Commercial Vegetable Production

Course CodeBHT222
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Get Serious about Vegetable Production

Develop skills and knowledge required for commercial vegetable production. Learn different production methods; and culture of all major types of vegetables.

Who should do this course:

  • Vegetable growers, farm managers, farm workers
  • Vegetable enthusiasts, breeders, nurserymen, seedsmen
  • Suppliers of services and materials to the vegetable industry
  • Anyone involved otherwise in the vegetable industry from marketing to processing.

This is a comprehensive 100 hour foundation course in general vegetable production. Note: Learn:

  • Growing tomato plants
  • Cucumber plant growing
  • Growing rhubarb
  • Growing all types of vegetables 

 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Vegetable Growing
    • Making the farm Pay
    • Understanding economic principles -supply and demand, scale of economy, etc.
    • Planning for the farm
    • Production planning
    • Financial planning and management
    • Land care and land management
    • Marketing
    • Personal welfare
    • Risk management -spreading risk, quality management, contingency planning, liquidity
    • Creating a sustainable farm enterprise
    • Planning for sustainability
    • Planning for drought
    • Crop selection
    • Monocultures
    • Alternating crops, broad acre or row crops
    • Growing Brassicas -Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Pak Choi, Broccoli, Radish, Turnip
    • Growing Legumes -Beans, Broad Beans, Peas
    • Growing Lettuce, Onions, Potatoes
  2. Cultural Practices for Vegetables
    • Explain general cultural practices used for vegetable production.
    • Crop rotation
    • Soils
    • Plant foods
    • Cover Crops
    • Legumes and inoculation
    • Growing various cover crops -Barley, Buckwheat, Canola, Lucerne, Field pea, Lupins, Oats, Sorgham, Clover, etc.
    • Ways of using a cover crop
    • Cultivation techniques
    • Compost
    • Crop Scheduling
    • Planting Vegetables -seed, hybrid seed, storing seed, sowing seed
    • Understanding Soils
    • Dealing with Soil Problems
    • Plant nutrition and feeding
  3. Pest, Disease & Weed Control
    • Weed control -hand weeding, mechanical, chemical and biological weed control methods
    • Integrated Pest Management
    • Non chemical pest control
    • Understanding Pesticide labels
    • Understanding the law in relation to agricultural chemicals
    • Plant Pathology introduction
    • Understanding Fungi
    • Understanding insects, virus and other pathogens
    • Insect control -quarantine, clean far5ming, chemicals, biological controls
    • Review of common diseases
    • Review common pests
    • Review common environmental problems
    • Review common weeds
  4. Hydroponic and Greenhouse Growing
    • Introduction to hydroponics
    • Types of systems
    • Nutrient solutions
    • NFT and other systems for vegetable production
    • Growing in a greenhouse (in the ground or hydroponics)
    • Components of a Greenhouse System
    • Types of Greenhouses and common greenhouse designs (venlo, mansard, wide span, multi span, poly tunnel, Sawtooth, Retractable roof, etc)
    • Shade houses, Cold Frames
    • Environmental Control -heating, ventilation, lighting, etc
    • Controlling moisture (misting, fog, etc)
    • Review of various vegetables -Cucurbits (Cucumber, Melon, Pumpkin, Watermelon, Zucchini)
  5. Growing Selected Vegetable Varieties
    • Determine specific cultural practices for selected vegetable varieties.
    • Tropical Vegetables - Sweet Potato and Taro
    • Less common vegetables - Globe Artichoke, Jerusalem Artichoke, Asparagus, Chicory, Endive, Garlic, Leek, Okra, Rhubarb
    • Other Crops -Beetroot (Red Beet), Capsicum, Carrot, Celery, Sweet Corn, Eggplant, Parsnip, Spinach
  6. Irrigation
    • Water and Irrigation
    • Infiltration
    • Internal Drainage
    • Flood, Sprinkler and Trickle irrigation
    • The objective of irrigation
    • Transpiration and Wilting Point
    • When to irrigate Timing irrigations
    • Detecting water deficiency or excess
    • Understanding soil moisture
    • Pumps, sprinklers and other equipment
    • Water hammer
    • Improving Drainage
    • Managing erosion
  7. Harvest & Post-Harvest
    • Introduction to harvesting
    • Post harvest treatment of vegetables
    • Cooling harvested produce
    • Harvesting tips
    • Storing vegetables
  8. Marketing Vegetables
    • Introduction
    • Standards for cost efficiency, quality and quantity
    • Options for Marketing Produce
    • Market Research
    • How to sell successfully

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Select appropriate vegetable varieties for different situations.
  • Explain general cultural practices used for vegetable production.
  • Explain the management of potential problems, including pests, diseases, weeds, and environmental disorders, in vegetable production.
  • Explain alternative cultural techniques, including greenhouse and hydroponic production, for vegetables.
  • Determine specific cultural practices for selected vegetable varieties.
  • Determine the harvesting, and post-harvest treatment of different vegetables.
  • Develop marketing strategies for different vegetables.

What You Will Do

  • Compile a resource file of sources of information regarding vegetable varieties.
  • Describe the classification of different vegetables into major groups.
  • Prepare a collection of plant reviews of different vegetable varieties.
  • Determine three appropriate cultivars from each of different species of vegetables to be grown on a specified site.
  • Prepare a planting schedule of vegetable varieties, to be planted over a twelve month period, in your locality.
  • Differentiate between soil management practices for different vegetable varieties.
  • Explain the establishment of vegetables by seed.
  • Explain how to establish three different vegetables from seedlings.
  • Prepare a table or chart showing the planting distances, and planting depth of seed for different vegetable varieties.
  • Describe the application of pruning techniques to the production of specified vegetables.
  • Prepare a crop schedule (ie. production timetable) for a specified vegetable crop.
  • Prepare a pressed weed collection of different weeds.
  • Differentiate between different specific techniques for weed control in vegetable crops, including different chemical and different non-chemical methods.
  • Determine pest and disease problems common to different specified types of vegetables.
  • Identify appropriate control methods for the pest and disease problems you determined (above).
  • Develop pest and disease control programs, for the lifespans of different vegetables.
  • Determine the environmental disorders occurring with vegetable crops inspected by you.
  • Explain the methods that can be used to prevent and/or overcome different environmental disorders affecting vegetables.
  • Determine the potential benefits of greenhouse vegetable production in a specified locality.
  • Differentiate between the characteristics of different types of greenhouses.
  • Compare vegetable growing applications for different environmental control mechanisms used in greenhouses, including:
    • Different types of heaters
    • Shading
    • Lighting
    • Different types of coolers
    • Vents
    • Fans
  • Describe how a specified commercial vegetable crop might be grown in a greenhouse visited by you.
  • Compare vegetable growing applications for the major types of hydroponic systems:
    • Open and closed systems
    • Aggregate
    • Water
    • Aeroponic culture
  • Determine reasons for choosing to grow vegetables in hydroponics rather than in the open ground.
  • Explain how a specified vegetable can be grown in an hydroponic system.
  • Determine two commercially viable varieties suited to growing in a specified locality, from each of the following different types of vegetables:
    • Brassicas
    • Cucurbits
    • Tomatoes
    • Lettuce
    • Onions
    • Potatoes
    • Legumes
  • Determine specific cultural requirements for growing each of the vegetable varieties selected (above) on a specified site.
  • Describe the culture of less commonly grown vegetables chosen by you.
  • Produce a log book, recording all work undertaken to grow a crop of different vegetable varieties, suited to your locality.
  • Describe different harvesting methods, including both manual and mechanical techniques, used in vegetable production, for specified vegetables.
  • Identify the appropriate stage of growth at which different types of vegetables should be harvested.
  • Evaluate commonly used harvesting techniques of vegetables.
  • Evaluate commonly used post-harvest treatments of vegetables.
  • Determine post-harvest treatments to slow the deterioration of different specified vegetables.
  • Develop guidelines for post harvest handling, during storage, transportation and marketing, of a specified vegetable variety.
  • Analyse vegetable marketing systems in your locality.
  • Explain the importance of produce standards to marketing in different vegetable marketing systems.
  • Explain the impact of quarantine regulations on transport of different types of vegetables, in your locality.
  • Explain an appropriate procedure for packaging a specified vegetable for long distance transport.
  • Develop marketing strategies for different specified vegetables.

WHO SHOULD DO THIS COURSE?

  • Vegetable growers, farm managers, farm workers
  • Vegetable enthusiasts, breeders, nurserypersons, seed savers and breeders
  • Suppliers of services and materials to the vegetable industry
  • Anyone involved otherwise in the vegetable industry from marketing to processing.

  

 

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