Commercial Vegetable Crops

Emmalea Ernest working in the green house with lima beans

Commercial Vegetable Crop Resources

Delaware’s Vegetable Industry is alive and vibrant, with nearly 60,000 acres planted annually. Kent and Sussex Counties each are in the top 1% of all counties in the U.S. in vegetable production. Approximately 60% of the acreage is devoted to processing vegetables, 40% is devoted to fresh market.

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Vegetable Crops Program provides non-biased, research based information for producers, processors, and agribusiness personnel in Delaware, the region, and the nation. The program addresses the needs of commercial producers of fresh-market and processing vegetables.

The needs are addressed with applied research and demonstration programs in variety trials, plant nutrition, and innovative cultural practices. The information and knowledge is disseminated through a wide range of venues, including educational meetings, publications, direct contact, and this website.

Lima Bean Breeding Program

Lima beans are Delaware’s most widely planted vegetable crop. Approximately 14,000 acres of green baby limas for processing are planted in the state each year.

Learn more


Produced in collaboration with experts from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia, this publication provides a wealth of production information for commercial vegetable growers small and large.

View the Report

The Delaware Processing Vegetable Crop Budgets and Fresh Market Vegetable Budgets are updated every five years.  The vegetable budgets are available as downloadable Excel files with a static example worksheet and an editable worksheet, where values may be changed to reflect an individual grower’s production situation.

Processing Vegetables

Fresh Market Vegetables

Irrigation Cost Calculators

Baby Lima Beans
Pickling Cucumbers
Snap Beans
Sweet Corn

Bell Pepper
Seedless Watermelon
Sweet Corn

Diesel Center Pivot

Electric Center Pivot

Drip Irrigation


Regional variety trials are networks of experiments by which a set of cultivars is usually assessed to make genotype recommendations.


View trial reports

Program personnel

Photo headshot of Emmalea Ernest
Emmalea Ernest, Extension Associate Scientist - Vegetable Crops

Mailing address:
16483 County Seat Hwy
Georgetown, DE 19947

Photo headshot of Gordon Johnson
Gordon Johnson, Assistant Professor, Extension Vegetable and Fruit Specialist

Mailing address:
16483 County Seat Hwy
Georgetown, DE 19947