18 Aug 2020

Bringing new varieties to your door from EGVID 2020

The event held in Lindenow was expected to attract over 1,000 growers and industry professionals, but like many other events, EGVID 2020 was impacted by Covid-19 and social distancing restrictions, resulting in many challenges for event organisers. The traditional event structure was revised and new and innovative ways of communicating trial results were adopted.

The versatility of event organisers was showcased as they made last minute changes including online trial bookings, which limited attendee numbers to 50 per day over the three day event. The introduction of digital initiatives were also used to ensure access to trials were not hampered. Videos of the trials, and a series of webinars were professionally created, produced and livestreamed on Facebook to provide viewers with the best possible experience under the circumstances.

While nothing can replace the experience of attending field trials in person, viewing the crops and speaking with crop specialists, the creation of webinars, videos and live streaming allowed those unable to attend to have a virtual onsite experience and the opportunity to learn more about new varieties. It has also provided a wider audience, with access to variety information through online channels, including those both locally and internationally.

The heavens were kind with clear weather for the week and more growers than expected attending the Rijk Zwaan trials. Rijk Zwaan’s team of three account managers from Victoria, Rob Philip, Param Turna and Stephanie Knight were onsite to speak to growers who commented that the limited numbers allowed them to engage in longer, more open and in-depth discussion about the varieties and trial data.

This year marks the first time celery was showcased by Rijk Zwaan at EGVID with experienced growers commenting that they were particularly impressed by our celery trial crops. The trials highlighted Kelvin RZ as a reliable performer, and newcomer, Tejal RZ as a slow bolting addition to the range that is strong against black hearts and suitable for growing during the summer months. Sanjit RZ was highlighted as a new faster growing variety thanks to increased vigour for sticks, hearts and heads.

Hear what Sales Representative, Stephanie Knight has to say about Rijk Zwaan's new celery varieties

The Rijk Zwaan lettuce program was on full display, with highlights across the Salanova®, iceberg and cos lettuce range, many now incorporating the award winning Knox™ trait which provides additional shelf-life and improves the consumer experience by delivering fresher lettuce and helping to reduce waste. “Knox™ is a game changer in lettuce breeding!” commented Victorian Account Manager, Rob Philip. Developed after more than a decade of research and development, this natural trait delays the ‘pinking’ or browning of cut surfaces in lettuce by days. The whole supply chain benefits from fresher lettuce, thanks to Knox™.

The standout in our Iceberg lettuce range is newcomer Corvinas RZ (45-IC1607) with Knox™, which is looking fantastic in trials across Australia especially for harvesting in the shoulder and cooler periods. This variety, alongside Jalonas RZ and Signas RZ are extremely worthy of additional attention in grower trial programs over the next 12 months.

Rijk Zwaan at EGVID 2020 - Corvinas RZ (45-IC1607) with Knox

Caption: Corvinas RZ (45-IC1607) with Knox™ 

In recent years we have been seeing a change in cos lettuce towards more midi sized, compact cos varieties, especially for sleeving and processing. Gradara RZ remains a market standard and is a fantastic product for processing and the fresh market with a very long harvest period.

Tuccadona RZ is our first variety with the Knox™ trait that is working well from spring through to autumn and is starting to gain momentum in the market.

In the baby cos segment, we are really excited about the possibilities for Tendita RZ, a sweet crunchy cos dubbed the perfect ‘snack lettuce’ that is also perfect for the home, hospitality and sandwich markets, while Rainey RZ is a promising addition for cooler harvesting periods that can complement pioneer variety Amadeus RZ.  Learn more about Rijk Zwaan lettuce varieties and innovations:

In the Salanova® butter range, red leaf varieties Kalat RZ and Davinci RZ both carry the Knox™ trait and blend well with green leaf varieties like Higgs RZ, and our new introduction Chalmers RZ with Knox™. All of these varieties provide good yields of sweet, tender and mildly flavoured buttery leaves that are a ‘forkable’ size.

A new feature of the trials this year is the Salanova® Green Oakleaf types with Tinne RZ and Behn RZ to offer a year round program.

Hear what Account Manager, Param Turna has to say about Rijk Zwaan's Salanova® baby butter and tender oak leaf lettuce

In the important Salanova® crispy salad leaf range, we extend our range and quality. Tralex RZ is an outstanding addition and considered an upgrade of the market standard Telex RZ, while Andiron RZ, features a vibrant cherry red coral frill adding dimension to the salad mix.  Barbex RZ with the Knox™ trait is expected to become a very important variety in the cooler periods due to its upright habit and harvestability.

Ozwald RZ and Zac RZ Knox™, both new red oak varieties combine for year round harvesting and set a new standard for leaf quality and yield.

In the Green Crisp types Exanimo RZ Knox™ (79-IN1600) was a real standout and it is suitable for harvesting all year. This variety is a beautiful new leaf for the salad mix.

Another highlight from the trials was the extensive range of Rijk Zwaan spinach and chard varieties for the Australian market. Growers now have more choice available with leaf types including a wide range of both semi-savoy and smooth spinach varieties.

Consistently performing, Kolibri RZ features uniform leaves with a strong mildew package and can manage the heat extremely well, while promising newcomer, Lizard RZ has been performing very well under a broad range of different environments and growing regions. Other varieties showcased included Pronghorn RZ, Sunangel RZ, Cormorant RZ and of course the winter standard Platypus RZ, showing in the trials, why it is the market leader.

Learn more about Rijk Zwaan’s new spinach and Swiss chard varieties.

Charlie RZ (left) vs Charbell RZ (right) which features an intense colour

Caption: Charlie RZ  (left) vs Charbell RZ (right) which features an intense colour

Over the coming weeks, you can expect to see updates about Rijk Zwaan’s assortments on our website and throughout our social media channels.

We thank the EGVID organising committee for all their efforts in ensuring that growers, both nationally and internationally were, and continue to be, part of the event through the online viewing of Rijk Zwaan crop varieties.

For more information on Rijk Zwaan’s new and commercially tried and tested Rijk Zwaan varieties, or to arrange a meeting with one of our experts, contact: