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Carrot Research


This project, a continuation of on-going vegetable nutritional analysis, was conducted to determine the extent of increase or impact by varieties and fertilizers to multiple elemental, amino, sugar, fiber and carotenoid levels in carrots.

Relevant Information:

The location, Screven GA was utilized for the fall planting, spring harvest period in a newly developing carrot production area. The grower had no previous experience with carrot production, mainly a tobacco and cotton grower. His first year yield, following the Program as outlined to him, was in excess of 25 tons/acre. The loss to disease in this project was <1% in a region (during an extremely wet El Nino winter) where the normal loss is typically > 20%. Both the fertilizer (fertility) and chemical control programs were designed to:

  1. Reduce the incidence of seedling disease (through biological and mechanical controls rather than chemical) and facilitate uniform germination, increased rooting and seedling vigor through the use of ARI, Inc.'s1 "Special Seed Pellet"
  2. Utilize fertilizers that augment the natural plant growth phases rather than the typical fertilizer regime that forces growth and phase transitions on the plant (which often greatly reduce yield and increase disease and environment impact)
  3. Reduce chemical inputs while maximizing control of pathogens by maintaining conscientious rotation of chemical modes of action, using mechanical means of control, utilization of chemical carriers and UV, IR inhibitors
  4. Be user and environmentally friendly
  5. Be cost effective



The following varieties of carrot were used in the research plot. All of the carrots were grown using the Brabant Program outline, differentiating only in the seed treatments, either raw seed or treated pellet.

  Treated Pelleted Seed (T) Non-Treated, Raw Seed (C)
SDC 1394 X X
Nevis X X
Coral II X X
Kinko X X
Calgary X X
Royal Cross X X
Choctaw X X
Apache   X

For simplicity sake, controls were gathered from outside this project, from surrounding fields, utilizing "industry standards" rather than infield controls. This was in part due to the difficulty in preventing foliar treatment from trespassing and also to ease the growers workload impact. As the project was 45 acres in scope, with ten seed treatments, the difficulty of maintaining different fertilizer treatments, especially in light of Brabant's previous experience with typical grower program results, seemed unnecessary. Controls were gathered from 4 local growers, (higher then average production growers) and analysis numbers were averaged ("CC"), for comparisons. For post-processing comparisons, product is purchased off the supermarket shelf with no regard to brand.


Field Information

All carrots were planted 20 seed to the foot (in the drill) with 20" row spacing. Ground fertilizer consisted of IMC Rainbow homogenized granular fertilizers, various analysis, and lime to an appropriate pH. The IMC homogenized is a full feed type fertilizer with each granule having the same ratio of N-P-K, micros and minors. The ground had been prepared with a summer cover crop of pearl millet (4' height) plowed down to a depth of 0-20" with a "disk" plow, (manufactured by Baker Plow Co., Tx.), We used a disk plow instead of a regular turning plow due to it's differing mode of incorporation, diagonal layering instead of a turning, moldboard type plow's 180o rotation of the soil. The disk plow allows the incorporated vegetation to vent, thereby insuring an aerobic decomposition versus anaerobic which normally occurs with a turning plow. As an added benefit, besides the organic matter's ability to hold water and act as a media for symbiotic soil organisms, during the vegetative decomposition phase certain soil pathogens are also degraded thereby reducing populations and helping to decrease disease incidence without additional chemical usage.

In addition to the granular fertilizers, the project employed a full feed foliar program, critical to the success of the project2.



The following analysis charts were compiled from testing by A & L, Richmond VA, Woodson-Tenent Labs, Memphis TN, and Brabant Research, Bent Mtn.,VA. :

  Sugars % N % Protein % P % S % Mg % K % Ca % Na %
9046 SDC T 4.73 1.85 11.56 0.37 0.14 0.16 3.09 0.31 0.12
9043 SDC C 4.51 1.92 12 0.36 0.22 0.24 3.27 0.31 0.2
9044 NEV T 5.23 1.67 10.43 0.4 0.23 0.12 3.27 0.3 0.1
9050 NEV C 5.75 1.28 8 0.36 0.16 0.12 3.01 0.29 0.1
9041 CAR T 5.99 1.61 10.06 0.35 0.14 0.13 2.96 0.29 0.13
9047 CAR C 5.63 1.16 7.25 0.3 0.12 0.12 3.24 0.29 0.11
9045 KIN T 5.78 1.18 7.37 0.32 0.23 0.13 3.78 0.32 0.1
9048 CLG T 4.17 1.45 9.06 0.38 0.16 0.13 3.05 0.31 0.11
9042 RC C 5.06 1.15 12 0.35 0.14 0.12 2.33 0.28 0.09
9049 CHO T 5.44 1.9 11.87 0.47 0.2 0.14 3.56 0.32 0.07
9565 "CC" 4.01 2.11 11.11 0.22 0.22 0.11 2.11 0.19 .11

  Fe ppm Al ppm Mn ppm Cu ppm Zn ppm Mo ppm B Carotene Moisture Cl %
9046 SDC T 107 23 30 6 43 1.23 2750 83.6 % 0.26
9043 SDC C 128 31 51 8 53 1.67 2840 82.1 % 0.31
9044 NEV T 216 38 36 6 53 1.28 2840 82.3 0.4
9050 NEV C 432 38 35 6 37 2.48 3080 56.9 0.39
9041 CAR T 338 143 37 8 43 0.64 3350 83.5 0.28
9047 CAR C 53 31 30 7 36 0.91 2600 81.6 0.35
9045 KIN T 233 41 23 6 35 1.06 3000 82.6 0.26
9048 CLG T 50 29 32 11 42 1.56 3190 79.6 0.25
9042 RC C 365 161 30 5 33 1.37 4210 80.4 0.31
9049 CHO T 128 19 40 7 58 1.46 2670 76.5 0.31
9565 "CC" 122 147 21 6 55 1.4 2375 80.8 .31


Interpretation of Data

There are interesting points to be made in this project, a number of which will be covered in this public release. Initially, of course, the grower and the co-op receiving these carrots were extremely pleased with the yield, (25 tons/acre) and the health of the crop. While there was virtually no loss to disease (<1%) and the root appearance was long, straight and of good color, the plants had extremely strong tops, which facilitated harvesting. This was distinctly different from the majority of the crop grown that season in Georgia, which had weak tops and was severely disease impacted, even in adjacent, (non-treated) fields.

There are three different arenas of discussion of the analysis information in the above chart. One is on the biological cellular level, which will not be undertaken here.3 The other two, impact to yield and processing will be briefly reviewed.



A number of issues need to be addressed. First and foremost is the fertilizer program comparison (Brabant Program versus typical grower) and the difference in philosophies. The Brabant Field Program, again utilizing regular type fertilizers, is geared towards; augmenting the plant systems' development and the normal phase to phase growth sequences, of being easier converted and transported by soil organisms ( Hartig Net relationships), of having the least negative impact on the plant and environment and reducing the level of soil bonding thereby remaining available. It differs from the majority of grower's fertilizer programs in that the Brabant Programs' emphasis centers about the accumulation of calcium and carbohydrates, rather than the production of proteins, hormones and enzymes, typical to normal grower's programs. In the typical grower's fertilizer regime, accent is placed on season long nitrate replacement, which in turn influences the plant amino/protein/ gibberellin/enzyme metabolism systems. This has a tendency to accumulate protein fluids within the cell structure, cause nitrogen and protein inhibition, directly create elemental deficiencies, generate poor calcium cell wall deposition and cell elongation; hence, weaker cell wall structure, higher susceptibility to disease, more impact from both hot/dry or cold/wet conditions and poor post-processing cell wall integrity (including loss of nutrient base during processing as well.)

The above differentiation in fertility programs was the major factor in yield difference; the fertilizer program's ability to be both utilized by plant (conversions by soil organisms included as well as uptake, conversions and recognition of foliar by plant) as well as the impact from disease (extremely negative in the "industry standard.")

With final results of pack-out the yields were:


SDC T & C: 22.5 tons
NEV T & C: 24.5 tons
CAR T & C: 28 tons
Kin T: 27.5 tons
CLG T: 27.5 tons
RC C: 24 tons
CHO T: 25.5 tons
APH C: 22.7 tons
"CC": 14, 15.5, 18, & 18 tons; fields 3, 4, 1, 5 respectively.

The control carrots averaged 16.375 tons/acre The Program carrots averaged 25.275 tons/acre.

This type of difference in yields is not unusual in comparison of typical grower programs versus the Brabant Grower Programs. Other crop yield comparisons from the 97-98 seasons were: 27% increase in tomato, 20% in cotton, 21% in peanut, 33% in string beans, 36% pepper and 46% in watermelons. Apple, cucumber, field and sweet corn, soybean and squash numbers are not available at this time, although 1987-96 numbers are available upon request.


Nutritional Information

Again, some interesting data. To the casual reader, please remember that Brabant's perspective on this data includes background information as well as additional testing unable to be shared publicly in this web-page summary. To the interested party, please contact Brabant Research to develop co-operative status.

CAR T accumulated the highest sugars, 2nd highest Beta Carotene and highest tonnage of all varieties sampled. Curiously, it had very low Potassium and Calcium numbers, normally indicating low total sugars. Also interesting was the balance of fructose/sucrose/glucose in CAR T, unlike any other variety in that it was almost evenly proportioned.

The highest carotene variety, RC C, was also highest in total crude proteins (as would be expected with the Beta carotene levels found), moderate in total sugars, and, again like CAR T, exhibited what Brabant would consider low levels in Potassium and Calcium. The sugars are also somewhat evenly proportioned, though not quite the same as CAR T. This proportion was extremely important to the post-processed product. RC C, CAR T, CLG T, and KIN T all retained >88% of total sugars, total carotenes, crude proteins and calcium values POST-PROCESSING. Brabant believes that this is an important issue to the processing food industry.

There is one very important issue involving micro-nutrient levels in the sampling field. All of the samples were prepared the same manner for analysis testing; each carrot was scrubbed with a plastic wire pad and then brushed with a scrub-brush, (plastic) to attempt to remove all soil particles. Still, we are uncertain of the level of contamination from embedded soil in the samples. Because of that uncertainty, and the extreme variance in ppm of comparative micro-nutrient levels in the samples, we are unwilling to make public statements regarding the significance of the micro-nutrient level's impact in this test data.

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