Submitted to: Pisum Genetics
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2010
Publication Date: April 21, 2010
Citation: Furman, B.J., Mcgee, R.J., Coyne, C.J. 2010. A preliminary report on green peas in Alaska. Pisum Genetics. 41:61-62
Western Regional Plant Introduction Station at Pullman, Washington and Seneca Foods Corporation in Dayton, WA collaborated with the Sub-arctic Agricultural Research Unit (SARU) to test a set of established cultivars and breeding lines of green peas under sub-arctic growing conditions. This test set was grown out at the SARU's Germplasm site in Palmer, Alaska. Seventeen lines were planted in 3 replications in randomized design for a total of 51 plots. Although wide scale pea production is unlikely due to transport cost of export, there is an increasing need for productive, early maturing, green pea cultivars for farmers' markets as well as a potential market in local grocery stores.
The Alaska growing season is very short (approximately 90-100 days) with approximately 22 hours of continuous daylight. Planting took place on June 1st in cool, damp soils. The growing season consisted of mostly warm, dry days. Supplemental irrigation was applied when needed. The field site had some issues with weeds, and plots were hand-weeded as necessary. Data were collected on days to emergence, days to 50% flowering, days to maturity, and plant height. Five plants were randomly chosen at harvest and more extensive data were taken including number of pods per plant and number of peas per 10 pods. Total fresh harvest and total pod weight were collected for each plot.
The results presented here show that there is huge potential for green pea as a fresh market crop in Alaska. All of the plots matured and were harvested. Total combined fresh weight for all plots was 293 kg. The total combined pod weight was 102 kg with an average of just under 2 kg of pods per plot. Each pod had an average of approximately 4 seeds.
We will replant those most promising lines in spring 2010 over a number of locations. In addition, we will seek cold tolerant, short season cultivars/breeding lines to test their potential in Alaska for both fall and spring planting. We are also interested in fall planted dry peas and spring planted snow peas. Alaska SARU is open to collaboration for those wishing to test such varieties.