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Chapter 1. Commercial Vegetable Production in Florida

Peter J. Dittmar, Nicholas Dufault, and Shinsuke Agehara

Vegetable production remains a tremendous industry for Florida in terms of acreage and value. Including vegetables, melons, potatoes, and strawberries, production occurred on approximately 251,011 acres and generated more than $1.34 billion in gross sales in 2016, which ranks second among all the states. Growing seasons are well defined by the peninsular geography, allowing Florida to serve as the main vegetable supplier during late fall, winter, and early spring months to the United States. Although more than 40 vegetable crops are commercially planted in the state, Florida ranks in the top three on production value of tomato, bell pepper, snap bean, squash, sweet corn, watermelon, cabbage, cucumber, and strawberry (Table 1).

Table 1. Vegetable production acreage and value in Florida.

The objective of this publication is to provide updated information on crop cultivars, pesticide labels, and certain practices for vegetable production in Florida. Suggested practices are guidelines for growers to plan farm activities and are always subject to review using the latest scientific data available.

Web Links to Additional Information on Vegetable Production Topics

UF/IFAS Extension provides information through the Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS) found at Below is a partial list of EDIS publications pertaining to vegetable production for further information beyond the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida.

Vegetable Crop Production

Complete Vegetable Production Handbook

Commercial Transplant Production in Florida

Introduction to Organic Crop Production

Value Added Agriculture: Is It Right for Me?

Farm to School:

Row Covers for Commercial Vegetable Culture in Florida

Fertility and Irrigation

Commercial Vegetable Fertilization Principles

Soil and Fertilizer Management for Vegetable Production in Florida

Controlled-Release and Slow-Release Fertilizers as Nutrient Management Tools:

Cover Crops for South Florida Commercial Vegetable Producers:

Principles and Practices of Irrigation Management for Vegetables:

Drip Irrigation: the BMP Era—an Integrated Approach to Water and Fertilizer Management for Vegetables Grown with Plasticulture:

Postharvest Quality and Handling Resources

UF/IFAS Postharvest Quality & Technology:

UF/IFAS EDIS (Electronic Data Information Source):

Postharvest Technology:

Marketing and Regulatory Resources

Florida Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS):

US Grade Standards for Fruits and Vegetables:

National Agricultural Statistics Service:

National Nutrient Database:

National Organic Program:

Food Safety Resources

Food Safety on the Farm: An Overview of Good Agricultural Practices:

The Food Safety Modernization Act and the FDA Facility Registration Program:

UF/IFAS Food Safety:

CDC: Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases:

FDA: US Food and Drug Administration:


Maximizing the Efficacy of Soil Fumigant Applications for Raised-Bed Plasticulture Systems of Florida:

Pesticide Safety

Pesticide Provisions of the Florida Agricultural Worker Safety Act (FAWSA):

Pesticide Safety:

Pesticide Labels: Signal Words:

Minimizing Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides:

Pest Management

Integrated Disease Management for Vegetable Crops in Florida:

Florida Nematode Management Guide:

Weed Management

Vegetable Pest Insects:

Publication #HS710

Date:August 22nd, 2023

Related Experts

Vallad, Gary E.


University of Florida

Agehara, Shinsuke


University of Florida

Dittmar, Peter J.


University of Florida

Freeman, Joshua H.


University of Florida

Dufault, Nicholas S.


University of Florida

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