208 Evaluation of Vegetable Soybean Cultivars from a Range of Maturity Groups for Edamame Production in California

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  • 1 Crop Science Dept. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
  • | 2 University of California Cooperative Extension, 624 West Foster Rd., Santa Maria, CA 93455

Coastal California vegetable growers produce a wide range of specialty crops for diverse domestic and export markets. Vegetable-type soybean (Glycine max L.) cultivars are grown and consumed fresh in many parts of the world, but particularly in Japan and Asia, where they are known as edamame. Traditional soybean maturity group classification may not be applicable for fresh-market edamame, particularly in mild coastal California growing conditions. We evaluated a total of 55 vegetable soybean cultivars during the 1998 growing season from maturity groups ranging from group 00 to group VI. Replicated field plots were planted on 30-31 May 1998 in San Luis Obispo, Calif. (lat. 35.12°N.). Cultivars from maturity Groups 00 and I began producing on 4 Sept., followed in 7 to 10 days by maturity Group II and III, and by harvest of maturity Group III and IV cultivars on 19 Sept. Harvest of Group IV cultivars continued until 24 Oct. Percent marketable (two- and three-seeded) pods ranged from 86% to 17% among the cultivars. Marketable yields ranged more than 15-fold, with cultivars such as `Sapporo Midori', a group 00 cultivar popular in Japan, producing 348 g/plant, to cultivars such as `Early Hakucho' and `Envy' producing 20 and 5 g plant, respectively.

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