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Information @ a Glance

 General
  • Eggplant is a frost-intolerant perennial grown as an annual. The purplish-black color of the immature fruit is a result of anthocyanin in the sub epidermal cells. Fruit types are varied, including a small 'green grape' eggplant from Thailand; 'Easter-egg' types with variously colored fruits on a single plant; Italian 'bella' types with delicate pink and white shading on round fruits; the standard commercial type with black three-pound fruits and the increasingly popular, slim, purple-black 'Japanese' or oriental types. .
  • Shapes vary from round to almost breadstick shaped, and color variations include white, red, green, purple, pink, and glossy solid black. Eggplant is one of the most heat-loving of the vegetables normally grown in the temperate zone and requires a frost-free period of 100 to 140 days. Optimal daytime temperatures are 75 to 85 degrees F and optimal night temperatures are 65 to 76 degrees F. It is even more sensitive to cold than tomatoes or peppers and will be injured by temperatures below 65 degrees F.

Production

  • Environmental factors are important in the production of eggplant seed. The same climatic factors that influence the cultivation of eggplant as a market vegetable also act on seed production. Eggplant is a warm season crop. It requires a long and warm growing season for successful production. It    more susceptible to lower temperatures than tomato and pepper.

  • A day temperature of 25–32 °C and a night temperature of 21–27 °C are ideal for plant growth and fruit development. Comparatively a hardy crop, it can tolerate drought and heavy rainfall. However, it is advisable to select a dry climate  or at least a season with a low air humidity, which is courage fruit rot and other diseases. Furthermore, good soil and adequate fertilization are essential. Eggplant can be grown on different  kinds of soil but does best on well-drained silt loams or clay loams with a pH of 5.5–6.5.

Technology

  • Eggplant grafting technology, first developed by the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center  in Taiwan is being transferred to farmers through a collaborative effort between the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute , Phil Rice in the Philippines, CARE-Bangladesh, an NGO.

  • The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council  is the apex  “grafting” is revolutionizing the business of producing eggplants. Grafting technology is being used to control the devastating soil borne disease of eggplant known as “bacterial wilt”. Vegetable Integrated Pest Management technologies developed by the IPM CRSP in Bangladesh and adopted by Bangladeshi farmers have proven highly successful.

Market

  • Fresh market options for Kentucky-grown eggplant include wholesale markets, cooperatives, farmers’ markets and roadside stands. Sales to local retail markets, such as supermarkets, are also an option. Very small volumes of eggplants are sold through farmers’ markets and cooperatives in Kentucky.

  • U.S. Fancy consists of eggplants of similar varietals characteristics, which are well colored, firm, clean, well shaped, and which are free from decay and worm holes and free from injury caused by scars, freezing, disease, insects, or mechanical or other means. The size of eggplants may be specified in terms of count, minimum diameter, or a range in diameter in the container. Eggplants packed as U.S. Fancy or U.S. No. 1 grade shall be reasonably uniform in size, except when a range in diameter is specified.

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