Rijk Zwaan is finalising its 25-735 variety with good behaviour against this problem, and this year it has launched Robredo with some highly positive results
The seed company Rijk Zwaan is firmly opting for the diversification and innovation of its broccoli offer. In three years’ time, they will have very important new developments that are being produced in Holland, Spain and the USA, but also in 2017 they have launched a new commercial variety and they are finalising the details for the presentation of another one that will be launched during the 2018/19 campaign. The first of these, Robredo (25-733), is being well received by producers. In the pre-commercial trials performed two campaigns ago, they distributed 500,000 seeds in a first phase and then around 3 million and the acceptance of the product could be seen, particularly when referring to its shape and colour, but it is now, with the start of its commercialisation, when it Robredo’s important popularity can be proven. “We have experienced an important sales volume in spite of this being its first year,” states José Antonio Hernández Torres, Broccoli crop coordinator at Rijk Zwaan.
The variety “stands out against the competition in transplanting from December to March. It has an important strength and great stability, ideal for guaranteeing the quality and colour (dark) even when there is stress due to cold or hot weather,” therefore it is particularly indicated for end of winter and the spring harvests. Robredo also stands out due to the shape of the head and its good conservation, a determining factor for export.
The next new development will be the 25-735 RZ variety, currently in its second pre-commercial year. Designed for autumn and winter, it shows an increase in yield compared to other varieties and good behaviour against ‘Alternaria’, in addition to better post-harvest conservation than other materials present on the market.
In recent years producers have experienced losses in their harvest yields due to a famous problem: ‘Alternaria’, which causes incidents in autumn and spring, although it is beginning to thrive more and more in winter due to the rise in the temperatures. At Rijk Zwaan they are working on solutions to this problem and to others, such as bacteriosis, that result in better vegetable health and an increase in the yields.
The company’s broccoli catalogue includes Agassi, its first variety launched in Spain 8 years ago and that meant a milestone as it was the first variety that tolerated the heat, since it could be grown in the summer. Currently it is still being grown, particularly in China and the USA.
On the other hand, Orantes, on sale for the past 3 years, is for autumn and its main value lies in the fact that “it breaks cycles, it is very early and it comes very quickly.” The variety, which is very stable and resistant to the cold, allows farmers to programme their harvests without having any ‘surprises’.