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Solutions for fungi and mechanised harvesting

Seminis is researching into new varieties in its broccoli line. After Titanium, they are preparing the launch of SV0224BL for September-October transplanting

Four years ago SV1771BL meant Semini’s comeback to the broccoli market and, in addition to providing great commercial satisfaction, it has also given the company the chance of moving back into the producers’ sights. Last year they took another step forward with the launch of Titanium (specially indicated for transplanting from the end of October to January) in an attempt to break away from traditional broccoli. And they did this with a produce that had an elevated head, no leaves on the stem, fine grained, with a stable cycle, grouped harvesting (it can be harvested in 1 or 2 cuts) and heads that are very compact and heavy that promise a high yield. “A Titanium head weighs at least 10% more than another of the same diameter from our competitors. This is why most farmers and companies have Titanium on their programmes.”

Luis García Bonillo, Iberica Technology Development Representative for Brassicas and Onion, reveals what they are working on to us. “This campaign is very important for SV0224BL, since if its behaviour over the past three years whilst under development is confirmed, it will be brought onto the market in 2018.” The variety is perfect for transplanting in September-October, with harvesting in December-January and it continues along the lines that Seminis has opted for (elevated head, stable cycle…). With all these characteristics, is not surprising that the producers “are very interested in its launch in the near future”.

Looking to the future, the company’s R&D line is firstly aimed at the search for varieties that provide a solution to an important problem for producers in recent years: fungi (Botrytis, Alternaria and Mildew). And they are focusing their efforts, in addition to the flavour and high antioxidant substance content, on varieties produced exclusively for florets and on improving the elevated head broccoli line that can be machine harvested. “In the United States we already have Hancock, which can be harvested mechanically.” Along with all of this, they are not losing sight of the promotion of Bellaverde, a variety that is better known and appreciated in the United Kingdom, due to its attractive appearance and flavour, but that now is about to be presented to Spanish consumers, who are becoming increasingly demanding with regard to healthy, high quality produce. García Bonillo trusts that it will find a niche because “it is a true broccoli of which the tenderest sprouts are used, transmitting its sweet flavour and mild texture to consumers.”

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