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Publication #HS1261

Snap Bean Soil Fertility Program in Miami-Dade County1

Monica Ozores-Hampton, Qiang Zhu, and Yuncong Li2

Introduction

Vegetable production in Miami-Dade County, FL, provides a significant contribution to local and state economies. The total vegetable acreage in 2010 was 32,585 acres (Ozores-Hampton, McAvoy, Lamberts, and Sui 2010). Snap bean and pole bean, squash, tomato, boniato (sweet potato), and sweet corn are the major vegetables grown in this area (Table 1). In 2010, snap bean comprised the largest portion of the total acreage. This document explores weather conditions, basic soil properties, and fertilizer recommendations for snap bean in Miami-Dade County.

Weather

The ten-year average (January 2004–December 2014) air and soil temperatures were 74.0°F and 75.2°F, respectively, and average annual rainfall in Miami-Dade County, FL, was 56.6 inches (Table 2). The county has a subtropical climate: hot and wet summers from May to November and cool and dry winters from December to April. Frosts are recorded almost every winter, and flooding occasionally occurs during the summer.

Soil

In Miami-Dade County, there are two types of calcareous soils: rocky or gravelly soils and marl soils (Li 2013). Both soils have porous limestone bedrock and a pH of 7.4 to 8.4. The rocky soils are well drained and contain less than 2% organic matter content (Li 2013). Marl soils form a 2 to 72 inch layer above the bedrock, contain 10–30% organic carbon, and can be prone to flooding (Li 2013). The 1996 USDA soil survey classified the typical rocky soil as Krome (loamy-skeletal, carbonatic, hypothermic Lithic Udorthents) and the typical marl soil as Biscayne (loamy, carbonatic, hyperthermic, shallow Typic Fluvaquents).

The high soil pH may result in considerable loss of nitrogen (N) through volatilization of ammonia. In these soils, the availability of phosphorus (P), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and manganese (Mn) is relatively low because of potential precipitation (Figure 1). The high calcium (Ca) concentration can reduce magnesium (Mg) uptake due to competition, and the high concentration of bicarbonates can prevent Fe uptake by the crop (Li 2013).

Figure 1. 

Nutrient availabilities with different soil pH values (Silveira 2013). The width of the blue band illustrates the approximate availability of the specific nutrient. The wider the band, the more available the nutrient is, and the narrower the band, the less available the nutrient is for crop growth.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Snap Bean Fertilizer Recommendations

Snap bean is a legume, so it can fix N, but in most soils (especially where soil organic matter is less than 3.0%), snap bean requires N fertilizers (N) to maximize yields (Slaton, Golden, DeLong, and Massey 2007). For snap bean, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recommends 100 lb/acre N with a split application of 50% applied at planting and 50% banded on the side of the bed at first flower bud emergence (Elwakil and Mossler 2012; Simonne et al. 2012; Freeman et al. 2014). Recent studies of snap beans in Homestead (southeast Miami-Dade County) found a range of optimum N rates between 70 to 100 lb/acre, which is within the UF/IFAS recommendations (Hochmuth and Hanlon 2013).

UF/IFAS phosphorous (P) recommendations in sandy soils (not applicable to Miami-Dade) are 80 to between 100 and120 lb/acre P2O5 when Mehlich-3 (M-3) soil-extracted P concentrations are medium (26–45 ppm) to low (≤ 25 ppm), respectively (Freeman et al. 2014). However, due to the lack of an official extractant for rocky or gravelly and marl soils, P and potassium (K) recommendations cannot be provided for vegetable production in Miami-Dade County. Efforts are still ongoing to identify an extractant for calcareous soils in Florida. Currently, UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL) extracts calcareous soils with ammonium bicarbonate-diethylene triamine penta acetic acid (AB-DTPA) with a critical value of 10 ppm. Previous field studies reported that most soils from vegetable fields in Miami-Dade County had AB-DTPA extractable P between 56 and 113 ppm and therefore no P was needed to grow the crop (Hochmuth and Hanlon 2013).

Potassium rates recommended by UF/IFAS in sandy soils (not applicable to Miami-Dade) are 80 to between 100 and120 lb/acre K2O for soils with medium (36–60 ppm) and low (≤ 35 ppm) M-3 soil-extracted K concentrations, respectively (Freeman et al. 2014). Hochmuth and Hanlon (2013) suggested no K application was required for snap beans in Miami-Dade County when soil K concentrations determined by AB-DTPA extractant ranged from 71 to 281 ppm. This recommendation is not implemented by UF/IFAS-ESTL.

Since there is no recommended soil test extractant for Miami-Dade county soils, there are no official recommendations for applying P or K on vegetables. In the absence of a standard UF/IFAS recommendation for snap beans in Miami-Dade County, the typical bean fertilizer program used by growers in Miami-Dade is to broadcast 90%–100% of the P and band up to half the N and K at planting using preplant fertilizers such as 4-4-8, 5-5-8, 6-3-12, 6-12-12, or similar formulas. Growers use liquid or dry N and K fertilizer for side-dressing. Side-dressing with N and minors (Zn and Mn) is generally performed between the time the first true leaf has fully expanded and budbreak. Many growers will also apply a low rate of P (such as 10 lb of a liquid 10-52-10) between budbreak and the pin bean stage and will also side-dress with K between the pin bean stage and harvest. Bean varieties bred under low N conditions tend to develop more problems with postharvest breakdown if levels of N are too high.

If a cover crop or organic soil amendment has been applied, then the amount of inorganic fertilizer can potentially be reduced by the amount of nutrients contributed by the organic matter content (Ozores-Hampton 2012). Foliar application of micronutrients in snap beans is recommended only if deficiency symptoms appear during the crop cycle (Zhang et al. 2014). The deficient values and adequate ranges of macronutrients and micronutrients for snap bean leaf are listed in Table 3.

References

Elwakil, W. M., and M. A. Mossler. 2012. Florida Crop/Pest Management Profiles: Snap Beans. CIR1231. Gainesville: UF/IFAS, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi032. Accessed May 13, 2015.

Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN). 2015. “Report Generator.” Accessed May 13. http://fawn.ifas.ufl.edu/data/reports.

Freeman, J. H., G. E. Vallad, G. Liu, E. H. Simonne, G. J. Hochmuth, M. D. Dukes, L. Zotarelli, J. W. Noling, D. A. Botts, P. J. Dittmar, and S. A. Smith. 2014. Chapter 1. Vegetable Production in Florida. HS 710. Gainesville: UF/IFAS, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/cv/cv10000.pdf. Accessed May 13, 2015.

Hochmuth, G., D. Maynard, C. Vavrina, E. Hanlon, and E. Simonne. 2012. Plant Tissue Analysis and Interpretation for Vegetable Crops in Florida. HS 964. Gainesville: UF/IFAS, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep081. Accessed May 13, 2015.

Hochmuth, G., and E. Hanlon. 2013. A Summary of N, P, and K Research with Snap Bean in Florida. SL 331. Gainesville: UF/IFAS, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv234. Accessed May 13, 2015.

Liu, G. D., E. H. Simonne, T. Morgan, and G. J. Hochmuth. 2013. Soil and Fertilizer Management for Vegetable Production in Florida. HS 711. Gainesville: UF/IFAS, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv101. Accessed May 13, 2015.

Ozores-Hampton, M. 2012. “Developing a Vegetable Fertility Program Using Organic Amendments and Inorganic Fertilizers.” HortTechnology 22: 743–750.

Ozores-Hampton, M., E. J. McAvoy, M. Lamberts, and D. Sui. 2010. “A Survey of the Effectiveness of Current Methods Used for the Freeze Protection of Vegetables in South Florida.” Proc. Florida State Hort. Soc. 123: 128–133.

Silveira, M. L. 2013. “Soil Acidity and Its Relationship with Nutrient Use Efficiency.” Soil and Water Science Program, UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center. http://sfbfp.ifas.ufl.edu/articles/article_2013_february.shtml. Accessed May 13, 2015.

Simonne, E., G. Liu, A. Gazula, B. Hochmuth, L. Landrum, D. Gast, L. L. Davis, et al. 2012. “Yield Response of Overhead Irrigated Snap Bean to Nitrogen Rates.” Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 125: 174–181.

Slaton, N. A., B. R. Golden, R. E. DeLong, and C. G. Massey. 2007. “Green Bean Yield as Affected by Nitrogen Fertilization Strategy.” In Soil Fertility Studies, edited by N. A. Stalton. Fayetteville, AR: Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.

Zhang, S., D. Seal, M. Ozores-Hampton, M. Lamberts, Y. Li, W. Klassen and T. Olczyk. 2014. Bush Snap Bean Production in Miami-Dade County, Florida. HS853. Gainesville: UF/IFAS, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/TR/TR00500.pdf. Accessed May 13, 2015.

Tables

Table 1. 

Vegetable acreages of Miami-Dade County, FL, in 2010z

Ranking

Crop

Acreage

1

Snap bean and pole beans

20,300

2

All squash

5,000

3

Round, grape, and cherry tomato

3,400

4

Boniato (sweet potato)

3,000

5

Sweet corn

2,610

Total

-

32,585

zData from Ozores-Hampton, McAvoy, Lamberts, and Sui (2010).

Table 2. 

Monthly minimum (Min.), average (Avg.), and maximum (Max.) air and soil temperature and rainfall from January 2004 to December 2014 in Miami-Dade County, FLz

Month

Air Temperature (°F)

Soil Temperature (°F)

Rainfall

 

Min.

Avg.

Max.

Min.

Avg.

Max.

Total inches

January

38.3

65.2

83.2

49.8

66.1

76.5

1.4

February

40.8

66.6

85.0

51.5

67.9

79.9

2.0

March

43.9

68.9

87.2

56.7

70.7

83.4

1.6

April

48.5

73.0

88.6

60.4

76.0

88.6

3.0

May

60.1

76.9

92.0

68.9

79.3

92.0

5.3

June

68.2

80.1

93.1

73.5

81.4

93.9

7.9

July

66.8

80.7

93.1

67.0

82.2

94.5

7.3

August

70.7

81.0

93.9

74.2

82.0

94.6

11.0

September

65.0

80.1

92.6

70.3

79.7

90.4

8.4

October

57.2

76.9

90.3

64.6

77.0

87.7

5.2

November

48.0

70.9

86.1

59.3

71.5

81.6

2.1

December

45.7

68.2

84.3

56.1

68.1

78.0

1.4

zData from Homestead weather station, Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) (2015).

Table 3. 

Deficiency values and adequacy ranges of nutrients for snap bean leaf (most recently- matured whole trifoliate leaf plus petiole) at three sampling datesz

Nutrients

Before bloom

First bloom

Full bloom

Deficiency

Adequacy range

Deficiency

Adequacy range

Deficiency

Adequacy range

Macronutrients

(%)

Ny

< 3.0

3.0–4.0

< 3.0

3.0–4.0

< 2.5

2.5–4.0

P

0.25

0.25–0.45

0.3

0.3–0.5

0.2

0.2–0.4

K

2.0

2.0–3.0

2.0

2.0–3.0

1.5

1.5–2.5

Ca

0.8

0.8–1.5

0.8

0.8–1.5

0.8

0.8–1.5

Mg

0.25

0.25–0.45

0.25

0.25–0.45

0.25

0.25–0.45

S

0.2

0.2–0.4

0.2

0.2–0.4

0.2

0.2–0.4

Micronutrients

(ppm)

Fe

< 25

25–200

< 25

25–200

< 25

25–200

Mn

20

20–100

20

20–100

20

20–100

Zn

20

20–40

20

20–40

20

20–40

B

15

15–40

15

15–40

15

15–40

Cu

5

5–10

5

5–10

5

5–10

Mo

0.4

0.4–0.8

0.4

0.4–0.8

0.4

0.4–0.8

zData from Hochmuth, Maynard, Vavrina, Hanlon, and Simonne (2012).

yN=nitrogen, P=phosphorus, K=potassium, Ca=calcium, Mg=magnesium, S=sulfur, Fe= iron, Mn=manganese, Zn=zinc, B=boron, Cu=copper, Mo=molybdenum.

Footnotes

1.

This document is HS1261, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date May 2015. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Monica Ozores-Hampton, assistant professor, Horticultural Sciences Department; Qiang Zhu, Ph.D student, Horticultural Sciences Department, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center; and Yuncong Li, professor, Soil and Water Science Department, Tropical Research and Education Center, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.