Bayer has announced two Seminis Brassica Innovation Days, to be held on the 13th and 14th October at Kirton Holme near Boston, Lincolnshire which will showcase the current portfolio of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage varieties, alongside material the Seminis brand plans to introduce for the 2022 season.
Visitors will be able to see the breeding advances that will be available for commercial use in the coming years, as well as speak with the Bayer crop protection team about present and future fungicide and insecticide innovations on the same site.
“Crop protection is an essential part of meeting customer standards and in support of this, we will be showcasing the performance of our current fungicides Rudis (prothioconazole) and Nativo (trifloxystrobin + tebuconazole). In addition, we have a pipeline SDHI fungicide product included that is showing great promise and for which we hope to gain authorisation for in 2023,” explained Claire Matthewman, Bayer campaign manager for horticulture.
“We also have separate insecticide plots comprising Movento (spirotetramat) and the bioinsecticide FLiPPER (fatty acids C7-C14),” she added.
FLiPPER is a new generation of insecticide that reportedly offers good control of pests while being selective to beneficial species, however, making the most of it involves positioning it correctly within a wider programme and applying it correctly.
“The Bayer crop protection team will be on hand to offer application advice to enable growers to make the most of its potential,” said Mrs Matthewman.
Ease of harvesting
Improving the ease in which broccoli and cauliflower plants can be harvested has long been a breeding focus of the company and the advances made will also be discussed at the open days.
“We have a great range of crops to show visitors; from existing commercial varieties to pre-commercial ones that we plan to introduce for next season as well as pipeline material across a range of end-use specifications,” said Sharon MacGregor, Seminis open field UK and Nordics sales manager.
“Be it harvest gangs walking a field or a machine doing the job, the crop needs to have more uniform maturity and be easier to cut. We have succeeded in developing varieties of broccoli and cauliflower that sit higher above ground which makes them easier to see and harvest and the next generation of varieties sit a little higher too.
“We have also applied this focus to cabbage with the intention of developing types that improve harvest efficiency. In broccoli, we have a new variety, Spinnaker, which is higher-yielding and easier to harvest with better disease tolerance than Ironman.”
Another focus in the breeding process has been delivering varieties with reduced susceptibility to systemic mildew. While the company cannot claim resistance, this process has reportedly delivered positive results.
“Nothing goes through to commercial production that shows any susceptibility. It’s a disease where breeding has a positive role to play in improving marketable yields and we took the opportunity it presented to distinguish our varieties from those of other breeders,” said Mrs MacGregor.
For cauliflower, the range includes the Curdivex varieties. These feature a white curd, with less curd cover, and retain their white colouring for longer, providing better quality. Future developments are said to make these better suited to processors and include varieties with higher yield potential, while also having smaller florets for prepared and frozen food.
“Most growers will be familiar with Whitex and Britex and we are planning to complement these with new varieties which extend the season beyond that offered by the two varieties we have currently. These new types will be in plots for growers to see,” explained Mrs MacGregor.
For broccoli, the focus has been on developing varieties with heavier heads that are better suited to the summer heat.
“Crown rot and systemic mildew are problem diseases in broccoli and while selecting for types demonstrating reduced susceptibility to these, we have also focussed on developing summer varieties with good head weight,” added Mrs MacGregor.
Visitors are being asked to register in advance to inform catering decisions, support Covid-19 tracing and reduce the admin burden for those wishing to claim BASIS or NRoSO points. Registration can be done at www.bayer.com