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2 ) 2 GULF COAST RESEARCH & EDUCATION CENTER
S, -." IFAS, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
5007-60th Street East
.. Bradenton, FL 34203
Bradenton GCREC Research Report BRA1986-12 June 1986
SNOWPEA VARIETY TRIAL
D. H. Iaynard and T. K. Howel
Commercial production of snowpeas (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon) in Florida is
very limited at the present time. However, it appears that there is potential
for more production based on consumer interest and consumption. A recent profile
of fresh produce consumers showed that about 55% of the respondents have tried
snowpeas and another 27% had heard of them (1).
The principal source for snowpeas in Florida is Central America and California at
the present time. In preliminary trials at Bradenton (3) and Gainesville (2) in
1985, yields were comparable to those reported in California (5). Local
production is limited because of a .lack of information pn.varieties and the
expectation by growers that labor, requirements for hardest of the crop may be.
excessive. The purpose of this study was to provide answers to these questions.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Nine snowpea entries were replicated 4 times in 15-ft lonZ plots, and arranged in
a randomized complete-block design. The EauGallie fine sand soil wias prepared in
January 1986 by incorporation of. 0.5-2.0-0.5'lb. -P205-X20 per 100 linear bed
feet (lbf). The superphosphate used contained 80 lb/tonwainor:elements as F503
oxide. Additional fertilizer ~as applied in a single surface band in the bed
center at 2-0-2 lb :i-P235-K20 per 100 lbf. The 30 in. wide,3 in. high black
polyethylene-mulched beds were.,spcaed on 4.5 ft centers with seepage irrigation
ditches every 7 beds.' .
Seed holes were punched in the polyethylene mulch in double rows, spaced 6 in. on
either side of the center of the bed with 2 in. in-row spacing. Two seeds per
plant hole were planted on February 6, 1906. After emergence, the plants were
thinned to attain a complete stand at 2 in. in-row spacing.
Plants were staked with tomato stakes 3 weeks after planting and tied using a
tomato tie system as necessary to maintain the plants in a vertical position.
Sulfur was applied once for powdery mildew control without much visible effect on
the incidence of the disease. An evaluation of powdery mildew tolerance was made
1Professor of Vegetable Crops, and Biological Administrator, respectively.
on April 18, 1986.
Harvesting began on March 27 and continued through April 25, 1936 on a thrice
weekly schedule. Estimates of the time required for harvesting were made for
each of the 13 harvests. Samples of 10 pods per plot were taken for the
measurement of pod length and width. Color and straightness of pod were judged
by a subjective rating, and pod bearing habit (pods per cluster) was estimated
near midseason. Vine heights, taken at the end of harvest for each variety, were
measured 5 times in each replication. Yields are expressed in 10-lb cartons, the
most commonly used commercial container.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Weather information for the evaluation period from February 6 through April 25 is
given in Table 1. Only minor deviations from the 30-year average temperature and
rainfall data were recorded (4).
Horticultural characteristics of 8 snowpea varieties, 1 variety was duplicated
from 2 sources, for a total of 9 entries are summarized in Table 2.
maturity from planting to first harvest ranged from 49 days for 'Dwarf White
Sugar' to 64 days for 'Dwarf Gray Sugar'. Good tolerance to powdery mildew was
recorded for 'Snowflake," 'Oregon Sugar Pod II,' and Oregon Sugar Pod' whereas
the other varieties had more than 50% of the plant showing symptoms of mildew.
Varieties with good tolerance to mildew were among the highest yielding in this
trial. Vine height ranged from about 42 in. for 'Blizzard,' Oregon Sugar Pod,'
'Snowflake,' and 'Oregon Sugar Pod II' to over 60 in. for 'Helting Sugar' and
'Mammoth Melting Sugar'. Intermediate vine heights were recorded for 'Dwarf
White Sugar' and 'Dwarf Gray Sugar'. The tallest varieties outgrew the trellis
to the point where the plants fell over which made harvest difficult.
'Oregon Sugar Pod II,' 'Oregon Sugar Pod,' 'Snowflake,' and 'Blizzard' bore
mostly double pods whereas the other varieties bore single or mostly single pods.
There was a substantial relationship between the double-pod bearing habit and
high yields. Pod length ranged from 2.7 in. for 'Dwarf Gray Sugar' to 3.5 in.
for 'Mammoth Melting Sugar' (Sunseeds). Most varieties had pod widths of about
0.75 in.; exceptions were 'Dwarf White Sugar,' 'Blizzard,' and 'Dwarf White
Sugar' whose pods were about 0.5 in. 'Oregon Sugar Pod II,' 'Snowflake,' and
'Dwarf Gray Sugar' had dark green pods; color of the other varieties ranged from
light to medium-green. 'Mammoth Melting Sugar' produced.curved pods whereas
straight pods were produced by 'Oregon Sugar Pod' and 'Oregon Sugar Pod II';
other varieties produced pods that were somewhat curved.
Total yields and percentage harvested each week are shown in Table 3. Total
yields ranged from 231 to 1015 10-lb cartons per acre. 'Oregon Sugar Pod II' and
'Oregon Sugar Pod' were the highest yielding varieties in 1936, and produced
slightly higher yields than in 1985 when they were also the highest yielding
varieties. As in 1985, the 1936 yields compare favorably with those reported in
To provide an estimate of harvesting costs, the time required to harvest the
plots each day was recorded and expanded to 1 acre. The minimum wage was used to
determine the harvest labor cost of $5,145/A. The per carton harvest labor cost
ranged from $22.27 for 'Dwarf Gray Sugar', the lowest yielding variety, to $5.06
for 'Oregon Sugar Pod II', the highest yielding variety. With field-packing the
estimated total harvest cost might be about $6.00 per carton. Preharvest costs
of vegetable crops are commonly about 50% of total costs. Therefore, the total
cost of production and harvest would be about $12.00 per carton or $1.20 per
In our study, an estimated-1470 hours were required to harvest 1 acre of snowpeas
with a yield of-about 600 10-lb cartons averaged over all entries as compared to
only 560 hours in California in 1932 with a yield of 700 10-lb cartons (5).
Thus, for a yield of 1000 cartons, the total per carton cost was $6.25 in
California as compared to our estimated total cost of $12.00 per carton. Our
method of estimation may have resulted in higher harvesting costs than in a
commercial situation since plot harvests are generally more time consuming.
Based on yield, concentration of maturity, vine height, and mildew tolerance,
'Oregon Sugar Pod II' and 'Oregon Sugar Pod' are the most likely varieties for
commercial production in Florida.
Growers considering snowpea production should establish a market prior to
planting and have adequate labor for tying and at least thrice weekly harvests.
1. Campbell, P. 1985. Profile of the fresh consumer. Focus, The Packer.
Shawnee Hission, KS.
2. Hochmuth, G. J., D. I. iaynard, and T. K. IWowe. 1935. Snowpea and snap pea
cultivar, fertilizer, and spacing studies. Univ. of Fla. Veg. Crops Res.
3. Howe, T. K. and D. N. Maynard. 1985. Snap and snow pea variety trial,
Spring 1985. Univ. of Fla. GCREC Res. Rept. BRA1905-22.
4. Stanley, C. D. 1986. Temperature and rainfall report for 1985. Univ. of
Fla. GCREC Res. Rept. BRA1986-10.
5. Valenzuela, L. H. 1933. Edible pod pea production in California. Calif.
Coop. Ext. Serv. Leaf. 21328.
Table 1. iean temperature and rainfall at the Gulf .Coast Research and Education
Center from FebrUary 6 to April 25, 1986.
Average Daily Temperature (OF)
1936 30 yr. av2. Rainfall (inches)
1ionth (date) iax. iin. I ax. iin. 1906 30-year avg.
February (6-28) 77.2 54.7 79 51 1.93 3.27
March 76.7 53.8 77 55 4.23 3.15
April (1-25) 81.0 54.5 62 60 0.33 1.65
Table 2. Horticultural characteristics of snowpea varieties. Spring 1986.
First Mildew Vine Pod Characteristics
harvest tolerance height Bearing Length Width Color Straightness
Variety Source (days) (0-4)z (in.) habitY (in.) (in.) (1-5)x (1-5)w
Oregon Sugar Pod II Sunseeds 60 1.3 43.3 ev lD 3.4 ab 0.80 a 5 5
Oregon Sugar Pod Abbott Cobb 60 2.3 41.7 e IHD 3.3.ab 0.78 ab 4 5
Dwarf Uhite Sugar Agway 49 4.0 51.6 d MS 2.4 d 0.52 c 1 4
Snowflake Johnny's 62 0.8 42.3 e IM 3.3 ab 0.73 b 5 2
Blizzard Sunseeds 60 4.0 41.6 e ID. 3.1 b 0.53 c 2 4
Mammoth lilting Sugar Burpee 60 4.0 62.4 ab uS 3.3 ab 0.77 ab 3 1
Mammoth Melting Sugar Sunseeds 62 4.0 64.8 a S 3.5 a 0.78 ab 2 1
Melting Sugar Ferry Horse 32 4.0 60.3 bc MS 3.4 ab 0.76 ab 3 3
Dwarf Gray Sugar Burpee 64 3.8 56.6 c HS 2.7 c 0.54 c 5 3
z0 = no mildew; 1 =-1-102; 2 : 11-25%; 3 = 26-50%; 4 = 50% of the- plant
YS = single; MS = mostly single; iD = mostly double.
Xi- .light green to 5 (dark green)
W" = most curved to 5 (straight)
VMean separation in columns by Duncan's Hultiple Range Test, 5% level.
Table 3. Yield and percentage of marketable yield of snowpea varieties by week of harvest. Spring 1986.
Yield Harvest/weekY (%)
Oregon Sugar Pod II --- 1015
Oregon Sugar Pod 952
Dwarf White Sugar 775
mammoth 1ielting Sugar (B) 458
iarmmoth Helting Sugar (S) 359
Melting Sugar 323
Dwarf Gray Sugar 231
ZAcre = 9530 lbf
YWeek 1 = iarch 23-29; Ieek 2 = !arch 30-April 5; "Jeek 3 = April 6-12; Week 4 = April 13-19.; Week 5 =
April 20-26. Small discrepancies in percentages for summation of all harvests to 100% is due to rounding
xi!ean separation in columns by Duncan's IWultiple Range Test, 5% level.