Amongst the most recent materials from the seed company, the Benidorm cauliflower for harvesting in February and March stands out.
Bejo is continuing its work on new developments in broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce for mechanised harvesting, carrots… “Research has not stopped, but the on-site demonstrations have been slowed down, with an evident reduction in visits,” explains Damián Pallarés, head of the seed company’s Technical and Sales Department.
This year one of the main new developments from its brassicas catalogue is the Benidorm cauliflower, which covers a very important gap for the sector due to the difficulties these dates entail. With a 125-day cycle, it is focused on transplants in Murcia and Almeria from the 5th of October to the beginning of November and harvesting from the 10th of February to the 10th of March.
There is also a new picuda cabbage, Antonio, included in the September to January transplant segment. Pallarés emphasises that it is very hardy and “feasible for export.”
In kohlrabi the new material is Kosma. With a very flat bulb and very erect leaves, it is perfect for transplanting from September to January.
Changes in the campaign
After a “very bad summer for everyone” in which in the end the prices picked up at source, the farming sector is facing up to the new campaign with many changes. There is a drop in surface area for leafy crops (lettuce, radicchio, specialities…), with an important general reduction of around 20-25% in varieties for industry due to the disaster of the Horeca chain and the drop in activity in school and hotel dining rooms. There is also a slight drop in surface area for onions and it is predicted that the same will occur for gourmet produce, both in surface area and in sales due to the economic situation. Brassicas are faring better, maintaining their surface area (particularly cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers) thanks to their properties and benefits that strengthen the immune system. Factors that consumers are valuing more than ever before in this pandemic situation.
“At the moment the programmes are being met, but everyone is very frightened because it is a social virus. Although all the necessary steps are being taken in the companies, Covid-19 can be caught in any other area.”