Sakata launched its latest broccoli variety at an event on a farm in Murcia that was attended by more than 100 farmers, technicians, producers, and media outlets. This autumn variety was named Leónidas in honor of the Spartan king.
"Leónidas transplants take place in August in intermediate areas and in September throughout the region of Murcia. It is a 90-day variety that stands out because of how easy it is to harvest and thanks to its health," Sakata stated. "Leónidas is a high-quality variety for the markets. It has a very domed head, a very clean stem, and a very attractive color," stated Antonio Ibarra, the head of brassicas at Sakata.
In addition, the Leónidas broccoli is easy to collect because its genetic line is different from the traditional lines of Sakata so it's a variety with a taller flowering head. Another factor to take into account is the size of the heads, which can weigh 450 to 550 grams, the ideal weight for export," stated Gonzalo Ormaechea, responsible for sales in the area.
The Leónidas plant is vigorous, it can be easily peeled, and it's less sensitive to Alternaria. In this aspect, it has been designed to guarantee safety to the farmer and ease in the management and treatment of diseases, saving costs and labor. "We can see that, despite the high temperatures that there have been in the Guadalentin Valley, it is a very resistant variety to Alternaria. It has exceptional behavior. It doesn't have brown grains and it has a very uniform floret and grains, which is what producers are looking for," stated Pedro Gonzalez, a technician at Alimer that attended the event.
Jesus Lopez, the owner of the farm where the event was held, spoke about his experience with this variety: “Last year I had 5,000 Leónidas plants. This year I increased the number to 200,000, and next year I will plant more. I've decided to continue planting it because of how easy it is to collect and its resistance to Alternaria."