Tholen – A record number of visitors came to Syngenta’s Fields of Innovation 2022 this year. The breeding company presented more than 550 varieties in 25 unique crops on a 4-hectare plot. For the fresh market, Syngenta has a number of innovations on the vegetable shelf, including pointed savoy cabbage and super sweet white and two-tone sweetcorn. The cauliflower variety iStem, which was awarded at Fruit Logistica 2022, will be on the shelves of Plus supermarkets for Christmas, spokeswoman Brigitte van der Steen revealed. In addition to new varieties, great emphasis was also placed on robust varieties that are more resistant to the increasingly extreme weather conditions, diseases and insect damage.
Brigitte van der Steen with the pointed savoy cabbage
Different types of cabbage are on the list of modern superfoods. Savoy cabbage is an ‘old-fashioned’ vegetable, but less well known among the modern consumer.
Spicy savoy cabbage
Syngenta developed a Savoy cabbage variety with an eye-catching tip with the same strengths as the traditional Savoy cabbage varieties for growers.
The stalk cauliflower iStem took third place at the Fruit Logistica Awards this year. The variety has the advantage of a high yield for the growers. iStem appeals to consumers with its sweet, nutty taste and is rich in fiber and vitamin C. iStem can be eaten whole and thus reduces food waste.
Detailed presentation of iStem
“For trend-setting growers, iStem is the delicious, innovative new cauliflower. It grows almost identically to traditional cauliflower, providing an easy transition for growers considering this new option.”
Also within broccoli, developments within stem broccoli are progressing, with particular focus on the ‘one-cut’ principle, which makes the variety less labor-intensive for the growers.
The white maize variety is a promising innovation, Syngenta believes
White and bicolor sweet corn: Corn is very popular in America and is becoming more and more popular in the European market. Syngenta has developed a white and bicolor sweet corn variety that they have high hopes for because of its striking color and very sweet taste. “White stands out very clearly and is a color you hardly see on the vegetable shelf. Once you taste the sweet taste, consumers will definitely come back for it. You can eat this corn raw as fruit, but it’s also perfect on the grill or prepared. Availability will not be an issue as these varieties perform well in all climate zones,” Syngenta experts said.
Different varieties of spinach
Spinach is growing in popularity among consumers, but it is a very sensitive crop. Syngenta agronomists shared a wide range of spinach varieties that meet the demands of the processing and fresh markets. Syngenta’s varieties combine field performance – such as beautiful and highly diverse leaf shapes, colours, upright plants, thick leaves and good yield potential – with high resistance to diseases such as Stemphylium and Peronospora.
Experience with plant pathology
In addition to innovations in varieties, Syngenta also showcased some of its core business during this edition of Open Field Days through the Plant Pathology Experience. Here they explained the many steps they take to ensure success in introducing resistant varieties. In Brassica crops, for example, it takes 12 to 20 years of research, development and trials to bring new varieties to growers’ fields.
Pests such as thrips in cabbage are a major problem in cultivation
“Breeding for resistance is both science and art,” says Jan Bruin, Syngenta Trait Development Lead, Brassicas. “The science is clear at every step. We combine alleles, work with plant biology and understand genetics, to name a small part of the science. The trick is to use all that information in a way that creates value. Finding these combinations often requires creativity and understanding of our customers and consumers.”
Plants are deliberately sickened in order to select resistant plants.
Soil health and diversity in the TechZone
The event also included a TechZone for the first time, featuring a range of advanced technologies that help growers and farmers be more productive, profitable and sustainable. Among other things, Syngenta experts showed Interra® Scan, Syngenta’s first soil health service, which introduced new scanning technology to provide soil nutrient, texture and carbon maps with up to 27 layers of information so growers can accurately determine soil conditions and nutrient support. “Interra® Scan produces high-resolution maps that are accessible to manufacturers’ computers through the Interra® Scan platform,” explains Mark Hall, Head of Sustainability and Responsible Business. “The detection technology maps all common nutrient characteristics, including pH, soil texture, organic matter, carbon and cation exchange capacity, as well as elevation and plant water availability – together providing more than 800 data reference points per hectare. This is equivalent to a full record. control for people, but for the soil .”
First launched at the World Biodiversity Forum, the Biodiversity Sensor provides 24/7 biodiversity monitoring that automatically, autonomously and reliably identifies most species. This data can help show what is in the area today and what it means for biodiversity in general. The TechZone also featured the EDAPHOLOG soil insect sensor that helps demonstrate soil health in fields and the overall diversity of ecosystems.
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