4 years ago

The Partnership no. 11

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  • Enza
  • Cultivation
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  • Zaden
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  • Vegetables
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High-wire cultivation

High-wire cultivation and supplemental light New developments In Northern Europe, the cucumber acreage is fairly stable. According to Crop Research Director Matthijs Groot, high-wire “We see a major shift within cultivation systems. Highwire cultivation in the Netherlands and lit cultivation in “Growers want to maximise their crops and better respond cultivation is now the key priority for breeding LET cucumbers. several countries are clearly becoming more popular. Highwire cultivation enables higher production of high quality is eminently suitable for this, but sets certain special to the wishes of their customers. High-wire cultivation cucumbers that is easier to plan. Supplemental light is a requirements to both the crop and the cultivation method. Due contributing factor, even at the relatively modest light intensity to the longer cultivation period, resistance against the main of 8,000 to 9,000 lux customary for this crop.” viral and fungal diseases are even more important.” Due to the higher lighting level and a little more heat in the top Matthijs Groot says he is happy that Enza Zaden has an of the crop, the lit cucumber plants can be better managed experienced internal crop specialist who occupies a key and balanced in the dark months and on cloudy days. They position between cultivation and breeding. “This is highly grow quicker and produce more fruit. According to the Crop valuable for both sides. New varieties must eventually offer Sales Manager, the acreage of high-wire cultivation in the added value to the entire chain. Our breeders need the right Netherlands and Belgium will amount to about 176 ha (+30 input to achieve that. Vice versa, growers need to know how ha) in the coming season, on a total of 630 ha. 50 ha of the to ensure maximum performance of a variety. A good dialogue cucumber area will be lit. is also needed to offer customisations for growers who want to discern themselves in the market. This need continues to increase. We respond to this trend by involving customers more intensively and at an earlier stage.” High-scoring varieties In the past decade, Enza Zaden booked significant progress with its breeding programme for LET (Long European Type) cucumbers. This converted into a broader range of top varieties, growing confidence from the growers, and steadily increasing market shares. In both Europe and North America, Enza Zaden has meanwhile secured a solid number 2 position thanks to varieties with a superb performance in the various cultivation systems and cultivation periods. Premier League In Northern Europe, Topspin and Kurios are high in the premier league. Topspin is eminently suitable for the high-wire spring crops, while Kurios is a dedicated summer variety for both high-wire cultivation and traditional cultivation. French growers still prefer the slightly older variety Galaxy, with a solid performance in hotter climes. In lit standard crops in Northern Europe, Imea is a winner. In North America, Canadian growers in particular focus on the LET cucumber, while their southern neighbours produce mainly slicers. With the varieties Solstice and Komet, Enza Zaden is well represented in Canada’s traditional cultivation, both lit and non-lit. High-wire cultivation is not extensively applied in this country as yet. Resistance to green mottle mosaic virus Demand for Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) resistant varieties is high, in particular for high-wire cultivation. Crop Research Director Matthijs Groot: “With our new varieties DeeLite for summer and DeeZire for autumn, we respond to this trend. They combine intermediate resistance and good cultivation and production properties. We do our best to develop more resistant varieties without compromising on other key properties.” Grower René Welles: “We like direct sales” Together with his wife Cora, René Welles is cultivating 9 ha of cucumbers on two locations in the Dutch province of Limburg. Over two years ago, he said goodbye to the growers association and sales organisation that he was a member of. “We wanted to get a better grip on the selling price of our products,” he explains. “That was possible only by making direct agreements with the customers.” His wish was granted. Thanks to the company structure consisting of four separately managed departments, including one with supplemental light, Welles is able to tailor his cultivation programme to the wishes of customers, offering customisation in grading and packaging. It also allowed Welles to guarantee an even fresher product. “Since 1 January 2015, I have made direct deliveries, and I have a fair idea of my income in advance. Agreements for the new year are made well in advance. We are very happy to have made this switch.” Now also high-wire One of both locations was recently adjusted to accommodate high-wire cultivation. The two locations of 2.8 ha (lit) and 2.0 ha (not lit) will be used for growing DeeZire and Topspin, respectively. In the other location, a traditional cultivation system will continue with Kurios as the main variety. “Highwire cultivation gives us the opportunity of taking another step forward in production and quality. As the varieties offer for this cultivation method has become broader and better, we are happy to risk that. But we can always do better. My dream variety for high-wire cultivation combines quick leaf division with a compact growing behaviour and shorter internodes, does not give any side shoots and has one flower that always blooms in each leaf axil. And, of course, with all the desired resistances. If Enza Zaden could actually realise that, they will probably have problems producing enough seeds.” 6 | The Partnership The Partnership | 7

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