04 Nov 2016

Sharing a vision for leaf crops in Western Australia

Sharing a vision for leaf crops in Western Australia

Rijk Zwaan’s Western Australia Leaf Crop Field Day took place on 27th October in Carabooda, presenting an opportunity for growers to view recent developments in Rijk Zwaan’s breeding such as the Knox™ lettuce varieties, and introductions selected specifically for the tough conditions in Western Australia.

The trial displayed included types such as Salanova® and Knox™ varieties,  as well as the traditional lettuce segments like iceberg, coral & oak, a range of cos varieties including baby, midi and large cos, and babyleaf spinach.

Knox lettuce varieties offer delayed pinking in cut lettuce and were a real focus: there is a range of varieties available for trial in Australia so growers and processors were eager to discuss the potential benefits Knox lettuce can offer their businesses. Cos varieties Knox™ 41-514 RZ and Knox™ 41-149 RZ were standouts with immediate commercial significance.

Salanova lettuce stimulated discussions about delivering a tasty tender leaf for salad consumers; how to achieve a top quality salad mix to consumers and where Salanova can add value for both growers and processors. With Salanova displayed both at standard and at high density varieties Codex RZ (79-65) and Haflex RZ (79-66) earned a lot of interest with their deep red colour and ability to be used as either a coral or a crisp.

Local Sales Representative Dusanka Milunovic comments “I’m glad we have such strength in our traditional segments, but Knox and Salanova concepts are both really interesting for our growers. When you see varieties like Exam RZ (79-10) combining Knox and Salanova it is a good promise of what Rijk Zwaan’s breeding can offer in the future”.

Spinach Crop Specialist Rob Philip was able to offer insight into international trends in spinach production and a wider view of the performance of the varieties selected for Australia. “There are a number of really strong varieties that will handle WA’s tough summer conditions” commented Rob “Goanna RZ (51-709) is a real highlight in our trials for the mid-summer slot; nice slow growth, a robust dark green leaf, great yields and fantastic holding ability”.

 “It’s been a cold winter, and a late spring in Carabooda” said local Sales Representative Tristan Wilson-Kerrigan, “but despite the tough conditions the trial looks sensational; a real credit to Vange & Ryan’s growing abilities. We’d both like to thank them for hosting the trial, and to thank Rob for making the trip over from Victoria.” 

RZAU WA Demotrial