Growing Broccoli as High-Value Crops Part 2

Blackleg. This disease is caused by the fungus Phoma ling am. This manifests in young broccoli plants and seedlings. This disease is characterized by ash gray spots on the leaves and stem, speckled with tiny black spots. Stems also become girdled, and the plants eventually wilt and die. Moist conditions propagate this disease.

Blackleg may be controlled through crop rotation in three years as these diseases often survive for one to two years in the remains of the crops. Affected crops should be removed from the plant beds and plots. Seed treatment may be used to control black leg. This may be done by soaking the seeds in hot water for thirty minutes. Seeds should then be dried thoroughly before planting.

Black Rot. This disease is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris. Black rot primarily affects the above ground parts of the plant. Environmental conditions and the age of the plant affect the symptoms.

Black rot is characterized by yellow V-shaped lesions along the tips of the leaves. The point of the V is directed toward a vein. As the lesions grow, wilted tissue expands toward the base of the veins and veins may turn black or brown. Black rot may also spread into the stems. When stems are cut, a black-brown discoloration may be found as well as yellowish slime.

No chemical control measures are available for black rot. Prevention is therefore very important. Bacteria causing black rot can survive on plant residue buried in the soil for up to two years. Bacteria am also survive in and on seeds of infected plants. Tins disease may be transmitted through splashing water, wind, insects and garden tools. High temperature and humidity can also aid in the development of this disease.

To prevent black rot, make sure to use disease-free seed and transplants. Broccoli must not be planted on soil that has been known to have had black rot in the past two or three years. Good sanitation practice is also key in preventing the development and spread of the disease. Debris of plants from the garden should be destroyed as some of which may have been infected. Wet plant should not be handled. This reduces the spread of disease-causing organisms.

Cercospora leaf spot. This disease is also caused by the fungus Cercospora beticola and is characterized by ashy color on the upper side of the leaves. The leaves are then ultimately become covered with black fungus.

This disease may be controlled by crop rotation. It is also important to remove and burn infected leaves. Insecticide may also be used.

Downy mildew. Downy Mildew may manifest in any part of the broccoli. The upper portion of the leaves become yellowish and is then followed by the growth of a whitish substance in the lower part of the leaves. Ultimately the stem and the insides of the leaves become ashy and the plant dies.

To control this disease, it is necessary that the soil is dried well. Seed treatment is also recommended before planting. To do this procedure, seeds should be soaked in water with the temperature of 50 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Seeds should then be rinsed with cold water then spread thinly over a container to diy. Seeds should be then set in captan, chronil or thiram dust as seed treatment.

Harvest and Storage

Broccoli grown in the valley may be harvested within 60 to 70 days. However, broccoli grown in high terrain should be harvested eighty to ninety days after transplanting. It is important to ensure that the plant is in its right age before harvesting. The head should be full and the buds should have not yet bloomed.

Broccoli may not be harvested all at once. This prevents oversupply in the market that causes the plunge in its prices. The plot should be visited regularly to identify which plant is ready for harvesting.

A sharp knife or cutter and baskets or kaing are needed for harvesting. Broccoli should be harvested individually, cutting the stem close to the ground. Stems should have 20 to 25cm from the head for easy handling.

Older leaves should be removed by use of a sharp knife.

Harvested broccoli should be placed in a basket or kaing. Broccoli should be placed in storage boxes alternating head and stalk side up. This ensures no wasted space in Ihe basket as well as preventing the heads to stick together which may damage the crop.

Costs and Return on Investment

Costs in growing broccoli van- according to the location on which it is grown. Broccoli grown in the highlands like Mt. Province may need approximately Php 63,500 per hectare. Broccoli grown in the lowlands like llocos and Batangas may need Php 62,500 per hectare capital. Primary capital in growing broccoli goes to the variable costs which include labor costs, and costs of seeds, fertilizers and insecticides. Fixed costs include land rent, equipment, and loans if applicable.

A hectare of land may yield twenty thousand kilos of broccoli. Should the harvest be sold at eight pesos per kilo, the hectare may yield 152% return on investment.

source: Carmela Abaygar, Marid Digest, photo from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *