginning with young
animals and continuing through
adulthood (mimicking human exposure
that begins in childhood and
continues over a lifetime). The body
dose received by the young animals
may be double that of the adult
animals, due to changes in their
consumption patterns". ...."In

setting reference doses, EPA
generally uses a 10-fold safety
factor to compensate for the
uncertainty inherent in the process
of extrapolating human dietary risk
projections from animal data and, in
addition, another 10-fold factor to
compensate for the possibility of
differing sensitivities in
individuals or subgroups such as
children among the general

Everyone is concerned about
safety in the foods we eat. The
produce industry, from farmer to
supermarket manager, prides itself on
its responsiveness to consumer needs
and concerns, but does not believe
that genuine consumer interests and
the claims of consumer advocacy
groups are always one in the same.
It pays to know the facts, eat
sensibly, and don't be misguided by
innuendo or false claims.

(Gull, Vegetarian 89-03)


A. Agrisoil Compost From
Municipal Solid Waste.

Recently, a group of us from
IFAS attended a seminar on campus to
hear Mr. John Nowell of Agripost,
Inc. discuss his company's plan to
turn solid municipal garbage and
roadside waste into a composted
material called "Agrisoil". Since
the compost may have potential use in
Florida's agriculture, including
vegetables, I am passing on to
Extension Agents a summary of the
proposed operation and its product.

The trash collecting and
composting facility (plant) is
currently under construction in
Northern Dade County near Carol City.
A somewhat similar facility is
already operating in Sumter County.
Agripost is scheduled to open in


early 1990. It has a contract with
Dade County to process a quarter of
a million tons of garbage annually.

The waste taken into the plant
consists of solid waste that garbage
trucks ordinarily pick up at curb
side. The county is responsible for
removing toxic and hazardous waste,
such as car batteries. The rest,
including such things as glass, cans,
plastic, tires, metal objects, limbs,
leaves, paper, leather, wood,
ceramics, concrete blocks, small
appliances, and of course kitchen
scraps, goes into the making of the
As described to us, the process
goes something like this. As garbage
trucks enter the plant, their
contents are weighed and recorded.
After the bulky materials and toxic
wastes are sorted out, the rest goes
through two hammermill grinders. The
first grinds the scrap to a coarse
size, then the second grinds that to
a finer size most suitable for

After grinding, the waste is
sprayed with a bacterial inoculant to
hasten the composting.

After inoculation, the waste is
windrowed indoors on a concrete
floor. The composting procedure,
said to be aerobic, involves proper
control of the temperature and
moisture content through turning and
wetting. After about 21 days of
composting, the finished product is
ground up a third time, screened, and

The end product, which we
examined, resembled coffee grounds in
size and color. Agripost has had
samples of Agrisoil analyzed. Mr.
Nowell says it varies with each
sample, but in general they found it
to have a pH of 8.0, a nutrient value
of around 1-1-1, plus micronutrients,
a moisture content of about 15
percent, and a weight of around 65

pounds per cubic foot.

Agripost hopes the product
Agrisoil will be utilized in
agriculture including Florida's
horticulture industry. They feel it
is both a fertilizer and soil
amendment useful on lawns and golf
greens, in nurseries, and in growing
fruits and vegetables.

Agripost welcomes research and
demonstrations by IFAS and industry
representatives. Since there is a
lot that needs to be learned about
Agrisoil before we in IFAS can make
reliable recommendations on its use
and value, such studies appear

Agripost is anxious to discuss
any proposals one might have for
tests with the product. However,
IFAS personnel are requested to
coordinate proposed studies with Dr.
Wayne Smith of the IFAS Energy office
for assistance and to avoid
duplication or unnecessary

Whatever the value of Agrisoil
and other similar products turns out
to be, it certainly appears to
provide our society with at least one
practical solution to the utilization
of staggering amounts of municipal
wastes accumulating in our state's
Address: Agripost, Inc.
P. O. Box 2449
Pompano Beach, FL 33061
(305) 971-9167

(Stephens, Vegetarian 89-03)


Prepared by Extension Vegetable Crops Specialists

Dr. D. J. Cantliffe

Dr. G. J. Hochmuth
Assoc. Professor

Dr. S. M. Olson
Assoc. Professor

Mr. J. M. Stephens

Dr. D. D. Gull
Assoc. Professor

Dr. D. N. Maynard

Dr. W. M. Stall

Dr. S. A. Sargent
Asst. Professor

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