Date of this Version
Four bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) cultivars were evaluated for yield (total weight of marketable fruit) performance over 41 environments as combinations of 3 years, three planting dates, and seven locations across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Cultural practices, including trickle irrigation and double rows planted on black plastic-covered beds, were uniform across all environments, except for fertilization, which was adjusted at each location based on soil tests. Comparing production over 3 years between the mountain location and the Coastal Plain location in North Carolina, yields were lower on the Coastal Plain. Spring plantings provided higher yields than summer plantings at both locations. Yield increases were obtained from hybrid cultivars over that of the open-pollinated (OP) standard ['Keystone Resistant Giant #3' (KRG #3)] in the summer planting in the mountains compared to the Tidewater Coastal Plain. Across the three-state region, hybrid cultivar yields were higher than those of the OP cultivar for the second spring planting date in 1986 and 1987. Although the hybrid yields were higher than that of the OP standard, the hybrid 'Skipper' yielded less than the other hybrids ('Gator Belle' and 'Hybelle'). 'Gator Belle' generally out-yielded 'Hybelle' at all locations, except in Fletcher, N.C. This difference may be related to the relative sensitivity of these two cultivars to temperature extremes, rather than soil or geographic factors, because there was a tendency for 'Hybelle' yields to exceed 'Gator Belle' in the earliest planting date. Based on the reliability index, the chance of outperforming KRG #3 (the standard) was 85% for 'Hybelle', 80% for 'Gator Belle', but only 67% for 'Skipper'.