Yield and economic evaluation of okra varieties produced on calcareous soils in Southern Florida

Teresa W. Olczyk, Buren Regalado, Eric H. Simonne

Abstract


Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) is an important cash crop in southern Florida. Traditionally, open-pollinated varieties of okra are grown on bare ground with overhead irrigation and at relatively high plant populations. There is a need for comparison of the open pollinated (OP) standard variety 'Clemson Spineless' with newer, hybrid varieties. The relative earliness, marketable yield, and crop value of four okra varieties were determined in a grower's field in 1999. Rows were on 3-foot centers and plants were spaced less than 6 inches apart. Seeds were planted on 14 May, 1999 and plots were harvested 27 times between 14 July and 17 Sept. The first harvest of hybrid varieties occurred approximately 54 days after germination and almost 1 week earlier than that of 'Clemson Spineless'. Average season marketable (577 and 380, 30-lb bu/ acre, respectively) and average early (130 and 65, 30-lb bu/ acre, respectively) yields were significantly higher for the hybrids than for the OP variety. Yield differences among hybrids were not significant. Crop value (calculated using 2000 and 2001 weekly wholesale prices from a local packinghouse) was also significantly higher for the hybrids than for the OP variety ($7,432/acre and $4,876/acre, respectively). These results suggest that earliness, total yield, and crop value of okra in Miami- Dade County may be increased by use of hybrid varieties.

Keywords


abelmoschus esculentus; earliness; hybrid; open pollinated; vegetable

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283