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2015 CCE ENYCHP Pumpkin Variety Trial

Chuck Bornt, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

March 17, 2016

2015 CCE ENYCHP Pumpkin Variety Trial
Chuck Bornt and Annie Mills, CCE ENYCHP

I know it's late and most of you probably have all or most of your seed already ordered, but I thought I would share our Pumpkin Variety Trial information with you just in case you are intrigued by some of these varieties and would like to try them this year. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our host grower, Rich Wertman of Wertman Farm and Greenhouses located in Melrose, NY which is in Rensselaer County about 10 miles north of Troy (just to give you some reference points). Rich and his family grow about 60 acres of pumpkins, ranging from pies types to Jack-O-Lanterns. I would also like to thank the seed companies that provided seed and feedback for this trial (Table 1).

Trial Particulars: The trial was direct seeded June 11, 2015. Two seeds were planted in six hills in side by side rows (12 hills per plot per replication) spaced on 6 foot centers: in-row spacing was determined based on seed company recommendations square footage per plant and converted to be as close as possible based on our 6 foot row center spacing and can be found also in Table 1. Each variety was replicated twice for a total of 24 hills per variety. Rows were marked and 400 lbs of 19-19-19 fertilizer was placed in the rows with a Monosem 2 row planter and seeds were then jabbed in by hand using a jab planter. After planting, Sandea (halosulfuron) at 0.5 ounces per acre plus Dual Magnum (metolachlor) at 1.0 pints per acre plus Command ME (clomazone) at 1.0 pint per acre was applied for weed control. In mid-July, an additional sidesdress of 150 pounds Urea per acre was applied. Starting the last week in July, the first fungicide application for Powdery Mildew as applied. A total of 5 fungicide applications were made weekly using these products in this sequence plus chlorothalonil: Quintec, Torino, Procure, Vivando and a second application of Quintec.

Results: Plots were harvested October 6, 2015. The per acre total number of marketable fruit, marketable fruit weight and average fruit size can be found in Table 2. Also in Table 2 you can find the calculated number of bins (24" tall) based on an average bin weighing 600 pounds and the average number of pumpkins per bin based on the average fruit size. During data collection, we weigh each individual marketable fruit and record it. We do this so we can get an idea of how uniform the fruit size is for each variety and Table 3 is the percentage of fruit based on 5 pound increments. For example, if you look at Racer Plus you will find that 44% of the total marketable fruit are between 5 and 10 pounds, 50% are between 10 and 15 pounds while 6% are 15 to 20 pounds. And finally Table 4 gives you a brief description of each variety.

Summary: The information presented in this report I feel is a very strong representation of how these varieties will perform on most farms with similar care and conditions. However, each farm is different so I suggest that if you decide to try any of these varieties, trial them on a limited scale the first year to see how they actually perform on your farm and your cultural practices. With that said, there are several varieties that stood out in the trial and I would highly recommend. Under pie pumpkins, Early Abundance and Jack Sprat were very attractive and excellent yielding. If you are looking for a novelty type in the pie size, Toad was very unique with its nice orange color, tear drop shape and numerous "warts". This variety I think would be a great choice for retail sales but because of the warts, may be more sensitive to bruising in boxes during delivery. If you have been looking for a larger "munchkin" type then Orangita would be a great choice with it's deep ribbed or scalloped, bright orange fruit. And another novelty type to look at would be WeeeeeOne which looks like a large Jack-O-Lantern that has been shrunk to 1/2 pound.

For small to medium sized Jack-O-Lanterns, those of you that have tried Racer and liked it, might want to look at Racer Plus which is an improved Racer with Powdery Mildew disease tolerance added - uniform, blocky upright round fruit shape with dark orange color and moderate ribbing. If you are looking for another novelty variety, Warty Goblin would be one to certainly look at for retail sales. The orange and green coloring with numerous, large warts really makes it stand out in a crowd of pumpkins.

And finally for large to extra large Jack-O-Lanterns, the one variety that stole the show was a new release from Harris Seeds called Kratos. This variety was uniform, averaging between 20 and 25 pounds with a great dark orange color, medium ribbing and a strong upright round blocky shape with a strong, well anchored handle that seemed to hold its dark green/black color. Rhea, the smaller sister to Cronus also did well in the 20-25 pound category. Another new release from Harris called Zeus should also make the short list especially if your market is looking for that 15-18 pound consistent fruit size. Zeus also has in addition to its Powdery Mildew tolerance, virus tolerance (Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus). And by far the largest Jack-O-Lanterns were produced by Cronus, which produces some huge, very attractive fruit (30 pounds plus). However, this variety also requires lots of space as it is a full vining variety. Harris recommends 10 foot centers with 3 - 5 feet in row. 

Pumpkin Variety Trial Photos (pdf; 6280KB)

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Upcoming Events

Ag Manager Webinar Series: Ag Tax Topics - Sales Tax and Property Tax Issues for Ag in NYS

August 27, 2019
12:30 - 12:50pm

Join Liz Higgins from the CCE ENYCHP every other Tuesday at 12:30pm throughout the summer as she discusses pertinent business topics for busy farm managers.
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Willsboro Farm High Tunnel Twilight Meeting

August 27, 2019
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Willsboro, NY

Join vegetable specialists Elisabeth Hodgdon, Jud Reid, and farm manager Mike Davis for a high tunnel and field tour at Cornell's Willsboro Research Farm, where they will share research results for the following projects: 
  • Striped cucumber beetle management suing netting and row cover
  • Varietal differences in cucumber susceptibility to striped cucumber beetle
  • Ground cherry and goldenberry production in field and high tunnel environments
  • Overwintered high tunnel spinach nitrogen fertility 

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Announcements

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

Biweekly Vegetable News Podcast - Episode 9 - 08/21/19

August 21, 2019
The August 21st, 2019 edition of the Eastern New York Vegetable News covers the following topics:

Changes to Worker Housing Regulations in the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act (1:25)
Managing Alternaria Leaf Spot and Head Rot on Broccoli (4:25)
Gauging Winter Squash Maturity for Harvest (10:05)
Insects in Hemp, especially European Corn Borers (18:33)
Guidance on the Dropped Covered Produce Provision of the Food Safety Modernization Act (22:53)
Cucurbit Downy Mildew Management Update (27:02)
Report from the BioControl Field Day and Weed Management Recommendations (31:07)
Day Neutral Strawberries (40:33)

Here are links to additional resources mentioned in the episode:

Current Housing Regulations for Seasonal and Migrant Farmworkers
(On January 1, 2020, these will now apply to farms housing any number of seasonal and migrant farmworkers)

Public Health Law, section 225, NYCRR Title 10 Health, Part 15, Migrant Housing: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/nycrr/title_10/part_15/

Managing Alternaria Leaf Spot and Head Rot in Broccoli

Sue Scheufele “Can Alternaria Leaf Spot Be Managed Organically?” http://www.hort.cornell.edu/expo/proceedings/2013/Cole%20Crops/Cole%20Crops%20Scheufele%20Alternaria.pdf

Christy Hoepting “Control of Alternaria head rot in broccoli featuring exciting results from 2018 on‐farm fungicide trial” http://www.hort.cornell.edu/expo/pdf/20190115-all-day-hoepting.pdf

Dropped Covered Produce:
FDA Factsheet on Dropped Covered Produce: https://www.fda.gov/media/129568/download

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