It is not too difficult to guess the origin of broccoli as Italy. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is also known as calabrese (from Calabria, Italy) and probably dates back to the days of the Roman Empire. Although it was only introduced here in the 1740s and in the USA in the 1920s, it has become a very important green vegetable worldwide and annual production now approaches 20 million tons.

Broccoli is a true ‘superfood’, has many health benefits and is potentially one of the healthiest foods you can eat along. With a rich supply of vitamins and minerals, notably vitamin C, folate (folic acid), and potassium, it contains the phytochemical sulforaphane, which helps reduce the risk of cancer, particularly the aggressive prostate cancer. It also reduces the risk of heart disease. In addition, broccoli contains good levels of beta-carotene, is low in calories and is virtually fat-free.

As with every crop grown, broccoli can only reach its true potential if it is grown in a fertile soil with a rich mineral profile. You cannot conjure minerals out of thin air; if they are not in the soil, they are not in the plant. Without the minerals, the plant cannot produce the vitamins or beneficial compounds and is itself much more prone to disease.

Broccoli is a cool season crop and grows best in a temperature band of between 18-23 degrees C, favouring the climates of northern Europe. It likes well drained loams and sandy loams, but is susceptible to hollow stem, a condition usually caused by a boron deficiency and/or a low soil pH. Downy mildew and bacterial head-rot can also affect broccoli. Disease resistance is much improved in crops grown in a correctly mineralised soil where the crops acquire the correct balance of nutrients as and when required.

The Dressing Process

Field Science tailored mineral dressings are always based on detailed soil analysis of the field to be treated. A member of our technical team will visit your farm to discuss and identify where we can help. Soil samples are then taken and the tailored dressings are based on the independent laboratory’s results.

Single Crop Dressing is the only option for broccoli as the soil is worked to such a degree that the previous year’s dressing, if a multiple year dressing was used, would be lost to the plants.

The best time for application is just after emergence of each crop.

The application rate is usually 25kg per hectare (10kg/ac). The application equipment on farm may dictate application rate which can be adjusted to suit.

The dressings are packed in 25kg bags, clearly labelled with the farm details, field name, application rate and bag weight.