In extended catalog, Agri-Saaten LLC focuses on sweetcorn, root vegetables and herbs

"The future challenge is to preserve yields and at the same time be more environmentally conscious"

New, high-yield and disease-resistant varieties are constantly being put into the German vegetable market. Today's trend crops include herbs, sweetcorn and root vegetables (eg colorful or mini carrots). It was even more important for suppliers in the seed sector to be aware of the latest trends and developments and to provide producers with the appropriate crops. On the occasion of the new variety catalog, talked with the management of Agri-Saaten LLC about the latest trends in vegetable production.

An interesting development area in German cultivation is sweetcorn. The company relies on both tried-and-tested and new varieties in this segment. Well-established varieties are Sweet Nugget (early, high-yield and high-volume goods), Sweet Wonder (standard variety for the processing industry) and Tasty Sweet.

All in all, three new varieties will be launched, reports managing director Hendrik Müller. "We will now launch the AGX 11-200 F1 - a new, ultra-fast strain - as well as the Takeoff F1, which is perfect for the fresh market because of its deep, juicy grain and sweet taste." This variety is then supplemented by the AGX 11-600 F1, which is suitable for the fresh market as well as for the industry.

The two varieties AGX 11-600 F1 (l) and AGX 11-200 F1 .

Carrots: Core competence from the very beginning
The core competence of the recognized breeder lies in the development of new carrots and onions. Müller: "With carrots, we can see the trend towards snack carrots as well a trend to high-yielding varieties for the fresh market and the industry. In addition to a uniform and stable root shape, things like taste and intense colors are very much in demand. The foliage and root should be as resistant to disease as possible. For example, we have the Calibra F1 -an orange-colored hybrid variety that is very well suited both as a bunched carrot and as a snack-mini carrot."

Right: Modern Calibra F1 carrot

For mini-carrots, a significantly higher sowing strength must be selected, for example up to 7 million seeds / ha., Whereas with bunched carrots with a sowing strength of approx. 1.5 million seeds / ha can be sown, explains Müller. Agri-Saaten offers the complete range - from early Nantaise varieties (90 days), to medium-aged Nantaise varieties (130 days), to later (140-160 days) types, suitable for washing and industry. "In addition, we also have industrial varieties in our program, which are usually characterized by a more intense color and a higher sweetness content (Brix value). We also have yellow carrots in our portfolio, which were bred specifically for the Japanese market," says Müller.

Currently on trend: root vegetables and modern herbs
In the field of root vegetables - especially parsnip and salsify - you can currently see a revival of these 'once forgotten' vegetable crops. "We are fully committed to this trend and have therefore integrated a new parsnip program into our portfolio," says Müller. The parsnips come in four hybrid varieties (Vulcan, Viper, Countess and Victor), while salsify has two new varieties: the alpha and omega. "We plan to gain a good market share, especially in Europe."

Left: Parsley variety 'Sombre', Right: Basil variety 'Gemini'.

Herb cultivation is also booming in Germany, especially in the Cologne-Bornheim area and southern Germany. Agri-Saaten has recognized this trend and is also trying to get on the bandwagon. "In addition to our compact basil 'Compacta', we have now added the Gemini range, which was specially bred in Italy to incorporate intermediate resistance to Fusarium and downy mildew in extreme conditions. Also, there are the proven varieties from Dill Annette and Dinos. With regard to parsley, we have the 'Sombre'."


Germany, a highly professional market
All in all, the technical progress within German cultivation is very high, as it is in the Netherlands, France and Belgium. According to Müller, ultimately, the quality of the seed is crucial for the producer in highly professional markets like these. "It's good that environmental considerations are also becoming more and more important, but one of the many challenges of the future will be to maintain or increase yields while being more environmentally conscious. This can be done -for example- by environmentally-friendly, non-polymeric coatings."

For more information:
Agri-Saaten GmbH
Hendrik Müller
Company Management
Tel: +49 (5472) 97700-12
Fax: +49 (5472) 97700-29

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