AU: Seeds of success for Enza Zaden

Enza Zaden station manager Michael Fenwick said the research and development station develops seeds for onion, cauliflower, lettuce, pumpkin and broccoli, and they are among the 32 vegetable species developed by the company globally.

The plant breeders at Enza Zaden develop the species to create the best progeny to sow utilizing conventional breeding methodology and intensive disease screening techniques. "We develop varieties so that they're better suited to the climate conditions, improve taste or nutritional value and cope better with disease or pests," Mr Fenwick said.

"Breeding trials and seed productions are performed both on farm and in commercial growing regions. The purpose of research and development activities in Australia are to support the development of the new commercial varieties for the global market. We develop new lines for the growers. The site is a 54-hectare property outside of Narromine, complete with laboratory, glasshouse, storage, processing sheds, seed storage facilities, plastic clad tunnel houses and seed raising facilities."

"Breeders select the progeny with the most positive traits and least negative traits, cross the selected progeny back to one of the original parent plants to transfer the more positive traits into the following generation."

The company performs contra season trials and productions to double conventional breeding capacity and halve the time to sell products.

Narromine's Enza Zaden is one station of 20 world wide. It is a part of a 75-year-old family owned company based in the Netherlands.


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