Butternut Squash Cultivar Evaluation

Posted: March 13, 2012

To provide growers with information for successful, region-specific cultivar selection, in 2010-11 we evaluated several types of squash cultivars in a conventional system across the state.

Evaluations were located in central Pennsylvania at the Russell E. Larson Research and Education Center in Rock Springs, in eastern Pennsylvania at the Southeast Research and Extension Center in Landisville and in western Pennsylvania at Beinlich Farms in 2010 and Harvest Valley Farms in 2011. Additionally, cultivars were evaluated in an organic system at the Russell E. Larson Research and Education Center, Rock Springs. Last month the evaluation of acorn cultivars was presented; this month contains results and recommendations from the butternut squash.

For details on varieties included and evaluation set up please see research report: Butternut Squash Cultivar Evaluation 2010-2011.

Recommendations include:
Organic System
• In an organic system, 'JWS 6823', 'Betternut 401' and 'Metro' are recommended as they performed better than or as well as 'Waltham Butternut'.

Conventional System
• 'Atlas' produced very large fruit and was thought to be more suited for wholesale markets. 'JWS 6823', 'Betternut 401', 'Bugle', 'Metro', 'Quantum' and 'Betternut 1744' performed better than or as well as 'Waltham Butternut' over two evaluation years or at three locations in a single year. These cultivars are recommended. 'Victory', 'Frisco' and 'Avalon' also performed well. However, they were only evaluated in a single year at a single location. These cultivars should be evaluated for an additional year to verify repeatability of these results.

Elsa Sánchez, Mike Orzolek, Tim Elkner, Tom Butzler, Steve Bogash, Lee Stivers and Eric Oesterling, Penn State Extension