Winter Squash Evaluation and Improvement for Downy Mildew Resistance and Fruit Quality

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2016: $14,862.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2017
Grant Recipient: Common Wealth Seed Growers
Region: Southern
State: Virginia
Principal Investigator:
Edmund Frost
Common Wealth Seed Growers / Twin Oaks Seed Farm


  • Vegetables: cucurbits


  • Production Systems: general crop production

    Proposal summary:

    The purpose of this project is to evaluate winter squash for productivity, eating quality, keeping quality, downy mildew resistance and general adaptation to Virginia growing conditions. We are conducting a variety trial of 20 plus varieties, as well as four selection projects with seedstocks previously identified as standouts in the above categories (see SARE Award Number FS13-273, 'Identifying and marketing Quality Open-Pollinated and Organic Cucurbit Seedstocks for Virginia'). This includes 'Seminole Pumpkin,' 'Chinese Tropical Pumpkin,' 'Cuban Neck Pumpkin,' and F5 seeds from a cross of 'Seminole Pumpkin' and 'Waltham Butternut.'

    Project objectives from proposal:

    We are compiling data that includes downy mildew foliage ratings, yields, and eating quality as measured by dry matter, brix and flavor tests.

    In the selection projects, this data will point to standout selections of 'Seminole Pumpkin,' 'Chinese Tropical Pumpkin,' 'Cuban Neck Pumpkin,' and 'Seminole-Waltham F5,' which can be used in future breeding and selection work. The data will also document the degree of variation existing within these seedstocks.

    In the variety trial, the data will provide a comparison of performance and suitability for over 20 winter squash varieties and seedstocks. 

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.