Brassica/Cole Crops

Brassica/cole crops (Crop Group 5) includes cabbage, crucifer greens, collards, kale and mustard greens. Asterisks indicate representative crops for the Group.

Descriptions of cole crops

Bok Choy. A specialized loose-leaf Chinese mustard, seeded or transplanted; produces thick stalk-like leaves. Produced as a fresh market crop in small family-managed plots around metro areas and Texas Gulf Coast areas for ethnic markets. Pest problems similar to those of cabbage.

broccoli headBroccoli*. Transplanted and direct-seeded production. Broccoli is grown in the LRGV and WG for fresh market sales and local metro use. Once a major crop in Texa, acreage peaked in the 1980’s due to imports from earlier cheaper production in Mexico. Contains powerful antioxidants helpful in dietary health. Insect pests include aphids, cabbage looper, beet armyworm, cutworm, diamondback moth, and mites. Weeds include winter annual broadleaf species. Diseases include Alternaria leaf spot, anthracnose, blackleg leaf spot, damping off, downy and powdery mildews, black rot. Broccoflower is grown on 60 to 80 acres.

cabbage headCabbage*. An important crop in Texas, cabbage is easy to grow, yields well (commonly 25,000 lbs/acre) and marketed in 50 pound bags. Some growers direct-seed plant 2 to 10 acres every two weeks to hit some market window; some plantings are abandoned if prices are low. LRGV plants from September to February, WG plants fall and spring, and East Texas plants for roadside markets. 95% are green cabbage and 5% red and savoy types. Insect pests include Harlequin bug, thrips, mites, white flies, loopers, aphids, diamondback moth, flea beetles, and imported cabbage worm. Weeds include nutsedge, mustards and other winter annual weeds. Diseases include Alternaria leaf spot, Sclerotinia, black rot, blackleg,Fusarium, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, downey and powdery mildews, and root knot nematode.

Chinese cabbage. A tight head-cabbage, produced mostly for Asian markets in Gulf Coast area. Production and markets similar to bok choy. Pests are similar to those of cabbage.

cauliflower headCauliflower*. Production is mostly in LRGV and some production around metro areas for local fresh market sales. Also, common backyard or roadside market crop in East Texas. Pests similar to those of broccoli and cabbage.

Collards. Commonly produced on four acres or less. Some 20-acre blocks are grown for frozen food processors. Grows like a non-heading cabbage. A high tonnage crop with repeated harvests from September to June from one planting. Commercial production in the LRGV and WG; small plots in East Texas for roadside and local markets. Insect pests include white flies, Harlequin bug, cabbage looper, diamondback moth, leaf hoppers, leaf miners, mites, and armyworms. Weeds include winter annual broadleaf weeds. Diseases include Alternaria leaf spot, Cercospora, damping off, downy and powdery mildew, Sclerotinia, and white rust.

Kale. Commercially produced in LRGV and WG for processing (some estimates are less than 200 acres). Planted in fall; whole plants are harvested through winter and early spring. Also grown in small plots (<2 acres) in East Texas for fresh market, potherb, salad, and home use. Insect pests include aphids, armyworms, cabbage loopers, diamondback moth, and white fly. Winter annual weeds include mustard, damping off, downy and powdery mildews, Sclerotinia and white rust.

Kohlrabi. Seeded in fall in small plots for roadside sales. Grown for turnip-like root; has a turnip flavor. A cabbage relative with both green and purple types. Leaves are used in salads or steamed before eating. Pests include cabbage loopers and others similar to those in turnip and cabbage. Diseases include leaf spot, blackleg, downy mildew, and white rust.

Mustard greens*. Production from the Lower Valley and Winter Garden is processed, with nominal amount for fresh markets. East Texas production is in small plots for fresh roadside markets and truck farms. Numerous foliar insect pests include cabbage loopers, Harlequin bug, and cabbage worm. Condiment “mustard” is the ground seed of another species. Weeds are mostly winter annuals such as London rocket, and others. Diseases include Alternaria leaf spot and Cercospora leaf spot.

Table 8. Brassica/Cole Crops (Crop Group 5)
Crop Statewide Production Acreage by Production Region
Acres Dollar Value per Acre Total Value (dollars in thousands) Lower Valley Winter Garden Plains Region Far West Texas Eastern Areas
Bok choy 280 $2,300 $644 50 50 0 0 180
Broccoli* 670 $3,800 $2,546 100 200 100 0 270
Cabbage* 8,330 $4,100 $34,153 3,800 1,700 1,500 600 730
Cauliflower* 350 $2,800 $980 100 100 0 0 150
Chinese cabbage 630 $3,500 $2,205 150 80 0 0 400
Collards 1,200 $1,000 $1,200 500 300 100 0 300
Kale 1,100 $3,200 $3,520 500 300 100 0 200
Kohlrabi 400 $3,200 $1,280 300 100 0 0 0
Mustard greens* 2,700 $1,200 $3,420 1,800 300 0 0 600
Totals 15,660 $3,190 $49,948 7,300 3,130 1,800 600 2,830

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