New Butternut varieties show promise for winter and early production in the Cape

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Lika (MO1004) and Carla were planted on 6 June 2023 in Noordoewer, on the banks of the Orange River and were harvested on 10 October. During June and July, the plants were covered with frost netting to prevent frost damage by creating a more suitable microclimate for growth and development. Lika’s plant growth and vigour was much stronger than the opposition varieties and the fruits also showed exceptionally good uniformity of both shape and size. Lika produced large fruit ideal for processing and with the desired characteristics such as a small seed cavity, long thick fruit necks and excellent internal flesh quality. It is also worth noting that both Carla and Lika showed stronger resistance to Powdery

Mildew than standard varieties. The average fruit weight of Lika for this early season production was 1.8kg (typically 2.4kg for summer harvest). Carla fruit size was 1.1Kg in this instance. Both varieties have the potential for high yields and should be considered when growers are looking for varieties that produce high quality fruits with high level of uniformity. Carla is recommended for summer and autumn harvest plantings, whereas Lika is recommended for winter and spring harvest plantings.