Before the Sele plain (Salerno) became the most important hub in Europe for agricultural productions destined to the fresh-cut industry, Maraldi Sementi was already studying and applying genetic improvement to various baby leaves, especially wild rocket, introducing new cultivars on the market.
Thanks to the intense research work, the company now boasts a range that fully covers the sowing/harvesting calendar in northern and southern Italy and in good part of Europe. In addition, wild rocket has quickly become a favorite with consumers in extra-EU countries, where the species was unknown up until a few years ago.
"I have been working with Maraldi Sementi for ten years and I am proud of the fact that, thanks to their genetic and professional support, we have developed cultivars of the highest level from both a phenotypical and genotypical point of view. Today I would like to talk about wild rocket," reports Silvano De Martino, sales manager for Salerno fresh-cut products.
"In particular, with the introduction of F1 hybrid rocket on the market, we have revolutionized the quality of the product when first cut, achieving exceptional indentation and texture. Another important aspect when it comes to hybrids is luxuriant growth, which immediately translates into high yields per sq m (100/200 gr more on average compared to rocket PO), a fantastic first cut and a more balanced root system to withstand abiotic stresses."
"Sele F1 is our hybrid rocket of reference thanks to the high-quality of the leaves. Sowing takes place between the fall and spring. Rubicon F1 is instead suitable for sowing in spring-summer and has a brighter green color and longer pre-blossoming resistance compared to Sele F1".
This year will see the introduction of MSX 84122 F1: it is a winter selection for southern Italy, with an erect growing habit and very early cycle.
Silvano De Martino, fresh-cut sales manager for Salerno
"For the summer cycle, we have introduced new cultivars tolerant to tracheofusariosis. Rewind is the evolution of Resent, very flexible for sowing between spring and the fall with a deeper green color, a higher tolerance to fusariosis and resistance to bolting. Sahara is a product with an exceptional leaf thickness, a high dry matter content and deep dark green color. The slow cycle and excellent resistance to bolting makes it suitable for production in the summer."
Simone Belletti, foreign trade manager, confirms the excellent performance of hybrid rockets outside Italy. "The various areas around the world dedicated to fresh-cut produce mainly grow it in open fields. This is why, for the first sowing after winter, the vigor and subsequent rapid development pose an objective advantage appreciated by growers and confirmed by significantly increasing sales. Rubicon F1 and the new 84122 F1 have proven an excellent choice due to indentation and yields and are already widely cultivated in both America and northern Europe. With a medium cycle and a low susceptibility to downy mildew, Sele F1 was mostly appreciated in northern France and Spain."
"Thanks to the incessant breeding activities, we are about to introduce a new variety that we believe to be truly innovative thanks to its high tolerance to downy mildew. It will be launched next winter. This characteristic is increasingly important for productions both in open fields and greenhouses due to the aggressiveness of the pathogen."
Sele F1 wild rocket