Various new stored cabbages, introductions in lettuce and of course, more focus on increasing the yield through various methods of crop protection, such as resistance and applications. Last week Syngenta held their open demo days in Andijk and enjoyed more visitors than ever before. A number of new harvests and unusual varieties were introduced during these open days.

Wolfgang Ott leads a tour during the demo days at Syngenta

New introductions and new resistances in cabbage

Syngenta has introduced new stored cabbage - an important segment for export. For years Zenon has been combining high yield with an early harvest. On top of this the variety is labour-friendly because it can be easily cleaned and because it can be grown with less nitrogen. New varieties have been added to the assortment this year. Kool Prodikos combines these properties with a green colour. This is something the German market asks for. The third cabbage is Storidor. Yield from this variety is not as high as it is with Zenon, but this cabbage can be stored for a long time: until August, September. "This way growers can make the decision: store them for a long time or try to get maximum production? They can decide what will give them the optimal yield," says Wolfgang Ott.

A new experimental strain is sgw0307. This white stored cabbage is resistant to white rust. Why is Syngenta, who is also a supplier of crop protection, go this far? Are they not hurting themselves by doing this? "We believe in the combination," says Wolfgang Jerebic. "Growers want to use the least amount of chemicals they can. We want to help with that by, for example, using resistances. But sometimes you do need it. We believe in the combination." Another new experimental strain that follows this vision is the sgw0327. This is the first strain with ir:mb, which is resistant to Mycosphaerella.

Kobolt Kale

Left: Kobolt strain, sown as baby leaf. Right: the standard seedling.

In America and the United Kingdom kale is extremely popular. Syngenta sees chances for this product in Europe as well, and is therefore giving new attention to the Kobolt strain for the fresh market. Kale that will be sold as a frozen good is sown as a plant and then mowed. Kobolt grows as a baby leaf and can even be harvested in July and August. This makes it possible to have a fresh product available for a longer time.

Ruffian Butter Lettuce

Ruffian Butter Lettuce is one of Syngenta's new harvests

Lettuce with bremia resistance 16-31 are important. Ruffian Butter Lettuce falls into this category. Syngenta is also building up a new collection of Iceberg Lettuce, called Ice Castle, "It is a compact strain, it can be harvested in a labour-friendly way and it has the desired resistances," says Wolfgang.

Gohan and David Cauliflower

Marc Smetryns discusses the cauliflower

Gohan en David Cauliflower: spraying during harvest to achieve a round seed

Marc Smetryns talks about their cauliflower. A firm, hard cabbage was needed in the industry and Syngenta introduced Gohan cauliflower. The strain can be cut in the field, just as the industry wanted, and this meant a higher yield for the grower. The strain has 75-80 growing days. The two, Gohan and David, were introduced at the same time because they can also be planted together. "By combining these two strains you can get a staggered harvest from just one planting," says Smetryns. "The David strain also has a nice, closed structure and a firm, good quality."

Brussels Sprouts SGB 1474

SGB 1474 will be introduced at the end of this year

The last variety that Smetryns showed has not yet been introduced, but will soon be. "At the end of this year," he says, "But this one is promising." He is talking about Brussels Sprouts SGB 1474, which is suitable for the fresh market. " A smooth, cylindrical setting with many sprouts on a stem and a narrow density. Just as a Brussels Sprouts plant should be."

Crop Protection

Rene Huijsmans from Syngenta Farmore

Syngenta is not only busy with breeding seeds, but also in the treatment of seeds. On the open day there was room for the Farmore seed treatment. The seed is handled with Aprol XL and Maxim 480 FS. These anti-fungal agents make it possible for 10% more carrot plants to grow for example, says Rene Huijsmans from Syngenta Farmore, who showed some trial tests. The possibilities of new techniques in the area of crop protection were shown. There is a new nozzle that can get deeper when spraying the plants. That was shown with the help of a black light.

This was just a short summary of the new things happening over at Syngenta. To see all their latest progress visit or contact Syngenta directly.