On May 21, vegetable growers from around the Southeastern U.S. gathered at the Seminis® research station in Felda, Fla., for a close look at recently commercialized and pre-commercial Seminis varieties.
“Inviting area growers to see the latest in our vegetable genetics is a win-win,” said Greg Hardison, the Eastern U.S. Technology Development Manager for Monsanto Company’s Vegetable Seeds Division. “It was a day of learning for everyone – the growers got a sneak-peek at the pipeline, heard from experts, attended various workshops and provided us with valuable feedback. Ultimately, this allows us to tailor our products to fit our customers’ needs.”
On display were over one hundred commercial and pre-commercial varieties of eight key regional crops: sweet corn, watermelon, cucumbers, sweet peppers, specialty peppers, squash, tomato and garden beans.
Several of the pre-commercial sweet corn hybrids were focused on earliness, improved rust resistance and better husk protection. One example is SV6203SA*. With a 70-76 day maturity, this pre-commercial sweet corn hybrid sparked a lot of interest from the visitors. Also of interest was SV1580SC*, a white high-quality pre-commercial sweet corn hybrid with improved rust resistance and ease of harvest over Devotion sweet corn hybrid. SV1077SD is the newest yellow sweet corn hybrid for the fresh market with the same qualities as Passion but with High Resistance** to rust, high yield potential, excellent flavor and better husk cover.
A pre-commercial pollenizer variety, SV5643WY* hybrid watermelon, was showcased as a new pollenizer option for SV0241WA, a high-quality 45/60 count watermelon hybrid with an average of 3-4 fruits set per plant.
In the last two years, Seminis has made an improvement over its existing Downy mildew resistant cucumber hybrid SV4719CS. In the field where the disease was present, it was obvious that the pre-commercial SV7887CS* hybrid cucumber represents a step change in Downy mildew resistance over most leading commercial varieties such as Speedway and Impact.
With several races of Bacterial leaf spot present in the area, it was clear which sweet pepper varieties in the field boasted what Seminis calls X10R® technology. For example, PS09979325 sweet pepper hybrid, a large to extra-large firm fruit with a slightly elongated shape, has Intermediate Resistance*** to Bacterial leaf spot races 0- 10.
The newest biotech variety on display was SV6009YG, a dark green, fresh market, virus-resistant squash hybrid. SV6009YG is a highly productive, upright plant that produces cylindrical, uniform fruit. Two non-biotech pre-commercial medium green varieties of interest were SV0145YG* and SV9043YG*.
Among many other new tomato hybrids were SV7101TD and SV7631TD. These recently commercialized, round, determinate tomato hybrids display high yield potential and produce firm fruit with excellent color for mature green and vine-ripe markets.
In the garden bean field, two recently commercialized fresh market varieties caught the growers’ attention: BA0958 and BA1006. BA0958 offers outstanding pod quality featuring straight, dark green pods. In addition to demonstrating significant improved plant habit under stressful conditions, BA0958 is also comparable in performance and yield potential to top performer Valentino. BA1006 is easy-to-pick, produces straight pods with dark green color and serves as a great complement to the garden bean product mix. One pre-commercial garden bean of interest was SV1007GG, which offers high yield potential and fits the desired market size of 3-4 sieves.
“The feedback we got during the event was very positive,” explained Hardison. “Everyone walked away excited about our Southeastern U.S. portfolio and pipeline.”
Please visit Seminis.com to view and download photos from the event.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows at www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
About Monsanto Vegetable Seeds Division
Monsanto Company’s Vegetable Seeds Division is focused on innovation to improve the quality and productivity of vegetables grown from our seeds. The company develops products intended to offer new, healthy choices for consumers. Monsanto invests in research and development and uses the latest technology not only to deliver the best products to the consumer, but also to provide yield and value to the customer, the grower, and to their customers, the chain partners. Monsanto's Vegetable Seeds Division is represented through Seminis® and De Ruiter® seed brands. For more information about Seminis®, visit www.seminis.com
*Experimental Name. The experimental varieties referenced in this press release are included for informational purposes only and are not being offered for sale.
**High Resistance. The ability of a plant variety to highly restrict the activities of a specific pathogen or insect pest and/or to restrict the symptoms and signs of a disease, when compared to susceptible varieties. Highly Resistant varieties may exhibit some symptoms when specified pathogen or pest pressure is severe. New and/or atypical strains of the specific pathogen or pest may overcome the resistance, sometimes completely.
***Intermediate Resistance. The ability of a plant variety to restrict the growth and development of the specified pest or pathogen, but may exhibit a greater range of symptoms compared to highly resistant varieties. Intermediately resistant plant varieties will still show less severe symptoms or damage than susceptible plant varieties when grown under similar environmental conditions and/or pest or pathogen pressure.
Individual results may vary, and performance may vary from location to location and from year to year. This result may not be an indicator of results you may obtain as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible.
Monsanto and Vine Design® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC. Seminis® is a registered trademark of Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc. De Ruiter® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Invest N.V. ©2013 Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc.