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Peas and Snow Peas

Pests & Diseases
A number of pests can cause damage to pea plants including aphids, bean flies, beetles, bollworms, loopers, midges, nematodes, pod borers, mites, thrips, weevils, and various types of worms.

Pests can suck nutrients from plants and cause damage to stems, blossoms, and pods throughout the growing season. Stink bugs damage seeds and pods and also transmit yeast-spot disease.

Grey and white molds, blight, fusarium wilt, and mosaic viruses can wreak havoc with young peas, either killing the plants or causing extensive damage inside pods or on leaves and stems with white, yellow or brown patches or sunken spots.

Downy mildew can attack if night temperatures fall or there is excessive moisture in the air. Lower leaf surfaces can become covered with fluffy whitish-grey fungal patches, which can darken with age; upper leaves have symptoms similar to wilt with yellow or brown areas and/or sunken spots.

Several rot (bacterial soft, watery soft, and root) and spot (chocolate) fungi can spread quickly and decimate plants. Early symptoms include weakened, discolored stems and roots. Later stages stunt growth, affecting pods and seed size (irregular or shriveled), quantity (few to no seeds), and coloring (tan to yellowing).


Storage & Packing
Peas (especially snow peas) are highly perishable and should be cooled after harvest. Waxed cartons or clamshells are often better than plastic bags due to condensation. Regardless of packaging, snow peas can lose quality rather quickly, in as little as 7 days.

Optimum storage temperature for green peas is 32 to 34°F with 90 to 98% relative humidity, and 33 to 35°F with 50% relative humidity for snow peas. If temperatures get too warm, sugar will convert to starch.

Green peas are vulnerable to chilling and freezing injury; snow peas are sensitive to water, ice, and freezing injury. If exposed to low temperatures, pods will lead to a water-soaked appearance, typically followed by bacterial soft rot.

Additionally, steer clear of ethylene-producing commodities for green peas, though snow peas are only moderately affected by ethylene.

References: Integrated Pest Management North Carolina, Oregon State University, Peas.com, Purdue University, UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center, University of Illinois Extension, University of Kentucky Extension, Washington State University Extension.

GRADES & GOOD ARRIVAL

Grades for fresh green and snap peas include U.S. No. 1 and U.S. Fancy. For U.S. No. 1, pods shall have similar varietal characteristics, not overmature, excessively small, badly misshapen, or watersoaked, and fairly well filled, fresh, firm, free from decay and damage (caused by black calyxes, freezing, splitting, hail, dirt, leaves, or other foreign matter, mildew or other diseases, insects, or mechanical injury). Peas shall be at least fairly tender, free from decay and damage caused by split skins, disease, insects or mechanical injury or other means.

For U.S. Fancy, pods shall be well filled with an average of three-fourths or more within any lot, but not less than one-half of the pods in each container with calyxes of a fairly good green color, and meet the requirements of U.S. No. 1 grade in all other respects.

Peas
Generally speaking, the percentage of defects shown on a timely government inspection certificate should not exceed the percentage of allowable defects, provided: (1) transportation conditions were normal; (2) the USDA or CFIA inspection was timely; and (3) the entire lot was inspected.

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
10-5-1 5
4
3
2
1
15-8-3
14-8-3
13-7-2
11-6-1
10-5-1
32°

There are no good arrival guidelines for this commodity specific to Canada; U.S. guidelines apply to shipments unless otherwise agreed by contract.

Snow Peas
Generally speaking, the percentage of defects shown on a timely government inspection certificate should not exceed the percentage of allowable defects, provided: (1) transportation conditions were normal; (2) the USDA or CFIA inspection was timely; and (3) the entire lot was inspected.

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
10-5-2 5
4
3
2
1
15-8-4
14-8-4
13-7-3
11-6-2
10-5-1
32°

There are no good arrival guidelines for this commodity specific to Canada; U.S. guidelines apply to shipments unless otherwise agreed by contract.

References: DRC, PACA, USDA.

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This information is for your personal, noncommercial use only.