Oakes Irrigation Research Site
Carrington Research Extension Center * North Dakota State University
P.O. Box 531, Oakes, ND 58474-0531, Voice: (701) 742-2189, FAX: (701) 742-2700, email: rgreenla@ndsuext.nodak.edu

Richard Greenland, Leonard Besemann, and Heidi Kerlin

Winter squash grow well in North Dakota. A small, but steady, market is available within the state. There are also markets outside the state, especially if squash is stored, then shipped during the winter.

Result summary

Table 49. Winter squash yields, fruit characteristics, etc.


Soil: Hecla sandy loam and Embden sandy loam; pH=6.8; 2.8% organic matter; soil-P was high; soil-K was very high; soil-S was very low.
Previous crop: 1997 - field corn; 1996 - pepper; 1995 - cabbage.
Seedbed preparation: Disked on 31 October 1997. Multiweeded (field cultivated) twice on April 13 to smooth seedbed. Drilled barley cover crop on April 14 (1 bu/acre, 6-inch rows) and later killed the barley with Gramoxone.
Planting: Seeds planted 1 ft apart in rows 7 ft apart on June 10. On July 18 thinned to an in-row spacing of one plant every 3 ft.
Plots: Plots were 20 ft long by 6 ft (one row) wide.
Fertilizer: On April 13, broadcast 14 lbs N/acre and 70 lbs P2O5/acre as 10-50-0, 16 lbs N/acre and 19 lbs S/acre as 21-0-0-24, and 94 lbs K20/acre as 0-0-60. Side dressed 66 and 40 lbs N/acre as urea on June 24 and July 24, respectively.
Irrigation: Underground drip irrigation as needed.
Pest control: Sprayed Gramoxone + a nonionic surfactant (3 pt/acre + 1 pt/100 gal on May 20) to kill the barley cover crop and weeds. Weeds were also controlled by rototilling and hand weeding. Sprayed Thiodan (2 qt/acre on June 16), Sevin (1 qt/acre on June 26 and July 23), Asana (8 oz/acre on July 1 and July 15), and Ambush (8 oz/acre on July 7) to control cucumber beetles. Sprayed Benlate (2 lb/acre on July 7 and July 23), and Maneb (1.5 lbs/acre on July 14 and July 28) to control disease.
Harvest: Hand harvested September 24.


Acorn squash had the highest US #1 yield, except for Swan White Acorn that had very poor germination. Early acorn was larger than the other acorn squash. Because of the warm summer, the butternut squash, Avalon, did okay. Most years butternut squash have trouble maturing on time. The buttercup/kabocha type squash did poorly this year. They seem to do better in cooler years.

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Table 49. Yields, etc. for the Oakes Irrigation Research Site 1998 winter squash variety performance trial.
Variety Seed source Squash type Outside color Inside color Early stand Fruit size Number of fruit Yield
US # 1 total US # 1 total
lbs/fruit -- 1000s/acre -- -- tons/acre --
Autumn Cup ST buttercup§ green orange 13.8 4.0 bc 3.3 cd 10.0 de 6.6 c 15.4 bc
Avalon HL butternut tan orange 11.3 5.0 a 3.9 cd 10.4 de 10.3 b 21.3 a
Early Acorn ST acorn green light orange 11.0 3.0 d 9.6 b 14.6 c 14.6 a 20.8 a
Heart of Gold RG acorn green/white light orange 9.5 1.8 e 14.8 a 25.7 a 13.5 ab 21.6 a
Hokkori JS kabocha green dark orange 13.5 3.8 c 1.7 d 7.1 e 3.5 c 10.1 d
JWS 6303 JS kabocha green dark orange 9.5 4.4 b 2.7 cd 9.0 de 5.9 c 13.7 cd
Mesa Queen HL acorn green light orange 13.5 2.0 e 12.0 b 20.3 b 11.8 ab 18.6 ab
RWS 5712 RG acorn green light orange 12.3 1.7 e 16.3 a 26.4 a 13.2 ab 20.0 a
Swan White Acorn ST acorn white white 1.0 1.9 e 5.6 c 12.2 cd 5.6 c 10.2 d
LSD (0.05) 3.4
CV(%) 22 9 24 16 24 16

See appendix A for seed source codes.

Stand counts taken on June 3. The value is the average number of squash plants per plot (17 feet). Maximum possible was 17. Squash was later thinned to six squash per plot or about one plant every three feet.

§This squash looked like a cross between buttercup and kabocha. The color was more like a kabocha, but most squash had square shoulders like a buttercup. Many of the squash had a very small button on the bottom.

Values in each of these columns followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 0.05 level.

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