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Pests & Diseases
Pests of concern include mites, diamondback moths, loopers, aphids, root maggots, beet armyworms, webworms, cutworms, mole crickets, silverleaf whiteflies, flea beetles, slugs, and nematodes.

Diseases common to cabbage are black rot, downy mildew, alternaria leaf spot, damping-off, turnip mosaic, wirestem, cabbage yellows, clubroot, purple blotch, yellow or fusarium wilt, watery soft rot, and grey mold.

Storage & Packaging
Cabbage is usually room cooled and stored at 32°F from 3 weeks to 6 months, depending on cultivar. Chinese cabbage is slightly hardier, generally lasting from 2 to 6 months.

To prevent freezing injury, round cabbage should be kept no cooler than 30.4°F and Chinese cabbage no cooler than 31°F with 90 to 95% relative humidity. Cabbage is sensitive to ethylene and should be stored in a well-ventilated area.

References: Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, University of Illinois Extension, Western Growers Association.

GRADES & GOOD ARRIVAL

Cabbage is graded as U.S. No. 1 and U.S. Commercial: U.S. No. 1 consists of heads of one variety with reasonable solidity, no withering or puffiness, and free from soft rot, seed stems, discoloration, and damage from disease, insects, and freezing or mechanical injury. Stems should not extend more than half an inch beyond outermost leaves. Heads should be well trimmed unless U.S. No. 1 Green or New Red, which are to be fairly well trimmed.

For U.S. Commercial cabbage, heads be reasonably firm and well-trimmed unless classified as U.S. Commercial Green or New Red, which requires fairly good coloring and trimming.


Generally speaking, the percentage of defects shown on a timely government inspection certificate should not exceed the percentage of allowable defects, provided: (1) transportation conditions were normal; (2) the USDA or CFIA inspection was timely; and (3) the entire lot was inspected.

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (F)
10-2 5
4
3
2
1
15-4
14-4
13-3
11-2
10-2
32°

Canadian good arrival guidelines (unless otherwise noted) are broken down into five parts as follows: maximum percentage of defects, maximum percentage of permanent defects, maximum percentage for any single permanent defect, maximum percentage for any single condition defect, and maximum for decay. Canadian destination guidelines are 15-10-5-10-4.

References: DRC, PACA, USDA.

INSPECTOR’S INSIGHTS

• Aphids, live or dead, are scored as a defect when more than 10 are found on the compact portion of the head
• Worm holes penetrating 3 or more head leaves shall be considered a defect
• Tipburn starts as small spots or narrow lesions along the edge of a leaf that are bleached light yellow to off-white; later, the affected areas usually enlarge and turn yellowish-brown to brown—score as damage when present on more than 3 head leaves or when the aggregate area exceeds a 1×2 inch rectangle
• As sunscald progresses, the affected area begins to dry out and results in a bleached, papery, or parchment-like area surrounded by healthy tissue—score as damage when the affected area exceeds more than 25% of the crown area or penetrates more than 2 head leaves.

Source: Tom Yawman, International Produce Training, www.ipt.us.com.

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This information is for your personal, noncommercial use only.