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Two New Peas for Freezers--at Home and the Supermarket / December 7, 1998 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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Two New Peas for Freezers--at Home and the Supermarket

By Hank Becker
December 7, 1998

Home gardeners and the frozen food industry have two new high-yielding pinkeye-type southern peas.

Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service developed Charleston Greenpack for the frozen food industry and Petite-N-Green for home gardeners. Dry peas of both new varieties have the green color of fresh peas.

Both varieties are adapted to the southeast for production during spring, summer and fall seasons. The peas can be harvested as fresh peas or for processing. Yields are comparable to the leading pinkeye-type cultivars. When harvested as dry peas and stored, they make an attractive dry pack.

Seeds of Charleston Greenpack are already being marketed to commercial growers. Petite-N-Green should be available to home gardeners by spring of 2000.

Plants of both varieties are low and bushy. Dry pods of Charleston Greenpack produce 14 peas, maturing in 62 to 69 days. The dry peas are light olive, have a smooth seed coat, and are small--100 weigh about 1/2 ounce.

Petite-N-Green pods set their 14 peas in 70 to 76 days. Dry peas have color and seed coat similar to Charleston Greenpack but are smaller: 100 weigh about 1/3 ounce.

ARS scientists in Charleston, S.C., developed the new peas under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Western Seed Multiplication, Inc., Oglethorpe, Ga. Western Seed grew Charleston Greenpack on Georgia and Florida farms to multiply seed and evaluate performance. It performed well in all tests and showed excellent resistance to blackeye cowpea mosaic virus. Western Seed has an exclusive license to market Charleston Greenpack and right of first refusal to an exclusive license to market Petite-N-Green.

Breeder’s seed will be maintained by ARS' U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, S.C. Genetic material for developing new cultivars is available through the National Plant Germplasm System maintained by ARS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific agency.

Scientific contact: Richard L. Fery, ARS U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, S.C., phone (843) 556-0840, fax (843) 763-7013,

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