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NC State Extension

2016 North Carolina and Tennessee Pumpkin Cultivar Evaluations

Horticulture Series #216

2016 pumpkin booklet

View the 2016 North Carolina and Tennessee Pumpkin Cultivar Evaluations

Principal Investigators: Jonathan R. Schultheis,  Professor and Vegetable Extension Specialist, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University and Annette L. Wszelaki, UT Vegetable Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Science, University of Tennessee

Acknowledgments: We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Kaleb Rathbone (Superintendent), John Eric Freeman (Horticultural Crops Supervisor) and other supporting personnel at the Mountain Research Station, Waynesville, NC, for their help in establishing, maintaining, and harvesting the pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial. Additionally, we would like to thank the University of Tennessee and North Carolina State University student workers for assisting with various aspects of the trial and the Tuscola High School agriculture students for their help with harvest.

We want to acknowledge the following seed companies for their cooperation and support: Abbott & Cobb, Inc.; DP Seed; Enza Zaden USA; HM Clause Seed Company; Johnny’s Selected Seeds; Rupp Seeds, Inc.; and Sakata Seed Company. We also want to acknowledge Joy Smith for conducting the statistical analysis on the data collected in this trial. Finally, we want to acknowledge, support for this study was provided by the US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, for the CucCAP Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant under award number 2015-51181-24285.

Disclaimer: This publication presents data from the cultivar evaluation trial conducted during 2016. Information contained in this report is believed to be reliable but should not be relied upon as a sole source of information. Limited accompanying detail is included but excludes some pertinent information, which may aid interpretation. View the pdf version of the 2016 pumpkin cultivar evaluations.

General Cultural Practices

The pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial was grown on black plastic mulch and fertigated using drip tape. Pesticides used on all plots were chemicals labeled for that crop, (2016 North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual).

Introduction

In 2016, the USDA- National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that planted acres of pumpkin for North Carolina and Tennessee was 3,800 and 1,900 acres, respectively. The economic value of the pumpkin crop in North Carolina was reported to be more than 15 million dollars in 2016. Although the crop carries a significant value to producers in both states the total planted acres is still modest when compared to other commodities grown within each state. In the western part of North Carolina and in pockets of Tennessee, pumpkin production is extensive
due to the favorable 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 about a decade. The advantage of growing pumpkin in areas of higher elevation is the cooler growing conditions where growers seem to experience less disease pressure, a point that Travis Birdsell, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Agent, highlighted in a 2016 CALS article. 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, and fruit size measurements. 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.

research group in the pumpkin field

The 2016 pumpkin variety trial was conducted at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC. Station Superintendent Kaleb Rathbone joined Extension agent Travis Birdsell and Extension specialists Jonathan Schultheis of NC State University and Annette Wszelaki of the University of Tennessee. Photo courtesy of NC State CALS Newswire. The 2016 Pumpkin Variety Trial Booklet will be published soon.

Materials and Methods

This trial was conducted at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC, and was a collaboration between North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee. Seeds were planted on 21 June 2016. A total of 56 cultivars were evaluated, with 18 cultivars being un-replicated and for observational purposes only. The remaining 25 cultivars were evaluated in a randomized complete block (RCB) trial with 3 replications. Each plot measured 20 feet long with 6 plants spaced 3 feet apart (in-row) and row spacing was 10 ft (between-row).

Plant bed preparation included pre-plant fertilizer (250 lb/acre 12-21-21 and 21-0-0 at 380 lb/acre) broadcast applied and incorporated into the beds on 16 June before laying plastic mulch, providing 110 lb N, 53 lb P and 53 lb of K per acre. Fertigation with 50 lb KNO3 (13-0-44) was applied through drip irrigation on 25 July 2016; 12 and 19 August; 2 and 9 September 2016. A total of 117 lb/acre N, 53 lb/acre P and 75 lb/acre Kwas applied to the trial site throughout the entire growing season.

Insecticides were only applied when needed and were applied at labeled rates for pumpkin production in North Carolina. The fungicide program implemented included the following products which were alternated to reduce potential for development of disease resistance: Actiguard, Cabrio, Previcur Flex, Presidio, Pristine, Procure, Radiant, Ranman, Quadris and Quintec. These products are registered for use in this crop and were applied according to labeled rates that can be referenced in the North Carolina Agriculture Chemical Manual. Fungicides were applied every 7 to 14 days throughout the growing season beginning 8 July 2016 and repeated on the following dates: 15 and 29 July; 5, 12 and 26 September; 8 and 16 August 2016. Herbicides, Dual (1pt/ac) and Command (1pt/ac), were sprayed for weed control on 21 June 2016. Pumpkins were harvested on 6 October (107 days after planting). Yield per acre was calculated by extrapolating total yield from the 200 ft2 area of each plot. Five representative fruit from each plot were measured to find the average length and width of each cultivar. Pumpkin color, shape, and suturing; and handle length, thickness and attachment were rated subjectively for each plot.

Results

Pumpkin entries are discussed by size class and are organized in tables in alphabetical order. Results mentioned in the paragraphs below only correspond to the replicated cultivars.

Mini

Four cultivars were evaluated in the mini size class (≤ 5.0 lbs). Jack Sprat, Orangita and Sirius Star were all orange, while Casperita was white. Average fruit size ranged from 0.9 lbs for Casperita to 2.7 lbs for Jack Sprat (Table 1). The smallest fruit were produced by Casperita, while fruit size of Orangita and Sirius Star were very similar. Jack Sprat produced the largest fruit in the mini size category. Orangita produced the least total yield at 11.7 tons/acre and Sirius Star was the highest yielding cultivar in the mini size category at 32.7 tons/acre. Fruit shapes were mostly round with the exception of Orangita which is slightly flat to round. (Table 2). Casperita maintained its pure white color for several weeks before turning pale yellow.

Small

Four cultivars were evaluated in the ‘small’ size class (5.1 – 10.0 lbs). Fruit of these entries are all orange. Fruit size averages between 5.1 to 6.7 lbs with Field Trip being the smallest, followed by Early Abundance. ACR 1428 and Darling produced fruit with an average weight of 6.7 lbs (Table 1). These entries ranged between 10,003 (Early Abundance) and 15,165 (Darling) fruit number per acre. Field Trip ranked second in fruit per acre at 11, 293 followed by ACR 1428 that produced 10,567 fruit per acre. Darling had the highest total fruit weight and yield of all of the entries in the ‘small’ size category (Table 1). Fruit shapes range from flat to round (Field Trip) to Darling that is slightly taller and less round.

Medium

Eleven cultivars were evaluated in the ‘medium’ size class (10.1-25.0 lbs). Average fruit size in this category ranged between 13.9 to 24.1 lbs per fruit (Table 1). Eagle City Gold produced the highest fruit yield and fruit number in this size category. Fruit yields ranged from 40.6 tons/acre (ACR 7599) to 80.8 tons/acre (Ares). Ares produced the least fruit number per acre (4,840) and Eagle City Gold produced the greatest number of fruit per acre at 9,196 (Table 1). All fruit in this size category are orange with the exception of Blue Doll and Indian Doll (Figure 1). Fruit shapes range from slightly flat to round (Blue Doll and Indian Doll) to Ares, a taller pumpkin (Table 2).

Large

Six varieties were evaluated in the ‘large’ size class (≥25.1 lbs). Average Fruit Size in this category ranged from 26.4 to 33.1 lbs (Table 1). Early King produced the highest fruit weight per acre (88 tons/ac), while Aladdin had the lowest total fruit weight per acre (62.0 tons per acre). Early King also produced that greatest number of fruit per acre, whereas, early Giant produced the least amount of fruit per acre (Table 1). Fruit shapes were mostly round in this size class, with the exception of Early King, which produced a slightly larger and taller pumpkin (Table 2).

Figure 1. Pumpkin photographs, replicated cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2016.


Table 1. Pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial. Cumulative yield (tons) / acre, fruit number per acre and average fruit weight, Waynesville, NC, 2016.

Mini Size Class (≤ 5.0 lb)

Cultivar

Seed Company

Cumulative Yield (tons) / Acre

Cumulative Number of Fruit / Acre

Cumulative Average Fruit Weight (lbs)

Casperita DP Seed 12.3 26,862 0.9
Jack Sprat Sakata 22.4 16,779 2.7
Orangita DP Seed 11.7 18,634 1.4
Sirius Star Rupp 32.7 27,185 2.4
Average 19.8 22,365 1.9
LSD (0.05) 11.3 9,802 0.8

Small size Class (5.1 – 10.0 lb)

Cultivar

Seed Company

Cumulative Yield (tons) / Acre

Cumulative Number of Fruit / Acre

Cumulative Average Fruit Weight (lbs)

ACR 1428 Abbott & Cobb 35.3 10,567 6.7
Darling Abbott & Cobb 50.7 15,165 6.7
Early Abundance Abbott & Cobb 32.0 10,003 6.4
Field Trip Harris Moran 28.5 11,293 5.1
Average 36.6 11,757 6.2
LSD (0.05) 8.2 2,724 0.4

Medium Size class (10.1 – 25.0 lb)

Cultivar

Seed Company

Cumulative Yield (tons) / Acre

Cumulative Number of Fruit / Acre

Cumulative Average Fruit Weight (lbs)

Ares Harris Moran 80.8 6,776 24.1
ACR 7599 Abbott & Cobb 40.6 5,566 14.6
Bayhorse Gold Rupp 51.2 5,485 18.8
Bellatrix Enza Zaden 68.7 6,131 22.3
Blue Doll DP Seed 51.4 5,001 20.6
Cracker Jack Sakata 49.9 6,453 15.7
Eagle City Gold Rupp 85.2 9,196 18.5
Gladiator Harris Moran 45.9 4,840 18.9
Indian Doll DP Seed 56.1 6,534 17.2
Magic Lantern Harris Moran 67.8 7,341 19.2
RPX 5956 Rupp 57.1 8,228 13.9
Average 59.5 6,505 18.5
LSD (0.05) 23.3 2,439 3.1

Large Size Class (≥ 25.1 lb)

Cultivar

Seed Company

Cumulative Yield (tons) / Acre

Cumulative Number of Fruit / Acre

Cumulative Average Fruit Weight (lbs)

Aladdin Harris Moran 62.0 4,679 26.4
Cronus Harris Moran 64.5 4,598 28.5
Early Giant Abbott & Cobb 67.4 3,953 34.2
Early King Abbott & Cobb 88.0 6,615 26.6
Hulk Sakata 80.4 5,485 29.1
JPN 61560 Johnny’s Seed 69.8 4,195 33.1
Average 72.0 4,921 29.7
LSD (0.05) 29.4 1,848 3.3

Table 2.1. Pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial. Fruit and quality measurements for replicated cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2016.

Cultivar

Fruit

Color1

Fruit

Shape2

Fruit

Suturing3

Fruit

Texture4

Vine

Habit5

*PM

Rating6

ACR 1428 7.0 5.7 3.8 3.3 4.0 5.0
ACR 7599 6.7 5.0 5.8 3.7 4.0 5.0
Aladdin 6.7 5.7 4.3 3.0 4.0 2.0
Ares 6.7 7.7 4.8 5.0 4.0 2.0
Bayhorse Gold 6.8 5.7 5.8 3.7 4.0 8.0
Bellatrix 6.3 4.8 6.3 2.3 4.0 8.0
Blue Doll NA* 4.2 9.0 4.0 4.0 6.0
Casparita 1.0 4.2 7.7 3.3 2.0 9.0
Cracker Jack 8.0 4.8 7.7 4.7 5.0 5.0
Cronus 6.3 5.2 6.3 5.3 4.0 3.0
Darling 6.0 8.2 2.7 1.7 3.0 3.0
Eagle City Gold 6.0 5.2 3.3 4.3 3.0 3.0
Early Abundance 7.0 5.0 3.7 4.3 5.0 6.0
Early Giant 6.0 8.8 6.3 5.0 3.0 7.0
Early King 6.0 6.2 4.3 4.3 4.0 4.0
Field Trip 7.0 3.7 6.3 4.0 5.0 2.0
Gladiator 7.0 5.0 6.5 4.7 5.0 2.0
Hulk 6.7 8.2 8.3 4.3 3.0 5.0
Indian Doll NA* 2.7 8.3 6.0 5.0 7.0
Jack Sprat 6.0 4.7 3.8 4.3 3.0 7.0
JPN 61560 6.0 6.5 7.8 3.3 2.0 2.0
Magic Lantern 7.3 5.3 6.5 2.7 4.0 3.0
Orangita 5.8 3.0 8.3 5.3 4.0 4.0
RPX 5956 7.0 4.8 4.5 5.3 4.0 4.0
Sirius Star 1.0 5.7 2.3 3.0 4.0 7.0
Average
LSD (0.05)
6.1
0.6
5.4
0.8
5.8
1.4
4.0
2.3
3.8
NA
4.8
NA

1Color Scale: 1 = yellow, 5 = orange, 9 = burnt orange.
2Fruit Shape Rating: 1 = flat, 5 = round, 9 = tall.
3Fruit Suturing: 1 = none, 5 = medium, 9 = deep.
4Texture Rating: 1 = smooth, 5 = semi-rough, 9= rough.
5Vine Habit: 1 = bush, 2 = semi-bush, 3 = semi-vine, 4 = vine, 5 = aggressive vine
6Powdery Mildew Rating: 1 = None, 9 = Severe
*Observed and rated on 6 September 2016.


Table 2.2 Pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial. Fruit and quality measurements for replicated cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2016.

Handle7

Fruit8

Cultivar

Thickness

Length

Attachment

Length

Width

LD

ACR 1428 7.0 5.0 6.7 7.4 8.0 0.9
ACR 7599 7.0 4.2 7.7 9.6 11.2 0.9
Aladdin 6.0 6.3 7.0 12.3 13.6 0.9
Ares 9.0 7.0 7.7 14.6 12.0 1.3
Bayhorse Gold 6.8 5.5 6.7 10.9 11.1 1.0
Bellatrix 7.7 6.5 6.0 10.6 12.9 0.8
Blue Doll 7.0 3.0 1.7 8.5 11.8 0.7
Casparita 5.7 7.7 6.7 2.8 4.2 0.7
Cracker Jack 6.7 5.0 7.7 10.3 11.9 0.9
Cronus 9.0 9.0 9.0 12.8 14.8 0.9
Darling 7.0 5.0 5.0 9.2 7.2 1.3
Eagle City Gold 6.7 5.7 7.7 11.0 11.8 0.9
Early Abundance 7.3 5.3 5.3 7.1 7.9 0.9
Early Giant 8.7 3.3 8.7 17.1 14.0 1.2
Early King 8.7 4.0 6.0 13.5 13.2 1.0
Field Trip 6.7 9.0 6.7 5.7 7.9 0.7
Gladiator 7.7 6.0 8.0 11.3 12.2 0.9
Hulk 8.0 4.0 8.7 15.5 12.9 1.2
Indian Doll 5.7 3.7 1.0 6.0 12.0 0.5
Jack Sprat 7.0 6.3 5.3 4.9 6.0 0.8
JPN 61560 6.3 6.8 7.0 13.6 13.8 1.0
Magic Lantern 6.0 6.3 7.0 11.4 12.1 0.9
Orangita 5.3 6.7 7.0 2.9 4.4 0.7
RPX 5956 7.7 4.8 5.8 8.8 10.4 0.8
Sirius Star 5.7 6.7 6.0 5.5 5.8 1.0
Average
LSD (0.05)
7.0
0.9
5.7
1.4
6.5
0.9
9.7
1.0
10.5
0.8
0.9
0.1

7Handle Rating:
Thickness: 1 = thin, 5 = medium, 9 = thick.
Length: 1 = short, 5 = medium, 9 = long.
Attachment: 1 = poor, 5 = average, 9 = excellent.
8Fruit Measurements = Individual length and width, values (inches) were taken from 5 fruit per replication, (20 total), The LD ratio was determined by dividing fruit length by fruit width.
*NA = Fruit not orange colored.


Table 3. Pumpkin, Gourd/Winter Squash cultivar evaluation trial. Selected observations (non-replicated cultivars). Cumulative yield (tons) per acre, number fruit per acre and average fruit weight, Waynesville, NC, 2016.

Mini Size Class (≥ 5.0 lb)

Cultivar

Seed Company

Yield (tons) / Acre

Number of Fruit / Acre

Average Fruit Weight (lbs)

Autumn Crown Johnny’s Seed 3.2 37,026 3.2
Flame Johnny’s Seed 1.0 24,684 1.0
Koshare Yellow Hollar Seed 1.8 23,232 1.8
Spark Johnny’s Seed 0.6 65,824 0.6
Average 1.7 37,692 1.7

Small Size Class (5.1 – 10.0 lb)

Cultivar

Seed Company

Yield (tons) / Acre

Number of Fruit / Acre

Average Fruit Weight (lbs)

Blue Hubbard Johnny’s Seed 15.0 5,082 15.0
Flatso DP Seed 6.3 18,634 6.3
Kakai Johnny’s Seed 6.8 11,374 6.8
Moonshine Johnny’s Seed 7.7 7,986 7.7
Sunshine Johnny’s Seed 5.5 10,164 5.5
Triamble Johnny’s Seed 9.4 5,324 9.4
Turks Turban Johnny’s Seed 6.4 8,470 6.4
Average 8.2 9,576 8.2

Medium Size Class (10.1 – 25.0 lb)

Cultivar

Seed Company

Yield (tons) / Acre

Number of Fruit / Acre

Average Fruit Weight (lbs)

Marina Di Chioggia Johnny’s Seed 17.3 2,178 17.3
Kratos Harris Moran 21.3 7,744 21.3
One Too Many Rupp 24.7 5,324 24.7
New England Cheddar Johnny’s Seed 19.7 3,630 19.7
Rhea Johnny’s Seed 73.9 7,018 21.1
Warty Goblin Harris Moran 19.5 6,292 19.5
Average 29.4 5,497 20.6

Large Size Class (≥ 25.0 lb)

Cultivar

Seed Company

Yield (tons) / Acre

Number of Fruit / Acre

Average Fruit Weight (lbs)

Full Moon Hollar Seed 43.6 2,904 61.5
Average 43.6 2,904 61.5

Table 4.2. Pumpkin, Gourd/Winter Squash cultivar evaluation trial. Fruit and quality measurements for selected observation replicated cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2016.

Cultivar

Fruit Color1

Fruit Shape2

Fruit

Suturing3

Vine Habit4

*PM Rating5

Autumn Crown Buff 2.0 8.0 2.0 2.0
Blue Hubbard Blue NA* 3.0 1.0 NA*
Flame Ylw, Orng & Wht 3.0 9.0 9.0 5.0
Flatso 5.5 6.0 8.0 5.0 5.0
Full Moon White NA* NA* NA* NA*
Kakai 5.0 5.5 2.0 6.0 2.0
Koshare Yellow Green & Yellow NA* NA* NA* NA*
Kratos 7.0 5.0 7.0 6.0 2.0
Marina Di Chioggia Blue 2.0 8.0 2.0 1.0
Moonshine 1.0 5.0 5.0 8.0 3.0
New England Cheddar Buff 4.0 7.0 2.0 5.0
One Too Many 1.0 6.0 4.5 2.0 2.0
Rhea 6.0 4.5 6.0 9.0 2.0
Spark 1.0 3.0 7.0 8.0 5.0
Sunshine 9.0 2.5 2.0 2.0 5.0
Triamble Blue 3.0 9.0 3.0 5.0
Turks Turban Grn, Red & White NA* NA* NA* NA*
Warty Goblin 7.5 5.5 2.0 9.0 2.0
Average 4.8 4.1 5.8 4.9 3.3

1Color Scale: 1 = yellow, 5 = orange, 9 = burnt orange.
2Fruit Shape Rating: 1 = flat, 5 = round, 9 = tall.
3Fruit Suturing: 1 = none, 5 = medium, 9 = deep.
4Vine Habit: 1 = bush, 2 = semi-bush, 3 = semi-vine, 4 = vine, 5 = aggressive vine
5Powdery Mildew Rating: 1 = None, 9 = Severe; *Observed and rated on 6 September 2016.
*NA = Data not available.

Table 4.2. Pumpkin, Gourd/Winter Squash cultivar evaluation trial. Fruit and quality measurements for selected observation replicated cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2016.

Cultivar

Handle Thickness6

Handle

Length7

Handle

Attachment8

Fruit Length9

Fruit

Width9

Fruit

LD10

Autumn Crown 3.0 8.0 7.0 3.5 6.8 0.5
Blue Hubbard 9.0 1.0 7.0 15.9 9.9 1.6
Flame 5.0 6.0 5.0 3.0 4.2 0.7
Flatso 2.0 7.0 5.0 5.5 8.1 0.7
Full Moon NA* NA* NA* 15.9 16.7 1.0
Kakai 1.0 5.5 5.0 7.2 8.3 0.9
Koshare Yellow NA* NA* NA* NA* NA* NA*
Kratos 5.0 9.0 8.0 11.8 13.3 0.9
Marina Di Chioggia 9.0 1.0 8.0 6.4 11.4 0.6
Moonshine 2.0 6.0 7.0 7.6 9.5 0.8
New England Cheddar 1.0 6.0 4.0 8.6 12.2 0.7
One Too Many 7.0 1.0 6.5 12.2 14.5 0.8
Rhea 5.0 8.0 7.0 10.4 13.0 0.8
Spark 7.0 6.0 6.0 2.4 3.7 0.6
Sunshine 7.0 2.0 8.0 4.7 8.3 0.6
Triamble 5.0 3.0 4.0 5.8 10.2 0.6
Turks Turban NA* NA* NA* 5.6 8.7 0.6
Warty Goblin 9.0 8.0 8.0 10.7 11.6 0.9
Average 5.1 5.2 6.4 8.1 10.0 0.8

6Handle Thickness: 1 = thin, 5 = medium, 9 = thick.
7Handle Length: 1 = short, 5 = medium, 9 = long.
8Handle Attachment: 1 = poor, 5 = average, 9 = excellent.
9Fruit Measurements = Individual length and width
values (inches) were taken from 5 fruit per replication, (20 total), 10The LD ratio was determined by dividing fruit length by fruit width.