Fruits and vegetables begin to deteriorate after they are harvested and separated from their growing environment. The rate of deterioration defines how long they will be acceptable for consumption. This is known as “shelf life.” To preserve the quality of fruits and vegetables and maximize profits for growers, it is critical to control the temperature of fresh produce and minimize the amount of time that products are exposed to detrimental temperatures.
Fresh-market vegetable supplies have been sporadic following several December freezes in Florida, periods of cool, wet weather in coastal California, and several periods of subfreezing temperatures in California and Arizona. In addition, Mexican vegetables were damaged by a 2-day freeze in early February (extent of damage is unknown at this time). As a result, vegetable prices are now at or above the highs experienced a year earlier.
The bulb onions grown in Ohio are the long day storage varieties. The market prefers the golden color with a single center that will store all winter.
All bulb-type onions are direct seeded beginning in early April with the last seedings in mid-May. Harvesting begins in early August and continues through October. Curing is started in the field and finished while in storage. Generally, Ohio weather conditions are not favorable for field curing.
Harvested area for fall-season potatoes is forecast at 882,300 acres, 4 percent lower than 2009. Given average yields, fall potato production is expected to decline from the 393.5 million hundredweight of a year earlier. Because of tighter world supplies, grower prices are expected to average above year-earlier levels during the 2010/11 marketing year.
The purpose of this book is to provide the best and most up-to-date information available for commercial vegetable growers in the southeastern US: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia. These recommendations are suggested guidelines for production in the above states. Factors such as markets, weather, and location may warrant modifications and/or different practices or planting dates not specifically mentioned in this book.