The seed company is extending its leafy vegetable portfolio with the mini romaine lettuce, Queenbee and three icebergs that close the cycle with all the resistances against Bremia and aphids
At its latest Lettuce&Spinach Demo Field, the seed company BASF has shown its entire offer in leafy materials. A portfolio full of stable, top-quality materials with resistances that bring peace of mind to clients, the centre point of all the company’s work. “In addition to varieties, we provide support. We are a partner for the client, we are with them when they need help and this is the reason they opt for our company,” summarises Lorena Sánchez, Sales Specialist in Salads.
Some of the varieties that they launched last year are being very well received commercially, such as the Iceberg Segobia (autumn segment), which brings reassurance at complicated transplanting dates thanks to its stability and homogeneity, and the Little Gem Theras, highly versatile due to its double use (whole and heart). Additionally, they continue working on the development of varieties in the Theras line that adapt well to different plantation densities and with the versatility of double use.
Other materials are facing up to their first commercial year, such as the mini green romaine, Queenbee (NUN 06574), with BI resistances: 16-37EU, Fol:1 and NR:0.
In iceberg lettuces, they are launching three varieties with which they are managing to cover the cycle with all the resistances to Bremia and aphids and with which they are exceeding the quality standards: NUN01212 (early autumn transplants), which bring good size, stability and homogeneity, in addition to resistance to fusarium; NUN01262, with good forming for mid-winter; and NUN01265 (spring), which stands out due to the very fresh, attractive appearance of its bright green leaves and due to a very good post-harvest window.
In the Romaine typology, NUN06315 stands out for both the export and the Spanish markets, as it is very versatile and with a complete package of resistances.
Colour takes on an increasingly important role with red varieties of romaine lettuces and mini romaines adapted to twin packs.
For over the past 10 years, spinach production has been rising by 1-2% annually. With 4,500 ha in Spain, it is a crop that is growing, although at discreet levels, because there is a market for it (it appears in Fresh Cut mixes, but there are also bags of single product), its prices are acceptable and it has lower costs than other products, thanks to mechanisation. Its healthy nature is added to all these points.
BASF has closed the cycle with varieties for all the dates that bring productivity, weight, quality, resistances: Pe:1-19, it behaves well with local species and is tolerant to Leaf Spot.
Amongst its new developments are Castula and Borealis, for autumn and spring, and Aries, for mid-summer, as a complement to Crater, a material that “is gaining momentum and turning into a leader,” according to Carlos del Espino, Senior Sales Specialist. For the winter they have Spirico, which they hope will be one of next year’s flagships.
Additionally, these materials stand out due to the consistency and texture of their leaves, a synonym for more kilos and greater productivity. In general, it is aimed at the European type, Fresh Cut market, with medium colours, rounded leaves, a good shape and a balanced stalk-leaf proportion. “They are all for 100% mechanised harvesting (except for the bundle and retailer market varieties).
The development team is seeking solutions to Damping off problems and is supporting the producers with assessment, designing effective strategies that combine cultivation techniques and the use of more appropriate varieties in each case. “Thanks to this, we are more or less saving the situation. The best prevention is solarisation.”