Challenging Pea Season, Requesting Information on Pea Varieties Affected with Powdery Mildew

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

As pea harvest enters the last 2 weeks, reports are that yields are down significantly this year. Average yields are below 3000 lbs. in many fields. While weather variability has been a factor, high incidence of powdery mildew has been the main cause leading to reduced yields. Powdery mildew has also caused wider variability in crop maturity, making harvest decisions difficult, and has reduced pea quality.

Many pea varieties have powdery mildew resistance. The UD vegetable program is surveying processors and growers to see what varieties were affected and what varieties did not have powdery mildew. This information will be matched to seed company listings for powdery mildew resistance. We hope to have a completed list for industry to use in decisions for 2018 variety selections.

There also have been shifts in the powdery mildew pathogens in other regions and this will need to be investigated on Delmarva.

Information requested for all pea varieties planted is the following: Variety, Planting Date, Harvest Date, Presence of Powdery Mildew, and if present, When First Observed, Field Yield, and Estimated Yield Reduction. Please email this information to Gordon Johnson ( and Emmalea Ernest (