Evaluation of Bicolor and White Synergistic Sweet Corn in West Virginia

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1 Evaluation of Bicolor and White Synergistic Sweet Corn in West Virginia Lewis W. Jett, State Extension Horticulture Specialist; and David Workman, Hardy County Extension West Virginia University Introduction Sweet corn can be grown and marketed in every county in West Virginia. The demand for sweet corn is strong, and growers are encouraged to plant as early and late as possible for continuous, uninterrupted supply. In 2013 we evaluated 25 cultivars of white and bicolor synergistic sweet corn to determine superior selections for West Virginia producers. This project was done in cooperation with Penn State University and cooperating seed companies. Materials and Methods Seed from 26 cultivars was obtained from several cooperating companies for this project in 2013 (Table 1). Table 1. Synergistic sweet corn varieties evaluated in Variety Days to Maturity Description Seed Company Avalon 82 White SeedWay Silver Duchess 78 White Siegers Mattapoisett 80 White Siegers Whiteout 74 White Siegers Captivate 88 White Rupp Edelweiss 76 White Harris Moran Illusion 72 White Rupp Allure 75 Bicolor Rupp Ambrosia 1 75 Bicolor SeedWay BC Bicolor SeedWay Cuppa Joe 73 Bicolor Rupp Espresso 72 Bicolor Rupp Jackie 70 Bicolor Harris Moran Ka-Ching 78 Bicolor SeedWay Kristine 75 Bicolor Siegers Montauk 79 Bicolor Harris Moran Primus 81 Bicolor SeedWay Paydirt 70 Bicolor SeedWay Continued on next page

2 Table 1 (continued) Variety Days to Maturity Description Seed Company Profit 72 Bicolor SeedWay Providence 80 Bicolor SeedWay SC Bicolor SeedWay SV Bicolor SeedWay Synergy 76 Bicolor Siegers Temptation 1 72 Bicolor Siegers Temptation II 1 72 Bicolor Seminis 1 SE control variety. The site for the evaluation was the West Virginia University Reymann Memorial Farm near Wardensville, WV (39.1 N lat.). Sweet corn was direct seeded on June 20, 2013, with 8 inches between plants within the row and rows on 38-inch centers. Each plot was approximately 35 feet long with 50 seeds per plot, and the plots arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Prior to seeding, 125 lbs. N/acre was applied as and poultry litter. Weeds were controlled with preemergence application of atrazine and s-metolachlor (Bicep II Magnum ) herbicide. At silking, one application of Mustang Max insecticide was applied for control of corn earworm. No supplemental irrigation was applied since rainfall was adequate throughout the growing season. Harvest commenced on September 3, Ears from 15 plants were hand harvested when all the plants for the specific variety reached maturity. A rating for ease of harvest was recorded, and height of the ear from the ground was measured. In addition, ear quality including brix (soluble solids), ear length, diameter, and number or rows of kernel were recorded. Husk appearance, tip cover, and tip fill were also rated.

3 Results Table 2. Ear quality measurements from sweet corn varieties. Variety Ear Height (in.) Ear Length (in.) Husk Appearance z Tip Fill y Tip Cover x Avalon Captivate Edelweiss Illusion Mattapoisett Silver Duchess Whiteout Allure Ambrosia BC Cuppa Joe Espresso Jackie Ka-Ching Kristine Montauk Primus Paydirt Profit Providence SC SV Synergy Temptation Temptation II Mean Standard error z 1-5 visual scale: 5=good; 1=poor. y 1-5 rating scale: 1=exposed ear tip. 2=husk cover less than 0.75 in. past ear tip. 3= in. 4= in. 5=greater than 2 in. x 1-5 rating: 5=kernels filled to tip of ear. 4=greater than 0.5 in. unfilled. 3=1-1.5 in. 2=1.6-2in. 1=greater than 2 inches.

4 Table 3. Harvest variables and marketable yield of sweet corn varieties. Variety Marketable Yield lbs./15 No./15plants Plants Picking Ease z Insect Damage (%) Soluble Solids (%) Avalon Captivate Edelweiss Illusion Mattapoisett Silver Duchess Whiteout Allure Ambrosia BC Cuppa Joe Espresso Jackie n/a Ka-Ching Kristine Montauk Primus Paydirt Profit Providence SC SV Synergy Temptation Temptation II Mean Standard error z 5= easy, 1=difficult. Synergistic sweet corn kernels are approximately 75% sugar enhanced and 25% supersweet. Two harvests were made beginning September 3 and again on September 10, The growing degree day (GDD) accumulation from June 20 to September 4 was 1,690. Temptation is the standard se sweet corn grown by many growers. The majority of varieties were easier to harvest than Temptation. The ear height and length were also equal or slightly larger than Temptation.

5 Temptation II has resistance to insects and herbicides such as glyphosate. Temptation II had a significantly higher marketable yield than Temptation with comparable quality. Most varieties had a significantly higher yield than Temptation (Table 3). Mattapoisett was the highest yielding white synergistic variety evaluated followed closely by Avalon and Captivate (Table 3). Mattapoisett was easy to hand harvest and produced a relatively large ear on a tall stalk. Allure, BC0805, Ka-Ching, Primus, Montauk, and Providence were the bicolor varieties with highest yield and marketable quality (Tables 2 and 3). With the exception of Allure, these varieties had low insect infestation. BC0805 has insect resistance and was relatively easy to hand-harvest. Providence, Ka-Ching, and Avalon had significantly longer ears than Temptation. Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank the West Virginia University Reymann Memorial Farm Staff for their assistance with this project. Thanks also to Elsa Sanchez, Penn State University, for assistance with the project.

6 Edelweiss Matapoisett Captivate Primus Ka-Ching BC0805 Figure 1. Varieties of synergistic white and bicolor sweet corn with excellent yield and quality.

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