due to TolCNDV virus in Spain:

Dutch and Belgium growers see opportunities in Courgette crops

There are many media reports about the large problems with the Tomato Leaf Curl New Dehli Virus in Spain. Especially in the area around Almeria (Andalusia), where the largest part of the European courgettes are grown, has been hit by this TolCNDV virus. This virus does not only have influence on the production, but also on the price of courgettes, which in a very short time has doubled. The higher price per kilo is exactly the reason that many growers in the Benelux have changed to growing courgettes.

Difficult to fight
The ToLCNDV virus was first found last summer. Already during October the ministry of agriculture declared, that the virus amongst courgettes had spread extensively, especially because of the Bemisia white fly. As the Bemisia has been fought chemically, it is now resistant to almost all working pesticides. The virus cannot, it appears, be exterminated.

A solution will have to be found in prevention and organic pesticides. All glasshouses infected are to be locked hermetically and the local growers will have to do all they can to build up a good population of natural enemies.

Opportunities
However, the problems in Spain offer opportunities to growers in the Netherlands and Belgium. Growers in these regions recognize in the high price per kilo a top opportunity and will decide this season whether or not to change to courgettes.

Seed breeder De Ruiter expects room for upcoming courgette cultivation. Peter Custers, responsible for the sale of courgette varieties at De Ruiter: "We are happy that we have sufficient seed in order to satisfy the possibility of increasing demand. At the moment the first lot of our varieties are being sowed by the plant growers."

Two varieties of De Ruiter are important: Bengal and Taxi. Bengal is the green courgette of De Ruiter, which guarantees a high yield in Flandria quality. Taxi is a yellow courgette, which has proven its advantages for years already. Taxi supplies a high yield of beautiful, gold-yellow shiny courgettes. In addition the Gold Rush can also still be supplied this year.

For more information about De Ruiter visit www.deruiterseeds.nl.


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