Field-Grown Slicing Cucumber Variety Trials

Cucumber varieties in this program are being evaluated for marketable yield, market ability and flavor.

Consumers today increasingly demand high quality, full flavored produce. In addition, the single most important trend in produce is the demand for locally produced fruits and vegetables. While consumers vary in their definition of “locally produced” there is no doubt that good flavor , freshness and shelf life are important characteristics that comes in their package of expectations. Starting in 2012, the researcher has held cucumber variety trials at the Penn State Southeast Research and Extension Center (SEAREC). The purpose of this program has been to screen new varieties by comparing them to current industry standards. Funding for this program has been provided by the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA) through their Marketing Research Program.

Cucumber varieties in this program are being evaluated for marketable yield, market ability and flavor. Since several of the varieties in this program were determined to be above average in flavor, overall quality and yield, and breeding companies have continued to release new varieties, this program is continuing into its 2nd season with several new varieties.

Locally produced cucumbers are one of the crops most in demand by consumers. Many Pennsylvania growers have met this demand and sell field-grown cucumbers to Giant Foods, Wegman’s, and other major chains. The potential to expand those markets by producing cucumbers that meet the specific requirements from these buyers for field-grown season potentially represents several million dollars. The U.S. wholesale market for fresh cucumbers exceeded 480 million dollars on 2012.

A tasting will be held at the PVGA field day at SEAREC on August 6, 2013.
About the Researcher:
Steve Bogash is currently a Horticulture Educator serving Pennsylvania out of the Franklin County office in Chambersburg. He covers vegetables, small fruit, cut flowers, greenhouse vegetables, and specialty marketing as his primary areas of responsibility. Tomatoes, bell peppers, container vegetable, cucumbers, and other specialty crops are regular items in the trial gardens under Steve’s management.   Since 2008, Steve has been doing extensive trials on container-grown vegetables in addition to his high tunnel and field tomato evaluation program started in 2000. Evaluating more than 300 varieties of tomatoes for flavor, appearance, disease resistance and general usability has made Steve very opinionated when it comes to tomato varieties. Steve lives with his wife, Roberta and son, Joe in Newville, PA and is looking to create a vineyard and greenhouse business as a post-retirement form of entertainment.

Contact Information:
Phone:  717-263-9226