Broccoli, after tomato, is the horticultural species that occupies the largest cultivated area in Extremadura, some 5,000 hectares. And, therefore, the objective of this field manual is to offer information to the sector on the different aspects to take into account to obtain good results in production: climate and soil requirements, varieties, cultivation techniques (tillage, planting, fertilization , irrigation, herbicides), pests and diseases, collection and post-harvest.
The manual collects the results and data of different tests coordinated by José Ángel González García in the last 20 years at the Finca la Orden de Cicytex, in which research, experimentation and development programs of different crops are developed, explains in a press release the Junta de Extremadura.
The manual can be downloaded from the Cicytex website, it includes twelve sections that deal with the importance of this crop in the country and in Extremadura; benefits for health, soil and climate conditions suitable for its development; crop needs in relation to different factors, such as sowing dates, fertilization, irrigation, phytosanitary treatments.
Also, main pests, diseases and physiopathies that can affect broccoli; harvesting and postharvesting. A chapter dedicated to the quality criteria required for productions destined for the fresh market and processing industries is also included.
As for the varieties tested in the Cicytex, more than 60 in recent years, a selection of the ten stands out that present the most interesting characteristics from a commercial and production point of view.
In addition, the data corresponding to the last three years of variety trials (2017 to 2019) are shown, with the name of each of them, cycle of days from transplantation to harvest, and number of collections made in said cycle, information of interest to diversify the crop and extend the production season with short, medium and long cycle varieties.
The work carried out in the Cicytex, collected in this manual, has made it possible to know the acclimatization, the cultivation cycles, productions in terms of yield and quality, and characteristics of the different varieties in the agroclimatic conditions of Extremadura to offer information to the sector on varieties more suitable, planting and harvesting calendars.
The results have been published in this manual within the framework of the AGROS project of Cicytex, Sustainability of Irrigation in Extremadura and other aids financed by the Junta de Extremadura and Feder Funds (European Regional Development Fund).
In Extremadura, broccoli and other brassicas (cabbages and cauliflower) are considered autumn crops for consumption fresh and industrial transformation into frozen and dehydrated. Although in recent years there has also been an increase in the area of these crops in spring.