Processing Vegetable Year in Review

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; gcjohn@udel.edu

2011 was a “mixed bag” for processing vegetable growers in Delaware. The pea planting season started out slow with a wet and cold March. April plantings went in on-time. There was a hot period in late May and early June that cause yield losses but the second half of June was more seasonable and yields were as expected.

Processing sweet corn yields were at or above average for earlier plantings. Later crops that were silking in the second half of July lost yield potential due to excessive heat.

So far the lima bean season has been disappointing. Early planted limas had very low yields due to the record breaking heat in July. Limas planted in the first half of June have had their harvests delayed several weeks and are suffering split sets. On top of that, the excess rainfall in later August has caused yield losses due to diseases and brown beans. There is better promise for limas planted later in June and in July.

Snap beans yielded well up to July. As with last year, summer yields were low due to split sets. Summer planted snap beans for fall harvest were hurt badly by storm damage and excess rain from the hurricane and tropical storms and will have lower than expected yields.

Pickling cucumber yields for the first 2/3 of the season were excellent. Plantings for later August and September harvest were hurt by storm damage and excess rain. Late plantings also had higher levels of fruit diseases.

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