2017 Pumpkin Cultivar Evaluation Trials Are Published

— Written By Keith Starke and last updated by Mary Lorscheider
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In 2017, North Carolina ranked 4th in pumpkin production in the US behind Illinois, Texas and California. This makes North Carolina the largest pumpkin producing state on the eastern seaboard. The economic value of the pumpkin crop in North Carolina was reported to be more than 15 million dollars in 2016. The USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service reported pumpkin acreage in North Carolina and Tennessee at 3,800 and 1,900 acres, respectively. The crop carries a significant value to producers in both states and it appears as though production of this commodity is increasing in North Carolina. In the western part of North Carolina and in pockets of Tennessee, pumpkin production is extensive due to the climate and soils of the region. Collaborative pumpkin cultivar evaluation trials have been conducted by North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee for over a decade. Growing conditions in the higher elevations of these states seems to translate in less disease pressure. According to the USDA Economic research service, consumer demand for specialty varieties has been increasing in recent years. The pumpkin cultivars included in this trial were mainly evaluated for yield. However, each cultivar was also rated for shape, color, suturing, vine habit, handle characteristics, fruit size measurements and powdery mildew symptoms. The fruit obtained from each replicated cultivar are also identified in a photograph. Several other cultivars were also included in the trial as observation plots (non-replicated) and most of these cultivars are identified in a photograph where available. Visit the Cucurbit Cultivar Evaluations & Variety Trials page to view the complete series of cucurbit variety trial booklets.