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Syngenta previews vegetable breeding innovations at trial event series

Syngenta wrapped up its summer trial event series in Gilroy, Calif., showcasing advancements in vegetable breeding to customers across the nation. Attendees had the opportunity to experience how trial varieties perform in the field alongside current Syngenta and competitive offerings, and what unique qualities they will bring to the market.

“We are committed to providing our customers with the best genetics possible,” said Sean Knapp, North American head of vegetables seed product marketing, Syngenta. “The customer feedback and insights we receive at these events help us fine-tune our research and development engine so that we can introduce new varieties that address local production challenges, while also addressing market needs.”

Trialing was conducted at numerous Syngenta research facilities, including Woodland and Gilroy, California; Pasco, Washington; Plainfield, Wisconsin; Hall, New York; Stanton, Minnesota and Naples, Florida. The following summary provides a snapshot of key innovations featured at this year’s events.

Showcased at several locations, Momentum is a fresh market bean that has shown consistently strong yields and quality. It offers versatility for production across the Midwest and eastern U.S., performing especially well in Florida and Georgia.

Huntington continues to stand out as a top-performing processor bean variety in Syngenta trials, consistently out yielding other processor beans in the Midwest.

Introducing varieties with long shelf life is an area of focus for Syngenta melon breeders, and trialling was conducted on experimental varieties of both Harper-style melons and the non-slip western shipper (NSWS) class. Introduced by Syngenta in 2014, NSWS varieties offer total soluble solid (sugar) levels up to 14 to 16 °Bx and an extended shelf life of more than 21 days in cold storage.

From a production standpoint, breeders are developing melon varieties with resistance to cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus, which is steadily spreading and has reported infection rates from 60 to 100 percent with yield losses ranging from 30 to 80 percent.1

As whitefly pressure continues to build in southern California, squash breeders have placed more emphasis on disease resistance, developing and trialing varieties that offer resistance to squash leaf curl virus (SLCV).

Sweet corn
Several new processing sweet corn varieties, including GH3333 and GH9394, show great promise for growers in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Cabo, a new fresh market sweet corn variety, offers good adaptability in the California and upper Midwest/Northeast and is the first introduction in a line of fresh market varieties that bring a sweeter flavor option to the market.

Offering similar characteristics to GH0851, Aspire demonstrates improved insect resistance through the Attribute® II trait stack. Aspire also offers tolerance to Touchdown® and Liberty® herbicides for added flexibility in weed management programs.

In California trials, Quali T 99 exhibited strong yield performance and produced consistently high quality fruit for the early and late planting slots. Event attendees were also able to see pre-commercial varieties in trial that offer lower cull rates and medium- to large-sized fruit.

Trifecta, named for its flexibility of use in the fresh market and the green and red processing markets, was developed in response to grower demand for varieties with more versatility that consistently produce high yields of quality, large-sized fruit.

Seedless watermelon varieties Captivation and Sweet Dawn exhibited intermediate resistance to Fusarium wilt race 1 and Anthracnose race 1 in trials and produced fruit with consistently sweet flavor. Another new seedless watermelon variety currently in development showed promise for growers in all major production locations by producing larger-size fruit that will provide additional market opportunities. This variety is expected to be available for commercial use in 2016.

Mary Streett DeMers
Tel: (+1) 336-632-2156

Michael Johnson
Tel: (+1) 919-870-5718 

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