Looking back at successful Field Days for spinach and chard growers

Spinach varieties for the Spanish market

Last week, Pop Vriend Seeds and partner Tozer Ibérica organized the yearly Field Days in Murcia, Spain. The strategy of Pop Vriend is to align its breeding programs one-on-one with the needs of customers. That is why it is so important to have our breeders and product managers close to the market. Field days like these are the perfect opportunity for Pop Vriend Seeds to discuss the most recent developments with our customers and to review their needs even further.

“Our focus in spinach breeding is of course on downy mildew resistance as well as on vigor, bolting resistance, winterhardiness, leaf-spot resistance, white-rust resistance, Fusarium resistance, color, texture, abiotic stress tolerance and other quality traits”, says Johan Rijk, Senior Spinach Breeder at Pop Vriend Seeds. “But when you have to take into account so many urgent characteristics, it is important not to lose focus on the horticultural value of the crop either. During the Field Days, we really wanted to show customers that our spinach varieties not only rank high on resistances, but also look beautiful. With that we mean that our varieties show high uniformity, have thick and dark green leaves and a good structure.”

During these days, key leaders from the industry visited the fields at Tozer Ibérica to discover our latest varieties in spinach, including Quartz/PV-1720, Opal/PV-1719 and Onyx/PV-1713. These are typical varieties that combine Pe. 1 -19 resistance with a high horticultural value.

The importance of having boots on the ground
Pop Vriend’s new Product Manager for Spinach and Swiss Chard, Mark Charlesworth, was also present during the Field Days. He states: “Having good trials in the key markets and listening to what our customers have to say is crucial in developing good varieties . It was valuable to have direct contact with our customers during the Tozer Field Days, because that really helps us to translate customers’ needs into strong assortment development.”

Focus is in Pop Vriend’s genetics
In addition to the field days, Pop Vriend also organized a webinar together with Tozer, which focused on seed treatments for spinach and swiss chard – an important topic for spinach growers. Anita van Nieuwenhoven, Seed Treatment Specialist at Pop Vriend Seeds, outlined different seed treatments, including KWS INITIO; a micronutrient based seed treatment to support seed emergence for a faster and more uniform plant development. There was a large turnout of growers at the webinar, which shows that there is a great need for additional knowledge on this topic.

The power of partnership
Since 2019, Pop Vriend Seeds has been part of the KWS; one of the world’s largest independent seed companies. This partnership gives Pop Vriend access to all kinds of new technologies, such as marker-assisted-selection.  

For more information:
Artur Dias Santos
Pop Vriend Seeds
Tel: +351 918 77 94 93
Email: Asantos@popvriendseeds.com 

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