Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/11/2006
Publication Date: 7/23/2007
Citation: Fery, R.L., Buckley, B., Marsh, D.B. 2007. 'WhipperSnapper', a Dual-purpose Southernpea for the Production of Both Snaps and Fresh-shell Peas. HortScience 42:1297-1298.
Interpretive Summary: Home gardeners and farmers in the southern United States have traditionally grown southernpeas to produce both fresh-shell peas and immature, fresh pods or snaps. American growers do not presently have access to a single variety that is ideally suited for both uses. In 1988, a plant breeding effort was initiated to incorporate genes conditioning superior yield and seed characteristics of Asian “vegetable cowpeas” into American snap-type southernpeas. This effort resulted in the 13 January 2006 release of the variety WhipperSnapper. WhipperSnapper is suited for use as a dual-purpose variety that can be used to produce both snaps and fresh-shell peas. The total WhipperSnapper yield of snaps can be as much as 62% greater than the total snap yield of the snap-type variety Bettersnap; pea yield can be as much as 69% greater. The quality of WhipperSnapper seed is excellent and much superior to that of Bettersnap. WhipperSnapper can be used by home gardeners and market gardeners to produce abundant quantities of snaps and fresh-shell peas during seasons too hot for successful culture of such table legumes as snap beans. WhipperSnapper also has the potential for use as a mechanically-harvested source of snaps for use by food processors in mixed packs of peas and snaps.
Technical Abstract: The USDA, Louisiana State University, and Lincoln University have released a new southernpea cultivar named WhipperSnapper. The new cultivar is the product of a plant breeding effort to incorporate genes conditioning superior yield and seed characteristics of Asian “vegetable cowpeas” into American snap-type southernpeas. The new cultivar was developed for use by home gardeners and market gardeners as a dual-purpose cultivar that can be used to produce both fresh-shell peas and immature, fresh pods or snaps. Typical ready-to-harvest WhipperSnapper snaps are green colored, 6.4 mm in diameter, 7.6 mm in height, and 24 cm long; the pods are slightly curved at the attachment end. Typical mature-green pods suitable for fresh-shell harvest exhibit an attractive yellow color, are 25 cm long, and contain 14 peas. Fresh peas are cream-colored, kidney-shaped, and weigh 24.5 g per 100 peas. Dry pods exhibit a light straw color, and the dry peas have a smooth seed coat. The quality of WhipperSnapper seed is excellent. In replicated field trials, WhipperSnapper produced significantly greater yields of both snaps and peas than the snap-type cultivar Bettersnap. WhipperSnapper has potential for use as a mechanically-harvested sources of snaps for use by food processors in mixed packs of peas and snaps.