Cole Crops and Other Brassicas:  ATTRA Organic Production    A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Inf...
Table 1: Brassicaceae Food Crops                                                      biologically active compounds that a...
Soil and Fertility                                 succeeding crops may also need a nitrogen                              ...
as 45°F and as high as 85°F. (Lorenz and         hardened two weeks before planting in the field.                 Maynard, ...
water to the plants so that they produce an      healthy plants that are more productive andeconomically viable crop. Too ...
problems by planting large expanses of a             plantings. These include aphid and syr-                          sing...
Garsed, 1984) However, too little nitrogen       that causes paralysis of a caterpillar’s diges-can also cause stress in p...
Diamondback moth larva.Cabbage looper.                         Cabbage looper moth.                   Department of Entomo...
Spod-X LC™ and Gemstar LC™ from Certis           Cabbage maggotUSA are nuclear polyhedrosis virus prod-         The cabbag...
transplanting and will also reduce egg-laying        Flea beetle                           on mature Chinese cabbage. Inte...
Symptoms of flea-beetle feeding are small,          Clubrootrounded, irregular holes. Heavy feed-                          ...
surviving plants may be stunted. The disease    Black rot                  can come in with the seed or be present on     ...
spots on several leaves, and Brussels sprout                                                         buds will have severa...
Bolting is caused by many factors and            undisturbed. Cultivation implements will cut,                       depen...
Cauliflower heads with white firm curds 6            and should be left to wilt slightly to avoidto 8 inches in diameter are...
32ºF, just above the freezing point. (Harden-   California. The organic cauliflower bud-                  burg et al., 1986...
Cost of Production per acre for Organic Broccoli on the Central Coast of California, 2004 Operation                       ...
References                                               Bugg, Robert. 1993. Habitat manipulation to enhance              ...
of Brussels sprout plants to infestation by the           Hyalopterus pruni and Brevicoryne brassicae       aphid Brevicor...
Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production                  By Martin Guerena                  NCAT Agriculture Sp...
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Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production

  1. 1. Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: ATTRA Organic Production A Publication of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service • 1-800-346-9140 • www.attra.ncat.orgBy Martin Guerena Cole crops and other brassicas are grown throughout the U.S. These crops are an excellent choice forNCAT Agriculture many organic farmers because of the variety of crops in this family, their nutritional qualities, healthSpecialist benefits, compatibility in planting rotations, and pest-suppressive qualities. This publication covers©NCAT 2006 soils, fertility, planting, irrigation, pest management, harvesting and marketing.Contents to 65°F. (Maynard and Hochmuth, 1997)Introduction ..................... 1 An important fact to keep in mind is that these plants are closely related and shareOrganic Production ....... 2 similar climatic requirements as well as pestsSoil and Fertility.............. 3 and diseases. However, though similar, theyPlanting andTransplanting................... 3 are not identical. There may be larger dif-Irrigation ............................ 4 ferences between varieties of broccoli than between broccoli and cauliflower. ManyOrganic Integrated PestManagement ................... 5 varieties from each group have been devel-Diseases ........................... 11 oped so that they vary in pest susceptibil-Physiological ity, temperature tolerances, shape, color, andDisorders ......................... 13 length of growing season. Check with otherWeeds ............................... 14 farmers in your area or your Extension agentHarvesting ...................... 14 to see which varieties are adapted to yourPostharvest ..................... 15 Cauliflower. Photo courtesy of USDA. local conditions.Economics and The genus and species Brassica oleracea wasMarketing ....................... 16 Introduction developed in western and central Europe BReferences ...................... 18 rassicaceae (the mustard family, pre- from wild species found in the Mediterranean viously Cruciferae or the crucifers) region. (Nieuwhof, 1969) Brassica rapa, a include many food, forage, ornamen- similar species developed in Asia, consists of tal, and weed plants. The brassicas are clas- turnips, Chinese cabbage, bok choi, rapini, sified as “cool season,” meaning that they are canola, and the mustards. Other plants in relatively resistant to frost and light freezes. Brassicaceae from other genera are: radishes Throughout the U.S. they are grown in the (Raphanus), watercress (Nasturtium), and spring or fall, so that development takes place horseradish (Armoracia). Nutritionally, bras- when temperatures are cool. The northern sicas are high in carotenoids, vitamins C and Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and New Eng- A, calcium, iron, magnesium, and dietary land produce brassicas in the summer, while fiber. Broccoli and broccoli-seed sprouts winter production takes place in the South- in particular contain high levels of antioxi- west and other Sunbelt states. California dant sulphoraphanes, which are anticarci-ATTRA — National Sustainable is able to produce brassicas year-round nogenic compounds. The sulphoraphanesAgriculture Information Serviceis managed by the National Cen- because of the moderating effect of the cold are also thought to protect eyes from theter for Appropriate Technology damage caused by UV light that can lead to(NCAT) and is funded under a Pacific current.grant from the United States macular degeneration (Xiangqun andDepartment of Agriculture’s Cole crops are a group in Brassicaceae that Talalay, 2004) and to prevent high bloodRural Business-Cooperative Ser-vice. Visit the NCAT Web site includes varieties of the species Brassica pressure, heart disease, and stroke. (Lingyun( oleracea such as broccoli, cabbage, cauli- et al., 2004) Glucosinolates, chemical pre-html) for more informa-tion on our sustainable flower, and Brussels sprouts. Optimal grow- cursors to sulphoraphines, form isothio-agriculture projects. ���� ing temperatures for most cole crops are 60 cyanates in the soil. Isothiocyanates are
  2. 2. Table 1: Brassicaceae Food Crops biologically active compounds that are of considerable interest to farmers because of Common Scientific Name Plant Part Eaten Name their ability to suppress some insects, dis- eases, nematodes, and weeds in a process Horseradish Armoracia rustica Root, leaf, sprouted seed known as biofumigation. Upland cress Barbarea verna Leaf Ornamental crops in the mustard family Mustards Brassica juncea Leaf, stems and seeds make up about 50 genera, including Ara- Rutabaga Brassica napus var. napobrassica Root, leaf bis, Erysimum (Cheiranthus), Hesperis, Iberis, Rape Brassica napus var. napus Leaf, flower stalk Lobularia, Lunaria, and Matthiola. (Watson Kale and collards Brassica oleracea var. acephala Leaf and Dallwitz, 1992) The number of crops Chinese kale or Brassica oleracea var. in this family, their nutritional qualities, Leaf, flower stalk Chinese broccoli alboglabra health benefits, compatibility in planting Cauliflower Brassica oleracea var. botrytis Immature flower stalk rotations, and pest suppressive qualities Cabbage Brassica oleracea var. capitata Leaf make these crops an excellent choice for Portuguese Leaf and many organic farmers. Brassica oleracea var. costata cabbage inflorescence Table 1 includes the scientific and common Brassica oleracea var. Brussels sprouts Axillary bud names of members of the mustard family and gemmifera lists the plant part eaten. Brassica oleracea var. Kohlrabi Enlarged stem gongylodes Broccoli Brassica oleracea var. italica Immature flower stalk Organic Production Savoy cabbage Brassica oleracea var. sabauda Leaf Organic production of brassica crops, or any Bok choi, Pak choi Brassica rapa var. chinensis Leaf commodity, relies on management techniques Mizuma Brassica rapa var. japonica Leaf that replenish and maintain long-term soil Kotasuma Brassica rapa var komatsuma Leaf fertility by optimizing the soil’s biological Rosette pak choi Brassica rapa var. narinosa Leaf activity. This is achieved through crop rota- Choi sum, Mock tion, cover cropping, composting, and by Brassica rapa var. parachinensis Leaf pak choi using organically accepted fertilizer products Chinese that feed the soil while providing plants with Brassica rapa var. pekinensis Leaf cabbage, nappa nutrients. Besides producing high quality Turnip Brassica rapa var. rapa Enlarged root, leaf crops, a healthy, well-balanced soil can help Rapine, Leaf and young flower plants develop natural resistance to insect Brassica rapa var. ruvo Broccoli-raap stalk pests and diseases. When pest controls are Arugula Eruca vesicaria Leaf needed, organic farmers manage insects, Garden cress Lepidium sativum Leaf diseases, weeds, and other pests with cul- Watercress Nasturtium officinale Leaf tural, mechanical, biological, and—as a last Raphanus sativus Radicula resort—organically accepted biorational and Radish Root group chemical controls. Daikon Raphanus sativus Daikon group Root In 2002, the USDA implemented the National Leaf and young flower White mustard Sinapis alba stalk Organic Standards regulating organic produc- Wasabi Wasabia japonica Rhizome, shoots tion nationwide. All farmers and ranchers adapted from: Maynard and Hochmuth, 1997 and Larkcom, 1991. wishing to market their products as organic must be certified. An exception to this requirement is made for farmers who sell less than $5,000 annually. For more information on organic crop production and organic farm certification, see ATTRA’s Organic Crop Pro- duction Overview and Organic Farm Certifica- tion and the National Organic Program.Page 2 ATTRA Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production
  3. 3. Soil and Fertility succeeding crops may also need a nitrogen boost. Organic sources of supplementalThe brassicas are heavy feeders that can grow nitrogen include guano, pelleted compost,on a variety of soils as long as the soils pro- fish emulsion, blood meal, feather meal, cot-vide adequate nutrients and moisture and are tonseed meal, alfalfa meal, and kelp, andwell drained. The soil is where plant health they should be applied as soon as the plantsbegins and ends. A healthy soil will have a are strong enough (usually about 6 inchesgreater capacity to moderate the uptake of tall) to withstand the side-dressing operation.fertilizers and will allow a more balanced The mineralization of nitrogen and its avail-uptake of nutrients, creating a healthy plant ability to plants varies greatly, depending onthat is less attractive to pests and more resis- the nitrogen source, the temperature, humid-tant to pest damage. ity, texture of the material, and microbialSoil components—minerals, air, water, and activity. In a transitional or newly certifiedorganic matter—vary widely depending on operation, growers should keep records ofgeography and climate. The challenge on the materials they used and how the cropsfarmland is to maintain healthy soils with responded to them. Once growers learn howadequate levels of organic matter. Healthy each material reacts to specific conditions, Ssoils will demonstrate the following charac- and as the soil’s organic matter builds, fer- ustainableteristics: good tilth, good habitat for numer- tility management usually improves. soil manage-ous and diverse microorganisms, absorption ment main- Composted manure and cover crop residuesand retention of water, the ability to buffer usually provide enough phosphorus for bras- tains soil healthsalts and pH, an “earthy smell,” resistance sicas. If additional phosphorus is needed, and productivity byto erosion by either wind or water, and pro- rock phosphate may be an option. taking care of andduction of healthy crops. Potassium (potash) requirements for cole increasing the soil’sOrganic matter is the soil component pri- crops are high. Composted manures, com- organic matter.marily responsible for these traits. Organic posted straw and hay (especially animal bed-matter is broken down by soil organisms, ding), granite dust, material derived fromcreating humus. Humus in turn provides langbeinite, kelp meal, and wood ash (if notnutrients to crop plants. Sustainable soil contaminated with colored paper, plastic, ormanagement maintains soil health and pro- other synthetic substances) are acceptableductivity by taking care of and increasing sources of potash.the soil’s organic matter. Cultural practices,such as the application of manures and com- The macronutrients calcium and micronutri-post, using cover crops, and rotating crops ents boron, manganese, molybdenum, andare methods to achieve this. Healthy soil iron are important for cole crop develop-can be considered a living organism that ment. Biologically active soils with adequatemust be nurtured in order to sustain its life organic matter usually supply enough of theseand productivity. nutrients. Compost and seaweed products are sources of supplemental micronutrients.Throughout their life cycles, brassica crops For more information on soils and fertiliz-require particular nutrients in varying quan- ers see the ATTRA publications Sustainabletities to support optimal growth and repro- Soil Management, Alternative Soil Amend-duction. Nitrogen is the nutritional element ments, and Sources of Organic Fertilizersthat most cultivated crops need in the great- and Amendments.est amounts. Plants use it to form proteins,chlorophyll, protoplasm, and enzymes. Incole crops, it’s most important for overall Planting and Transplantinggrowth, and adequate amounts are neces- Most brassicas are direct-seeded into pre-sary for best yields. Usually the initial nitro- pared seedbeds. The optimal time to plantgen available from green manure or com- is when soil temperatures are betweenpost is enough, but as the plant develops it 65 and 75°F, though some varieties canmay need supplemental nitrogen, and germinate in soils with temperatures as ATTRA Page 3
  4. 4. as 45°F and as high as 85°F. (Lorenz and hardened two weeks before planting in the field. Maynard, 1980) The seedbed should be Transplants should also be well irrigated pre-irrigated or solarized to reduce potential prior to planting, so that the plants can sur- weed problems. Seeding machines such as vive until they are irrigated in the field. Also, the ICS vegetable precision planter, Earthway transplanting should be done during cool planter, Planet Junior, and Stanhay planters weather and with minimal root disturbance to are suitable for both small and larger scale reduce transplant shock. Transplant shock is operations and can place seed at any desired the stress every transplant experiences while space. If the bed is seeded too closely, thin- adjusting to its new environment. ning is necessary to achieve proper spacing. In California most cole crops are grown on Good quality seed with a high germination raised beds, making cultivation and irrigation percentage is important when establishing a easier. Broccoli and cabbage are planted in direct-seeded stand. 2 rows per 40-inch bed. Broccoli is spaced Some crops that have high seed costs, at 8 inches and cabbage at 12 inches apart long growing seasons, and special growing within the row. Cauliflower is usually grown requirements, such as cauliflower and Brus- on a single, narrower row (36 to 38 inches), sels sprouts, are usually transplanted from off center along one side. As irrigation water greenhouses to the field. Crops like cabbage evaporates, salts accumulate on the ridge of and broccoli can either be direct-seeded or the mounded row. The seedlings are planted transplanted, depending on conditions such below the ridge to avoid salt accumulation as season and costs. Direct-seeding broc- in the root zone. Depending on the variety, coli during mid-summer for a fall crop is less cauliflower can also be grown on 2 rows per expensive than using transplants. During late 40-inch bed, 12 to 14 inches apart. winter, using transplanted broccoli may open a marketing window for spring production Irrigation that could be economically advantageous. Soil texture, environmental conditions, and Transplanting can overcome some problems, crop age are factors to consider when irri- such as soil crusting and high or low soil gating any crop. Cole crops are generally temperatures, that can cause uneven seed- shallow-rooted, with roots ranging from 18 ling emergence. Factors like these should be to 24 inches long. Some exceptions to this taken into consideration when choosing the are mustard, rutabaga, and turnips, whose type of plant establishment. roots range from 36 to 48 inches. (Doneen and MacGillivray, 1943) Chinese cabbage Growing transplants requires great expe- and pak choi have shallow root systems that rience and skill. Transplants can be respond well to light, frequent irrigations. purchased commercially and must be certi- (Larkcom, 1991) Essentially, the art of fied organic if they are used in a certified irrigation is applying the right amount of organic operation. For more information on transplant production, see the ATTRA pub- lication Plug and Transplant Production for Organic Systems. Advantages in using transplants are uni- form stand and quality, efficient use of seed, season extension, reduced weeding costs, reduced irrigation, shortened crop- ping period in the field, and less exposure to pests. Transplants should be free of pests, weather hardened, and not be long or leggy. Hardening is the process of gradually accli- mating young greenhouse plants to the Linear or lateral move irrigation system in broccoli. outside environment. Most transplants are NCAT photo by Martin Guerena.Page 4 ATTRA Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production
  5. 5. water to the plants so that they produce an healthy plants that are more productive andeconomically viable crop. Too much water resistant to wasteful and can cause problems with dis- Larry Phelan and his colleagues from Ohioeases and weeds. Too little water causes State University found that fewer corn borerplants to slow their development, eventually eggs were laid on corn grown in organiccausing stress, pest susceptibility, and lower soil. The researchers took soil from anyields. So, how much is enough? organic farm and from a conventional farmA rule of thumb is that vegetables will need and repeated the experiment in a green-about 1 inch of water per week from rain house. They treated each soil with organicor supplemental irrigation in order to grow or chemical fertilizers to determine whethervigorously. In arid regions about 2 inches the results were due to short-term nutrientare required. (Lorenz and Maynard, 1980) uptake. Again, corn grown in organic soil had fewer eggs on it, regardless of the fertil-Sprinkler irrigation should be used for ger- izer that was applied. Modern agriculturalminating seeds and establishing transplants. methods are not conducive to maintainingOnce the plants are established, furrow or ecological equilibrium because of constant Tdrip irrigation is recommended. tilling and synthetic inputs to the soil. Dur- he biological ing their evolution, plants obtained nutrients and culturalOrganic Integrated solely from the soil food web. According to Phelan, it is the slow release of nitrogen in insect con-Pest Management this system that ultimately causes the corn trols for cole cropsIntegrated Pest Management (IPM) is a broad borer to lay fewer eggs. The plants in the involve understand-ecological approach to pest management conventional system were nutritionally out-of-using a variety of pest control techniques ing the ecology of balance, receiving too much nitrogen. Thethat target the entire pest complex of a crop agricultural extra nitrogen formed free amino acids thatecosystem. Integrated management of pests were not tied up in proteins, stimulating the systems.ensures high-quality agricultural production insects to feed and deposit a sustainable, environmentally safe, andeconomically sound manner. (Bajwa and Another plant protection phenomena attrib-Kogan, 2002.) uted to soil microbial activity is induced and acquired systemic resistance, in which theSoil health is based on soil biology, which plant’s immune system is stimulated to resistis responsible for the cycling of nutrients. pest attack. In one study, the soil fungusThe complex interactions of this biological Trichoderma hamatum induced systemiccommunity are known as the soil food web. resistance in cucumber against PhytophthoraThe soil ecosystem is composed of bacteria, crown rot and leaf blight. (Khan et al., 2004)fungi, protozoa, nematodes, algae, arthro- The concept of healthy soils being respon-pods (insects and mites), and large soil- sible for plant health has long been knowndwelling mammals like moles, ground squir- to organic farmers, and scientists are justrels, and gophers. The photosynthesizers starting to document it.or primary producers in this system use thesun’s energy to convert atmospheric carbon IPM is based on the following components:into sugars. Other organisms feed off these pest identification, monitoring, mechani-primary producers. Dead organisms and cal and physical controls, cultural con-their byproducts decompose, becoming the trols, biological controls, and chemicalsoil’s organic matter that stores nutrients controls. For a detailed description of inte-and energy. Plants use these nutrients, pre- grated pest management concepts, see theventing them from accumulating in soil and ATTRA publication Biointensive Integrated Pest Management.water. The life cycle of all these organismsimproves the condition of soils by enhancing The biological and cultural insect controlsstructure, water-infiltration and water-hold- for cole crops involve understanding the ecol-ing capacity, and aeration. This results in ogy of agricultural systems. We invite ATTRA Page 5
  6. 6. problems by planting large expanses of a plantings. These include aphid and syr- single, susceptible crop. When there is a phid flies, lacewings, and the predaceous diverse farmscape involving many types of midge (all of which produce larvae that plants and animals, the likelihood of severe consume aphids), minute pirate bugs, big- insect pest outbreaks diminishes consider- eyed bugs, lady beetles (the adults and lar- ably. That is why farmers must create pro- vae of which both consume aphids), soldier duction methods that complement natural beetles, and parasitic wasps like Diaeretiella systems. The use of beneficial insect habitats rapae. In some humid areas there are out- along crop field borders increases the pres- breaks of naturally existing fungi that cause ence of beneficial insects. (Grez and Prado, epidemics among aphid colonies. The insect- 2000; White et al., 1995; Bugg, 1993) consuming fungus Beauveria bassiana, which These habitats provide shelter, food (pollen is sold commercially as a bioinsecticide, is and nectar), and act as refuges that attract not effective on cabbage aphid due to a fatty- pests’ natural enemies to fields. When pur- acid secretion produced by the aphid that is chased beneficial insects are released, these likely involved in resistance to the fungus. field-edge habitats will encourage the benefi- (Szafranek et al., 2001) cials to remain and continue their life cycle there, helping to reduce pest populations. Cultural controls that reduce aphid popu- Some pests may also inhabit the field-edge lations include the use of sprinkler irriga- habitats; therefore, these habitats should be tion, where water at high pressure dislodges monitored along with the crop. For addi- the insects from plants. This practice may tional information, request ATTRA’s Farm- work when plants are young and cupping scaping to Enhance Biological Control. or when inflorescence development has not yet occurred. Broccoli and cabbage plants Aphids interplanted in clover used as a living mulch showed a reduction in aphids, compared to The cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae, is plants in clean cultivated fields. (Costello and a major pest of cole crops worldwide. It is Altieri, 1994; Theunissen et al., 1995) In small (1/8 inch long), dark green, and exudes the broccoli trial, the clover mulches had a gray, waxy secretion. to be mowed early in the cropping cycle to What it lacks in size it give the broccoli plants a growth advantage. makes up in numbers, Mowing of the cover crop may be limited by reaching adulthood in lack of labor and/or equipment. The cabbage 8 to 12 days and pro- trial was not mowed and produced smaller ducing 5 to 6 nymphs but more marketable heads than the clean asexually per day for monocrop. Other interplanting strategies to 30 days. (Hines and combat cabbage aphid include the use of Hutchison, 2002) mustard or collards as trap crops and the Aphids pierce plants use of different varieties of the same crop and suck their juices, in sequential plantings. Cabbage aphids distorting leaves exhibit a preference for certain species andCabbage aphid. and growing points. will also discriminate among varieties andPhoto by Jack Kelly Clark. Large colonies infest plants of varying age. (Altieri and Schmidt,Courtesy of UC Statewide IPM Program. leaves, heads, and 1987; Kloen and Altieri; 1990) flower stalks, mak- ing products unmar- Nitrogen management can have an effect on ketable. Other aphids such as the green aphid infestations. Studies in Great Britain peach aphid and turnip aphid will feed on showed that Brussels sprouts treated with brassicas, but they usually do not cause high nitrogen (3.2 mg/g plant fresh wt.) grew economic damage. more rapidly than those with low nitrogen (0.64 mg/g plant fresh wt.), but the improved Cabbage aphids have many natural enemies growth with high nitrogen was offset by the that can be attracted to fields with habitat increased population of aphids. (Koritas andPage 6 ATTRA Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production
  7. 7. Garsed, 1984) However, too little nitrogen that causes paralysis of a caterpillar’s diges-can also cause stress in plants and make tive tract. A caterpillar may continue to livethem susceptible to insect attack. for some hours after ingestion, but will notOrganically accepted insecticides include continue to feed.insecticidal soap, neem, rotenone, and pyre- Bt strains are available in a number ofthrum. The waxy leaf cuticle of brassicas commercial products, under various tradeand the white, waxy secretions of the cabbage names. The following products have beenaphid tend to repel water-based insecticides, approved for organic production by theso a spreader-sticker is recommended. Many Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI):growers use soap to overcome this problem. Prolong, from Cillus Technology Inc.; BritzWater hardness will reduce the efficacy of BT Dust, from Britz Fertilizers Inc.; DiPel™insecticidal soap, because calcium, iron, and and Xantari™, from Valent Biosciences;magnesium will precipitate the fatty acids and Agree™, Deliver™, and Javelin™, frommake the soap much less effective against theinsects. The best way to determine how well Certis USA.your water will work is to use the soap-jar Bt degrades rapidly in sunlight and requirestest. Let a jar full of spray solution sit for careful timing or repeated applications. Bt20 minutes, then look for precipitates in the must be ingested in sufficient amounts bysoap-water solution. the caterpillar to be effective. Consequently, growers must understand the feeding habitsCaterpillar pests of the pests, so that proper formulations areThe cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni), dia- used and timing of applications is optimal.mondback moth (Plutella xylostella), and Caterpillars in their early stages of devel-imported cabbage worm (Pieris rapae) are opment (first and second instars) are morethe major caterpillar pests of cole crops. susceptible to this toxin. Older and biggerOther caterpillar pests can be regional or worms are harder to kill.seasonal problems, like armyworms, cut-worms, cabbage webworms, corn earworms, Entrust™ from Dow Agrosciences is derivedcross striped cabbageworms, gulf white cab- from the soil organism, Saccharopolysporabageworms, and southern cabbageworms. spinosa. It is OMRI-approved and registered for control of armyworm, corn earworm, dia-Caterpillars have many natural enemies that mondback moth, imported cabbageworm,help keep their populations down. Preda- and loopers on cole crops.tors such as ground beetles, spiders, damselbugs, minute pirate bugs, assassin bugs, big- Organically Acceptedeyed bugs, and lacewing larvae attack cater- Materials to Combat Commercial Productspillars. The parasitic wasps Trichogramma Caterpillarsspp., Copidosoma spp., Apanteles spp., Dia- Biopesticidesdegma spp., and Hyposoter spp. sting and Agree, Deliver, Javelin, Dipel,parasitize eggs and larvae. Some of these Bacillus thuringiensis Xantari, Prolong, Britz BT Dustorganisms are available commercially, or Spinosad Entrustthey may occur naturally in the environment. Viruses Spod-X, GemstarFor information on suppliers of beneficialinsects, contact your local Extension office Beauveria bassiana Mycotrol, Naturalis, Botanigardor visit the Suppliers of Beneficial Organisms Botanical Insecticidesin North America Web site: Neem Neemix, Argoneem, Azadirectdocs/ipminov/ben_supp/ben_sup2.htm. Pyrethrin PyganicBiopesticides or microbial controls consist Pyrethrin + Diatomaceous Earth Diatect Vof Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), insect-consum- Repellentsing fungi, and viruses. Bt is a naturally Garlic Cropguard, Garlic Barrieroccurring bacterium that produces a ATTRA Page 7
  8. 8. Diamondback moth larva.Cabbage looper. Cabbage looper moth. Department of Entomology,Photo by W. L. Sterling. Photo by W.L. Sterling. Texas A&M University.Department of Entomology, Department of Entomology,Texas A&M University. Texas A & M University. Diamondback pupae and adult. Photo by Chris Campbell. Courtesy of VegEdge, University of Minnesota.Imported cabbageworm. Imported cabbageworm moths.Photo by Jack Kelly Clark. Courtesy of VegEdge, University of Minnesota.Courtesy of UC Statewide IPM Program.Page 8 ATTRA Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production
  9. 9. Spod-X LC™ and Gemstar LC™ from Certis Cabbage maggotUSA are nuclear polyhedrosis virus prod- The cabbage maggot or cabbage fly (Deliaucts available commercially and are OMRI- redicum) will lay eggs in clusters near theapproved for the control of armyworm and stems of many cole crops or in the debriscorn earworm, respectively, on cabbage, of a previous cole crop. Once hatched, thecauliflower, and broccoli. Other naturally larvae bury themselves and start consum-occurring granulosis viruses and nuclear ing feeder roots, eventually burrowing intopolyhedrosis viruses sometimes occur in the tap root. This provides entry sites for pathogens like clubroot (Plasmodiaphorahigh-density caterpillar populations. brassicae). Maggots feed for three to fiveBeauveria bassiana, the insect-eating fun- weeks, then pupate in the roots or in thegus, will infect caterpillars if humidity and surrounding soil. (Anon., 2003a) Intemperature are adequate. Commercial Chinese cabbage, eggs laid on the surface of a maturing head hatch maggots that bur-products include Naturalis L™, Mycotrol™, row into the head, making it unmarketable.and Botanigard™. Cabbage flies will have three to four genera-Botanical insecticides include neem prod- tions per year starting in the spring throughucts (Agroneem™ and Neemix™) that act as the early autumn. (Anon., 1998)repellents, antifeedants, and insect growth A study in Denmark demonstrated the sus-regulators. Pyrethrin and rotenone-based ceptibility of cabbage maggot and pupae toproducts are broad spectrum and will Sternernema nematodes. (Neilsen, 2003)kill beneficial insects as well as pests, so These insect-eating nematodes are avail-monitoring is important. Beneficial insect able commercially through companies suchpopulations must also be considered when as Biocontrol network (,a pest population is present. Many times Arbico (, and Grow- quest ( beneficial population may be keeping thepest under the economic threshold, which is Compost and strawthe level below economic injury to the crop. mulches signifi-An application of a broad spectrum insecti- cantly reduce thecide may damage both the pest and benefi- population of rootcial insect populations, and other minor pests maggots infest-may become a big problem. This is known ing broccoli. Theas a secondary pest outbreak. mulch acts as aOther management practices to reduce cat- barrier, preventingerpillar infestation include using floating row the flies from lay-covers over a young crop to exclude egg-lay- ing eggs directlying females, nocturnal overhead sprinkler in the soil. It also Cabbage maggot.irrigation, pheromone misters or emitters serves as a habitat Photo by Jack Kelly disrupt mating, and pepper, garlic, and for ground beetle Courtesy of UC Statewide IPM Program.herbal repellents. and rove beetle that parasitize andSome of the control methods mentioned forcabbage looper, diamondback moth, and prey on the cabbage maggot. (Prasad andimported cabbage worm may work on army- Henderson, 2002) Other predators includeworms, cutworms, cabbage webworm, corn spiders, harvestmen or daddy longlegs,earworm, cross striped cabbageworm, gulf and ants.white cabbageworm, and southern cabbage- Floating row covers will prevent cab-worm. If the problem is severe, contact your bage flies from depositing eggs during thelocal farm advisor or the ATTRA project. critical period after plant emergence ATTRA Page 9
  10. 10. transplanting and will also reduce egg-laying Flea beetle on mature Chinese cabbage. Intercropping The following infor- clovers or other legumes or letting non-bras- mation is sum- sica weeds fill in the spaces between crop marized from the rows, will keep root flies from finding open ATTRA publica- ground near a brassica stem. An experiment tion Flea Beetle: in England demonstrated that carboxylic Organic Control acids (oxalic acid found in rhubarb, acetic Options. For more acid, or vinegar) are potent inhibitors of egg detailed informa- Flea beetle. Courtesy of Extension Entomology, laying by the cabbage fly. (Jones and Finch, tion on flea beetle, Texas A&M University. 1989) Thus, a solution of crushed rhubarb request the publi- leaves or a vinegar solution sprayed periodi- cation by calling cally around cole crop plants may deter the ATTRA or download it at: http://attra.ncat. cabbage maggot. org/attra-pub/PDF/ fleabeetle.pdf. Organic Control Options for Flea Beetles Cultural Controls • Living mulches or polycultures • Trap Crops  Chinese Southern Giant Mustard (Brassica juncea var. crispifolia) – plant every 55 yards between rows of broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower, or as a border around a field. Chinese-type cabbages may be more attrac- tive to flea beetle than Giant Mustard.  Radishes – interplant Chinese Daikon and Snow Belle at 6 to 12 inch intervals along cole crops. • Rowcovers such as Reemay™ can be used to cover seedlings and provide a barrier to adult beetles. It is advis- able to get the row cover in place at or before emergence for maximum protection. • White and yellow sticky traps placed every 15 to 30 feet of row. Encircling the field with continuous sticky tape is also a common method. • Destroy overwintering adults in plant debris by destroying refuge sites. Plowing or rototilling grassy and sola- naceous (Potato family) weeds adjacent to a field. Biological Controls • Microcotonus vittage Muesebeck, a native braconid wasp, parasitizes and kills the adult flea beetle. • Commercial formulations of insect-eating nematodes are effective agents for controlling flea beetles. Applied to the soil, the nematodes attack the beetle’s larval stage, reducing root feeding and helping to prevent emer- gence of the next cycle of adults. Chemical Controls • Botanical insecticides such as neem, rotenone, pyrethrin, sabadilla, and formulations of these in some combi- nation. • Combinations of rotenone and insecticidal soap are very effective. • Garlic, onion, and mint extracts have been used as flea beetle repellants. • Diatomaceous earth reduces flea-beetle populations and is sometimes recommended. • The kaolin-clay-based product Surround™ may provide some protection against flea beetle. from Kuepper, 2003.Page 10 ATTRA Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production
  11. 11. Symptoms of flea-beetle feeding are small, Clubrootrounded, irregular holes. Heavy feed- Clubroot is caused by the fungus Plasmo-ing makes leaves look as if they have beenpeppered with fine shot. Further damage diophora brassicae. It infects cole cropsmay be done by the larvae, which feed on through the root hairs or through woundsplant roots. on larger roots. As the fungus spreads it dis- torts and disfigures the roots, causingDiseases them to swell andDiseases in plants occur when a pathogen crack, allowing sec-is present, the host is susceptible, and the ondary organismsenvironment is favorable for the disease to to invade and aiddevelop. Altering any one of these three in decay. The dis- Clubroot.factors may prevent the disease from occur- ease is favored by Photo byring. Organisms responsible for plant Jack Kelly Clark.diseases include fungi, bacteria, nema- acid soils; there- Courtesy of UCtodes, and viruses. If these organisms are fore, liming is rec- Statewide IPMpresent, then manipulation of the environ- ommended if the Program.ment and the host, to make it less susceptible, soil pH is lowerhelps to more sustainably manage diseases than 7.2. (Anon.,on cole crops. 2003b) Other methods toOnce again, soil health and management control clubrootare the key for successful control of plant include rotating outdisease. A soil with adequate organic matter of cole crops for a couple of years, havingcan house uncountable numbers of organisms good drainage, and controlling brassica-such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa, type weeds. Cole crops vary in their sus-arthropods, and earthworms that deter harm- ceptibility to clubroot, with cabbage, Chineseful fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and arthro- cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and some tur-pods from attacking plants. These bene- nips being very susceptible. Broccoli, cau-ficial organisms also help create a healthy liflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, and someplant that is able to resist pest attack. For radishes have medium susceptibility. Gar-more information, see the ATTRA publica- den cress, mustard, and some turnips andtion Sustainable Management of Soil-Borne radishes are resistant. (Averre, 2000)Plant Diseases.The leaf surface can also host beneficial Black legorganisms that compete with pathogens for The fungus Phomaspace. A disease spore landing on a leaf lingam causes blackhas to find a suitable niche in order for it to leg of cole crops.germinate, penetrate, and infect the plant. The fungus causesThe more beneficial organisms there are on yellow to tan spots Black leg.the leaf, the harder it is for the disease spore with black specks Photo by Jack Kellyto find its niche. Applying compost teas adds to form on leaves, Clark.beneficial microorganisms to the leaf, mak- and stem cankers Courtesy of UC form usually below Statewideing it more difficult for diseases to establish IPM Program. the soil line. Thethemselves. For more information on foliar fungus interferesdisease controls, see the ATTRA publica- with water conduc-tions Notes on Compost Teas, Use of Baking tion in tissues, wilt-Soda as a Fungicide, Organic Alternatives for ing and debilitatingLate Blight Control on Potatoes, and Powdery plants. SeedlingsMildew Control on Cucurbits. can be killed, ATTRA Page 11
  12. 12. surviving plants may be stunted. The disease Black rot can come in with the seed or be present on Black rot is caused by the bacterium Xan- cole crop debris or brassica-type weeds. thomonas campestris. This bacterium favors Controls include the use of clean, certified humid, rainy conditions, and is dispersed or hot-water treated seed, good soil drain- by the splashing of droplets of water. Xan- age, rotation with non-brassica type crops, thomonas enters the plant at leaf margins control of brassica-type weeds, deep incor- or through wounds. Leaf margins develop yellowish patches that turn brown with black poration of cole crop residues, and planting veins. The infection works its way down the resistant varieties. To avoid blackleg, it is leaves, leaving a “V” pattern in its wake. The best to avoid planting near other cole crops or near fields that harbored cole crops dur- ing the past season. Fusarium yellows Fusarium yellows are caused by the soil- borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. con- glutinans. Symptoms are yellowing leaves, usually more pronounced on one side of the plant, the loss of lower leaves, curvature of petioles and midribs, and wilting. The ideal temperature range for the development of this disease is 75 to 85°F., with 60°F. being the lower limit (Anon., 1987), so it is observed from mid-spring through summer and is not Black rot. Courtesy of Meg McGrath, Cornell University. a problem in early plantings. The fungus is persistent in the soil and has many plant hosts, so resistant varieties, good drainage, pathogen may eventually invade the vascu- and soil-building practices such as cover lar system, spreading throughout the plant. Controls include rotation, weed control, thor- crops and compost are recommended. ough debris incorporation, the use of clean seed, and application of approved copper Sclerotinia white rot products. Compost tea was successfully The fungi Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and used in a study in the Willamette Valley of Sclerotinia minor both can cause this rot Oregon to suppress carrot bacterial leaf favored by cool, wet conditions. The fungi blight, Xanthomonas campestris pv. carotae. have many hosts, including many commer- (Reinten and Salter, 2002) cial crops and cover crops that fit in a rota- tion with cole crops, though grasses are Downy mildew not affected. Good drainage and irrigation Downy mildew is a disease caused by the practices that reduce humidity in fields can fungus Peronospora parasitica. Infection reduce the disease. Deep plowing is often and development are favored by cool, wet weather, and the fungus attacks cole crops recommended, but the results are tempo- at all stages of growth. Once Peronospora rary and very disruptive to soil microorgan- invades a plant, it consumes the contents of isms. Biological controls include the fungus the plant’s cells and then sporulates, send- Coniothyrium minitans, which attacks scle- ing sporangia out to form cottony white rotia. Coniothyrium is available commer- masses, usually under leaves. The tops of cially in the product Contans™, from Sylvian leaves develop purplish spots that later turn Bioproducts, Inc. yellow or brown. These spots correspondPage 12 ATTRA Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production
  13. 13. spots on several leaves, and Brussels sprout buds will have several layers infected. It dis- colors broccoli and cauliflower heads, and Chinese cabbages are more susceptible than other cole crops. Management practices include using clean, certified seed, rotating with non-host crops, deeply incorporating plant debris, avoiding overhead irrigation, and promoting air cir- culation in the canopy.Downy mildew.Courtesy of Wyatt Brown, PhD, Cal Poly St. Univ., SLO. Physiological Disorders Tipburn is the browning of internal leaf edgesto the sporulating areas on the undersur- or tips within the heads of cabbage, Brus-faces of the leaves. Infected young seedlingsmay die, while cauliflower curd, broccoli sels sprouts, and cauliflower. These brownflorets, radish roots, and cabbage heads may spots tend to break down during storage orall become unmarketable. Management transport, allowing secondary organisms toincludes promoting good drainage, increas- decay the product. The problem is related toing spacing for better aeration, controlling rapid growth caused by excessive nitrogen,brassica-type weeds, using resistant variet- high temperature, water stress, and calciumies, rotating with non-cole crops, incorpo- deficiency. Calcium can be present in the soilrating plant debris, and avoiding the use of but its translocation to the plant is limited,overhead irrigation. and it may not be available to accommodate rapid growth. Supplemental nitrogen appli-Alternaria leaf spot cations should be timed to avoid rapid growthThis disease is caused by the fungi Alter- in the later stages of plant development.naria brassicae and/or A. brassicola. Small Riceyness of cauliflower causes the curds todark spots initially form on leaves, but later become uneven and fuzzy, reducing market-develop into tan spots with target-like con- ability. Warm temperatures (> 68º F) dur-centric rings. When dried, these spots fall ing curd development are the cause of thisfrom the leaves, resulting in a “shot-hole” disorder. Some newer hybrids can developeffect. Prolonged periods of high humidity, heads at 68 to 80ºF. (Dianello, 2003)cool temperature, and rain favor its devel-opment. Infected cabbage heads will have Hollow stem in broccoli and other cole crops is caused by rapid growth, usually due to excessive nitrogen levels and high temper- atures. The plant stem experiences rapid growth, and the core or pith cracks, leaving the stem hollow. Another factor that contrib- utes to this disorder is plant spacing. The closer the plant spacing, the less likely this phenomenon will occur. Buttoning of broccoli and cauliflower occurs when immature plants are exposed to con- sistently low temperatures for a prolonged period. This stimulates the young plants toAlternaria leaf spot. produce reproductive structures —the flowerPhoto by Jack Kelly Clark. buds and curd—and small, loose headsCourtesy of UC Statewide IPM Program. are ATTRA Page 13
  14. 14. Bolting is caused by many factors and undisturbed. Cultivation implements will cut, depends on the crop and the varieties grown. bury, or turn over most young weeds, leav- Stress caused by too much or too little water, ing the crop undisturbed and with reduced transplant shock, day lengths of more than competition. In California, it usually takes 12 hours, and low temperatures during two cultivations before a young cole crop the early stages of development are all contributing factors. starts to out-compete weeds. Hand hoeing may be necessary after the first cultivation to reduce weeds in the plant line. If the Weeds crop is direct-seeded, weeding and thinning There are many weeds in Brassicaceae that take place after the first cultivation. For more are troublesome in cole crop plantings, because they compete for water, nutrients, information on weed control, check ATTRA’s and light, and they harbor insect and dis- publications Principles of Sustainable Weed eases that can affect the crop. Table 2 lists Management for Croplands, Alternative many of these weeds and includes both their Control of Johnsongrass, Thistle Con- common and scientific names. trol Alternatives, and Field Bindweed Weed control in organic systems, especially Control Alternatives. in vegetable production, relies heavily on crop rotations, cover crops, and cultiva- Harvesting tion. Of these, cultivation is the most criti- Cabbages are harvested when the heads are cal to reduce weeds in an established cole firm and solid. Sizes may vary, but firmness crop stand. For cultivation to be success- ful, a straight, well-made bed, as well as is the determining factor. If solid heads are straight seeding or transplant lines, is nec- left too long in the field to size up, they may essary in order for cultivating implements to crack or split. Cabbages should be sorted, remove most weeds while leaving the crop packed, and stored according to size. Table 2: Brassicaceae Weeds Common name Scientific name Common name Scientific name alpine pennycress Thlaspi montanum golden draba Draba aurea field pennycress Thlaspi arvense tansy mustard Descurainia pinata desert princesplume Stanleya pinnata flixweed Descurainia sophia London rocket Sisymbrium irio blue mustard Chorispora tenella tumble mustard Sisymbrium altissimum hoary cress Cardaria draba wild mustard Raphanus sativus heartleaf bittercress Cardamine cordifolia roundtip twinpod Physaria vitulifera shepherd’s purse Capsella bursa-pastoris front range twinpod Physaria bellii smallseed falseflax Camellina microcarpa foothill bladderpod Lesquerella ludoviciana birdsrape mustard or Brassica rapa wild turnip clasping pepperweed Lepidium perfoliatum black mustard Brassica nigra perennial pepperweed Lepidium latifolium wild mustard Brassica kaber field pepperweed Lepidium campestre wintercress Barbarea orthoceras dyer’s woad Isatis tinctoria yellow alyssum Alyssum alyssoides Pursh’s wallflower Erysimum capitatum purshii garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata sanddune wallflower Erysimum capitatum capitatum Anon., 2003, and Whitson et al. (eds.), 1992Page 14 ATTRA Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production
  15. 15. Cauliflower heads with white firm curds 6 and should be left to wilt slightly to avoidto 8 inches in diameter are what consumers breaking before packing.prefer. Blanching or tying the outer leavesis done with certain varieties when the heads Postharvestare about 3 to 4 inches in diameter, to keep Once a cole crop is harvested it contin-sunlight from yellowing the curds. Curds ues its biological processes until it deteri-should be handled carefully since they bruise orates to an unsaleable product. The keyeasily and will develop discolored patches to successful postharvest handling is toon these bruises. The surrounding trimmed delay these processes in order to get theleaves should be kept on the head for product to the consumer in the best conditionhandling purposes to protect the curd. Some possible. Temperature is the most impor-operations field-wrap the trimmed curds in tant factor affecting harvested produce. Itcellophane or plastic bags before cooling and directly affects the rates of all vital pro-storing them in refrigeration. cesses: respiration, ripening, moisture loss, and the development and spread of decay-Broccoli is harvested when most heads are ing organisms. The higher the temperature,tight, 5 to 7 inches in diameter, and of a blue- T the faster these processes occur. Therefore, emperaturegreen color. They are cut with a 6-inch stem. proper temperature management is importantIf left in the field, heads tend to loosen and throughout the supply chain, from harvesting is the mostexpand, reducing quality. Fields should be to consumption. The sooner the field heat is importantharvested every three days, due to the rapid removed from the product, the longer it will factor affectinggrowth of this crop. Once the head is har- last, giving the producer more time to sell harvested produce.vested, side shoots may develop from lateral the product.axils on the stem, producing smaller inflo-rescences that may also be marketed. Cooling methods vary according to the com- modity; the most common are cold rooms,Brussels sprouts produce many small buds in forced air cooling, hydrocooling, and icing.leaf axils along the entire stem. The lowest Cold rooms involve placing the product insprouts on the stem are picked first, along containers in a cold room. The less fieldwith the leaves, and harvest progresses heat accumulated in the product, the quickerupward as the other sprouts mature. Sprouts this system will cool the product. Forced airmay crack if left on the stem too long. cooling is done in a cold room and requiresKale and collards are harvested leaves with containers with vents so that the cold air canpetioles and are usually bunched together flow through. The containers are stackedwith a wire tie. Bunches are typically about in rows placed on either side of a fan, leav-8 to 14 inches long. ing an aisle between the rows. The aisle and the open end are covered with a tarpKohlrabi should be harvested when the to create a tunnel. The fan draws air fromswollen stem is 2 to 3 inches in diameter. outside the tunnel through the openings inThere are green and purple varieties. If left in the containers, forcing cold air around thethe field for too long the swollen stem warm product.becomes woody. Hydrocooling uses cold water to rapidly coolChinese cabbage heads should feel solid and commodities. Containers must be waterproofnot collapse when pressed firmly with both and allow water to enter to pass over prod-hands. The wrapper leaves surrounding the uct. Cartons or lugs are either submergedcabbage should be stripped to leave only a in cold water or showered from above withcouple to cover the firm head. recirculated cold water.Pak choi can be harvested a few leaves at Icing consists of placing ice on the producta time, cutting the outer leaves when they in the container. This is usually done withreach a desired size, or by harvesting the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and turnips. Allwhole head. Some varieties are very brittle brassica crops last the longest when stored ATTRA Page 15
  16. 16. 32ºF, just above the freezing point. (Harden- California. The organic cauliflower bud- burg et al., 1986) See ATTRA’s publication get was prepared by Rutgers Cooperative Postharvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables Extension in cooperation with the Northeast for more information. Farm Management Committee in 1996. The organic broccoli budget was developed by the Economics and Marketing University of California Cooperative Exten- The economics of growing cole crops vary sion in 2004. enormously from crop to crop and in dif- ferent regions. The following budgets were These budgets are intended as references in developed for growing organic cauliflower order for farmers to develop their own bud- in the Northeast and organic broccoli in gets based on local conditions. Costs of Production for Cauliflower, Per Acre Organic Production Practices Northeastern United States, 1996 ITEM UNIT PRICE QUANTITY TOTAL Variable Costs Soil Amendments Compost w/gypsum ton $35.40 6 $212.40 Pest Management Approved organic pesticides acre $150.00 1 $150.00 Transplants Cauliflower thousand $19.30 13 $250.90 Labor Operator hr $14.48 8.33 $120.62 Regular Hired hr $10.13 36.6 $370.76 Seasonal Hired hr $7.24 76 $550.24 Irrigation Overhead Irrigation acre $192.00 1 $192.00 Machinery Repair and Fuel Machinery Repair acre $38.28 1 $38.28 Marketing Costs Packing Crates crate $1.50 800 $1200.00 Sub-Total $3085.20 Interest on Operating Capital acre 10% 1 $56.84 Total Variable Costs acre 1 $3142.04 Fixed Costs Machinery and equipment acre $212.59 1 $212.59 Land acre $100.00 1 $100.00 Total Fixed Costs acre 1 $312.59 Total Fixed and Variable Costs acre 1 $3454.63 Management Fees acre 7% 1 $150.82 Total Costs acre 1 $3605.45 from: Brumfield and Brennan, 2004Page 16 ATTRA Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production
  17. 17. Cost of Production per acre for Organic Broccoli on the Central Coast of California, 2004 Operation Operation Labor Fuel & Material Custom Total Time Hr/Ac Costs Repairs Costs Rent Costs/Ac Fertilizer 119 199 Land prep: sub, disc, roll, chisel, 1.49 25 55 0 0 79 landplane Cover Crop 0.24 3 6 11 0 20 Land prep: roll, list, fert, and 0.58 10 14 262 0 286 shape beds Plant 0.28 7 6 442 0 445 Insectary plants 0.07 1 1 1 0 3 Irrigate up to 3X 0.75 9 0 40 0 49 Fertilize (bloodmeal) 0.2 3 2 225 0 231 Weed: Cultivate/Furrow 3X 0.44 7 8 0 0 16 Insect: Worm (Entrust) 0 0 0 7 16 23 Weed: Hand Hoe 21.5 254 0 0 0 254 Irrigate 8X 6.5 77 0 360 0 436 Pest Management Consultant 0 0 0 0 30 30 Pickup truck 1.43 24 15 0 0 39 Total Cultural Cost 33.48 420 107 1466 46 2039 Total Harvest Costs 0 0 0 0 4290 4290 Total Operating Costs/Acre 423 110 1491 4336 6438 Total Cash Overhead Costs 1024 Total Cash Costs/Acre 7462 from Tourte et al., 2004Large and some medium producers market Green Markets for Farm Products, and Organictheir products to wholesalers, brokers, and Marketing Resources.terminal markets. These marketing optionsare not advantageous for some medium and Summarysmaller growers, because of low returns, The number of crops in the brassica fam-uncertainty of prices, risk of rejection, and ily, their nutritional qualities, health bene-strict packing standards. fits, compatibility in planting rotations, and pest suppressive qualities make these cropsAlternative markets exist for smaller produc- an excellent choice for any organic farmers.ers, such as marketing directly to consum- They grow in all regions in different sea-ers through farmers’ markets, community- sons and add diversity to a farmer’s incomesupported agriculture (CSA), and roadside and products.stands. Direct sales to restaurants and small,independent grocers are other choices. For Acknowledgmentmore information on alternative market- The author wishes to thank Wyatt Brown,ing, see the following ATTRA publications: PhD, of the Horticulture and Crop SciencesSelling to Restaurants, CSA Community Sup- Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,ported Agriculture, Direct Marketing, Evalu- for his thoughtful and thorough review ofating a Rural Enterprise, Farmers’ Markets, this ATTRA Page 17
  18. 18. References Bugg, Robert. 1993. Habitat manipulation to enhance the effectiveness of aphidophagous hover fliesAltieri, M.A., and L. L. Schmidt. 1987. Mixing broc- (Diptera: Syrphidae). Sustainable Agriculture coli cultivars reduces cabbage aphid numbers. Technical Reviews. Vol. 5, No. 2. p.13-15. California Agriculture. Nov-Dec. p 24-26. Costello, M.J., and M.A. Altieri. 1994. LivingAnon. 1998. Cabbage fly. HYPPZ on line. Down- mulches suppress aphids in broccoli. Califor- loaded March 11, 2005. nia Agriculture, Vol. 48, No. 4. p. 24-28. RAVAGEUR/6delrad.htm Dainello, Frank, J. 2003. Cauliflower. Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M UniversityAnon. 2003a. Invasive and Exotic Species of North Web Page. Downloaded April 2005. America. The Bugwood Network, USDA For- est Service and USDA APHIS PPQ. The Uni- vegetable/cropguides/cauliflower.html versity of Georgia—Warnell School of Forest Resources and College of Agricultural and Doneen L. D. and J. H. MacGillivray. 1943. Sug- Environmental Sciences—Dept. of Entomology. gestions on irrigating commercial truck crops. Downloaded Sept. 2004. California Agricultural Experiment Station. Lithoprint 7686.Anon. 1987. Integrated Pest Management for Cole Grez, Audrey A., and Ernesto Prado. 2000. Effects of Crops and Lettuce. University of California plant patch shape and surrounding vegetation Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project. on the dynamics of predatory Coccinellids and their prey Brevicoryne brassicae (Hemiptera: Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Aphididae). Environmental Entomology. Vol. Publication 3307. p. 62. 29, No. 6. p. 1244-1250.Anon. 2003b. UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Hardenburg, R. E., A. E. Watada, and C. Y. Wang. Cole Crops. University of California Statewide 1986. The commercial storage of fruits, Integrated Pest Management Project. Publica- vegetables, and florist and nursery stocks. tion 3442. Downloaded March 2005. U.S.D.A. Handbook 66. 130 p. pmgcolecrops.pdf Hines, R., and W.D. Hutchison. 2002. Cabbage Aphids. University of Minnesota VegEdgeAverre, Charles W. 2000. Club-Root of Cabbage and Vegetable Crop Fact Sheet. Downloaded Related Crops. Vegetable Disease Information February 2005. Note 17 (VDIN-0017), Plant Pathology Exten- sion, North Carolina State. Downloaded aphid.htm March 2005. Jones, T.H., and S. Finch. 1989. Deterrent effects of vg17.htm carboxylic acids on cabbage root fly oviposi- tion. Annuals of Applied Botany Vol.115,Bajwa, W. I., and M. Kogan. 2002. Compendium of No. 1. p 39-44. IPM Definitions (CID)– What is IPM and how is it defined in the Worldwide Literature? IPPC Khan, J., J.J. Ooka, S.A. Miller, L.V. Madden, and Publication No. 998, Integrated Plant Protec- H.A.J. Hoitink. 2004. Systemic resistance tion Center (IPPC), Oregon State University, induced by Tricoderma hamatum 382 in Corvallis, OR. p. 3. cucumber against Phytophthora crown rot and leaf blight. Plant Disease 88: 280-286.Brumfield, R. G., and M. F. Brennan. 2004. Crop rotation budgets for three cropping systems Kloen, H., and M.A. Altieri. 1990. Effect of mustard in the Northeastern United States. Rutgers (Brassica hirta) as a non-crop plant on com- Cooperative Extension Web site. Downloaded petition and insect pests in broccoli (Brassica oleracea). Crop Protection, Vol 9. p. 90-95. April 2005. Koritas, V.M., and S.G. Garsed. 1984. The effects of ne-budgets/organic/cauliflower.html nitrogen and sulphur nutrition on the responsePage 18 ATTRA Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production
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  20. 20. Cole Crops and Other Brassicas: Organic Production By Martin Guerena NCAT Agriculture Specialist ©NCAT 2006 Paul Driscoll, Editor Cynthia Arnold, Production This publication is available on the Web at: and IP275 Slot 275 Version 022806Page 20 ATTRA