Evaluation of the insect resistance of interspecific squash hybrids

2012 Annual Report for FNE11-709

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2011: $4,022.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: Northeast
State: Connecticut
Project Leader:
Bryan Connolly
Green Dragon Farm

Evaluation of the insect resistance of interspecific squash hybrids


Project Goals

This project will evaluate the insect resistance of hybrid hubbard/kabocha (maxima) x butternut squashes. Maxima squashes are known for their excellent table and ornamental qualities but they are extremely susceptible to both striped cucumber beetle and squash vine borer. Conversely, butternut squashes have good table quality and low ornamental value but excellent insect resistance. We would like to evaluate the little known Japanese maxima x butternut hybrid squash ‘Tetsukabuto’ and compare it to the parental species. Additionally, we will create new hybrids attempting to capture the table and ornamental qualities of maxima types and combine them with the insect resistance of the butternut squashes.

In 2012 3 Cucurbita moschata, 2 C. maxima, and 4 interspecific C. maxima x moschata hybrid squash varieties were grown as planned. Squash vine borer evaluations were carried out. Squash were harvested, counted, and weighed.

Data analysis and outreach will occur in Jan-Feb 2013.

Objectives/Performance Targets


2012 Results

The project in 2012, again, essentially went according to plan; squash were grown and assessed for insect resistance, and yield measured. This year the four interspecific cultivars: Tetsukabuto, Triunfo, Greenstone and Buttercup x butternut appeared more resistance to squash vine borer than the maxima cultivars, for a second year blue hubbard appeared to be the most susceptible of all squash types grown to insect pests. Though in 2012 it seems the hybrids may not have stood up quite as well to the insects as did the moschata cultivars. Seeds we produced of buttercup (maxima) x butternut (moschata) in 2011 were added to the trial this year, and did produce fruit. A drier summer this year may have reduced disease pressure, and some late season nitrogen seems to have helped boost yields.

The four interspecific cultivars, Tetsukabuto, Triunfo, Greenstone, and Buttercup x butternut yielded well and could have a positive impact on our squash sales. They also have high table quality and have been keeping well in storage. We believe this hybrid has good potential for use in the Northeast and we have been thinking of new combinations of maxima x moschata to create and trial.

No major changes have occurred in our operation.

A drier summer, but with some rain, seems to have reduced fungal disease in our field this year. Squash vine borer pressure was higher in 2012.

Robert Durgy Farm Manager Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Griswold Research Center 190 Sheldon Rd. Griswold, CT 06351 860-376-0365 robert.durgy@ct.gov
Rob is the technical adviser for the project.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes


Robert Durgy

Farm Manager
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
190 Sheldon Rd.
Griswold, CT 06351
Office Phone: 8603760365