An examination of 13 varieties that could boost the market
A study conducted out of The University of Georgia delved into the comparative yields of sweet pepper varieties produced under organic farming conditions.
George Boyhan, Cecilia McGregor, Suzanne O'Connell, Johannah Biang, and David Berle completed a replicated, randomized experiment involving 13 pepper varieties produced on land managed organically for the 6 previous years.
The results of the evaluation are in the article "A Comparison of 13 Sweet Pepper Varieties under an Organic Farming System" published in the open access journal HortTechnology, by the American Society for Horticultural Science.
With the growth of the organic market, there is interest in identifying and developing fruits and vegetables that are adapted to organic farms. Sweet peppers are no exception. They possess a measurable popularity and economic importance in the Southeastern region of the United States.
In 2018, the U.S. produced almost 42,000 acres of bell peppers, with four-fifths of this production aimed at the fresh market. Yet there has been a dearth of information on how different pepper varieties perform under organic conditions.
The researchers, in an effort to fill that information void, were mainly interested in quantifying total yield, graded yield, and early yield of the peppers in a hot, humid climate. Characteristics that would prove desirable in organic production include resistance to biotic and abiotic stressors, including diseases, weeds, and insects, as well as nutrient use efficiency and high yields with good fruit quality.
The sweet pepper varieties included in the study were (referred to here by their common names) Aristotle X3R, Blitz, California Wonder, Flavorburst, Gourmet, Gridiron, Islander, Jupiter, King Arthur, PS 09979325 X10R, Red Knight X3R, Sweet Chocolate, and Touchdown.
Twelve of the 13 varieties in this trial were typical bell peppers. Sweet Chocolate was the exception, as a small sweet pepper that is dark brown at maturity. Small sweet peppers have recently gained in popularity; however, they are usually yellow, orange, or red at maturity.
Variety choices were based on seed catalog descriptions promoting appropriateness for summer/fall production, disease resistance, and popularity among growers. Several of these entries, according to their developers, have some level of resistance to bacterial leaf spot, a prominent disease of bell peppers that may reduce marketable yield.
Pepper seedlings were planted in midsummer and harvested in September and October across two years. Organic fertilizers were mixed into the soil before the raised beds with drip tape and were covered with white over black plastic mulch. Differences in crop yield and days to harvest after transplanting were compared while pest and disease issues were monitored. Pest management decisions were based on weekly scouting, and treatment actions were based on organic pest management guidelines.
O'Connell adds, "Overall, the results were very encouraging since many varieties included in the study surpassed the average U.S. production rate of 1,341 boxes per acre. In addition, because the yield results are broken down into different categories such as size and earliness, growers can further strategize about which varieties fulfill their most important markets."
Stand-out varieties included Aristotle X3R and Gridiron for fancy and early yield as well as Sweet Chocolate for early yield.
Typically, organic produce sells for prices 10% to 100% higher than the conventional equivalent, with colored peppers being on the higher end of the spectrum. Although organic production is generally more expensive than conventional production, the researchers determined that organic bell peppers appear to be a viable endeavor.
O'Connell shared that the results of the study pointed to a number of valuable future research areas including: 1) How do hot temperatures affect pepper pollination, diseases and pests, and what are ways to manage these challenges? 2) Are consumers interested in small-fruited peppers? 3) How can peppers be incorporated into organic crop rotation plans to maintain profitability over time?
The complete article is available on the ASHS HortTechnology journal web site: https:/
Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticulture research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org.
Michael Neff | EurekAlert!
Exeter researchers discover a novel chemistry to protect our crops from fungal disease
30.03.2020 | University of Exeter
Comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture need to be better, say researchers
18.03.2020 | Chalmers University of Technology
An international team with the participation of Prof. Dr. Michael Kues from the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD at Leibniz University Hannover has developed a new method for generating quantum-entangled photons in a spectral range of light that was previously inaccessible. The discovery can make the encryption of satellite-based communications much more secure in the future.
A 15-member research team from the UK, Germany and Japan has developed a new method for generating and detecting quantum-entangled photons at a wavelength of...
Together with their colleagues from the University of Würzburg, physicists from the group of Professor Alexander Szameit at the University of Rostock have devised a “funnel” for photons. Their discovery was recently published in the renowned journal Science and holds great promise for novel ultra-sensitive detectors as well as innovative applications in telecommunications and information processing.
The quantum-optical properties of light and its interaction with matter has fascinated the Rostock professor Alexander Szameit since College.
Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumour innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.
Stem cells can generate a variety of specific tissues and are increasingly used for clinical applications such as the replacement of bone or cartilage....
An international research team led by Kiel University develops an extremely porous material made of "white graphene" for new laser light applications
With a porosity of 99.99 %, it consists practically only of air, making it one of the lightest materials in the world: Aerobornitride is the name of the...
Researchers at Graz University of Technology have developed a framework by which wireless devices with different radio technologies will be able to communicate directly with each other.
Whether networked vehicles that warn of traffic jams in real time, household appliances that can be operated remotely, "wearables" that monitor physical...
26.03.2020 | Event News
23.03.2020 | Event News
03.03.2020 | Event News
31.03.2020 | Life Sciences
31.03.2020 | Life Sciences
31.03.2020 | Medical Engineering