Brassica variety review
In our summer cauliflower range, Bejo’s new variety Liria has performed very well, particularly in the dry stressful conditions throughout July and August. Liria has good protection for a summer cauliflower and opens up just before full maturity. The ability of this variety to be a classic two cut cauliflower which is easier to harvest, makes it an ideal variety for the UK market place.
In our autumn cauliflower range Skywalker has again shown during this season why it is so popular with the growers. Skywalker has an excellent frame with a strong white curd, ideal for early autumn production. Broccoli Covina, our new introduction, has received a lot of interest from UK growers. Covina’s performance during the 2104 season was exceptional. It’s ability to withstand stressful growing conditions and produce a quality head has created a large interest for this variety.
Onion/Leek variety review
The past season saw some interesting results from onion varieties. A wet/cold August saw a delay to harvesting and some staining issues going into store. A cooler dry spring caused some crops to be in the smaller fraction. As earlies go Hybing, Hybound, and Hypark continue to perform outstandingly.
In the past few years’ fusarium has become a problem for growers. Hence our breeders have been looking for genetic material showing levels of fusarium resistance. Hysky has shown these traits and is now being grown more commercially. Hysky also yields and stores very well. Last year we entered several new varieties in trials with both NIAB and VCS. These presented themselves very well, in particular Hytune and Hyway. Hytune is the top yielding variety and is an early. Hyway is later maturing so a possible replacement for Armstrong. This is good news for growers for our programme going forward.
In our red onion range, our newest introduction Red Light is very early and very high yielding, making it useful for growers to bridge the gap between sets and seed crops. It is also available as first year set. In our maincrop maturing reds, the Red Tide is producing good yields of quality bulbs. Our leek variety Rally is a first/second early. It does not bolt, gives good yields in the 60-70% prepack and stands well. Runner then follows on which comes in as a second early. Curling is a variety we hope growers will see more of in the future. Being late maturing (Christmas and onwards). it produces a nice length leek and good yield and also shows some frost tolerance.
Carrot and Parsnip variety review
The Bejo breeders continue to work in the UK on improved quality, foliage health and the possibility of extending the early part of the production season as well as later varieties with storage suitability. Improved disease resistance, particularly cavity spot for the UK is a high priority, and newer varieties with higher resistance are now being used commercially with good results.
New introductions to our range include the maincrop maturing variety Norfolk. Norfolk has once again given very positive commercial results in 2015, and will be used in large areas for 2016 production. Suitable for sowing from late march to early June, it has produced attractive well filled roots with a high percentage marketable. Norfolk produces very healthy and upright foliage.
Elsoms are also pleased to offer Natuna, which is mid-season maturing and has again given very promising commercial results in 2015. Suitable for sowing from early April onwards, it has produced very high quality roots with above average yields. Roots are strong against splitting and breaking. Healthy and upright foliage.
Breeding reliable and robust new varieties is key. High yields,packout and quality are required in new varieties along with flexibility.
Our breeders key goals are to improve quality, colour, disease resistance (particularly canker), reduce crop wastage caused by bruising and to extend the UK production season by producing earlier maturing and later varieties with longer term storage potential. Improved flavour and shelf life are also attributes we are working on.
Our variety Panorama gave outstanding results in 2015/16, and is now established as one of the leading commercial varieties in the UK. Panorama is proving its flexibility and reliability for production throughout autumn into early winter. Panorama has good weight distributing throughout the root, and the colour is attractive.
A high percentage of marketable product and good levels of general disease resistance. Parsnip Pearl is a main crop-late maturing variety and is now a key variety in many grower’s parsnip programmes.
Pearl offers high quality, smooth attractive roots with excellent colour, combined with high pack out percentages and very long term field storage potential. Good levels of general disease resistance.
Images from Elsoms.