Brocolli farming

Broccoli is a member of Cruciferae, the cabbage family. Its botanical name is Brassica oleracea cv.italica. Broccoli has created new interest as a vegetable due to the growing demand for both the domestic and export markets.

Broccoli is a member of Cruciferae, the cabbage family. Its botanical name is Brassica oleracea cv.italica. Broccoli has created new interest as a vegetable due to the growing demand for both the domestic and export markets.

Soils

Broccoli can be grown on a wide range of soil types, from light sandy loams through to heavy clay loams which must be well drained, regardless of type. Drainage may have to be improved by raising beds. Irrigation is important for optimum plant growth and proper main head and side shoot development.

The soil acidity should be between 6.0- 6.5.

Planting

Planting is done by either direct seeding or by transplanting. The soil temperature should be between 45- 500 F. Typical plantings are double rows on 38- to 42-inch raised beds with 12 to 14 inches between rows and 5 to 6 inches between plants in the row. For transplant production, a minimum cell diameter of 1 inch is recommended. 4-5 week-old seedlings with 4-5 true leaves are best for transplanting. Hardening of seedlings before planting improves stand establishment.

Fertilizers and Irrigation

Broccoli requires an adequate supply of soil moisture to produce maximum yields and quality. Overwatering can cause the development of watery heads, hollow stems, and root rots. Appropriate moisture levels are most critical during head formation. Drip irrigation systems usually provide higher water-use efficiency. Broccoli is a nutrient-demanding crop, and fertilization rates should be based on soil nutrient tests.

Weed control

Weeding can be achieved with herbicides, mechanical control, and a good crop-rotation system. Broccoli competes fairly well with weeds, but it should be kept weed-free until plants reach the pre-heading stage.

Chemical control

Commander® 240 EC is sprayed 3 days before transplanting.

Commander® 240EC

COMMANDER® 240EC is a broad spectrum selective contact herbicide for use in the control of pre-emergence and post-emergence annual broadleaf weeds and grasses in onion, garlic, and brassica crops fields.

Pests and Diseases

Insects are a major potential problem in broccoli production. Flea beetles, cabbage loopers, imported cabbageworms, diamondback moths, and aphids all can cause crop losses. Monitoring insect populations with traps or by scouting will help you determine when you should use pesticides and how often you should spray.

Chemical control

Occasion star, trumpet, defender, lexus, kingcode elite, escort, pentagon, amazing top, alonze, emerald

Several broccoli diseases can cause crop losses. Black rot, blackleg, bacterial head rot, downy mildew, and Alternaria are common problems. Many of these diseases can be prevented by having a good crop-rotation program or by planting disease-resistant varieties.

Chemical control

Compliant, chancetyl elite, exempocurve, milestone, rimetagold.

Harvest and Storage

Hand harvesting is done when broccoli heads are closed and tight (no yellow petals showing) to be considered as good quality. The heads are graded for size (head diameter generally averages 6 inches) and for flower bead tightness.

Broccoli should be cooled with packed ice or a hydrocooler immediately after harvest. Broccoli that is cooled and maintained at 32°F and 95-100 percent relative humidity can be stored for 10-14 days. If broccoli is stored this long, however, it will begin to lose its dark green color and firmness.

Last updated on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 2:30 pm

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