University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agents and industry professionals covered several topics — from nutrient and pest management to alternative cropping. Also, research was shown on alternative vegetable crops as well as rotational cover crops to reduce weed pressure and weed seed banks.
Gary England, UF/IFAS Regional Specialized Extension Agent and director of the Hastings Agricultural Extension Center, said, “We have a lot of cabbage growers in the Hastings area, and there have been new varieties that have come along. So, we looked at a trial with some of the newer varieties, and we also looked at our fertilizer programs and how they relate with these new varieties.”
The field day showcased the farm’s research trials on control methods to reduce diamondback moth pressure. “Diamondback moth is a huge problem for growers of cabbage and other cole crops in our area, including a lot of the Asian vegetables,” England said.
Research was also presented on plasticulture as a possible method for growing cabbage in the future. The research focused on the economic viability of growing cabbage on plastic versus the traditional method of bare ground. There are a lot of added costs with this method, but England said plant population and yield greatly increased when growing on plastic.
England gives more details in an interview.
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