Spain: New lettuces to bring more flavour, easier harvesting

At the BASF experimental station in the Murcian town of La Palma, Nunhems, BASF's horticultural seed brand, is presenting new lettuce varieties during the field demonstration days.

As a novelty for growing table, Magistral is presented for harvesting from the end of February to the beginning of April. Magistral is a compact and very heavy variety that includes high resistance to Tip Burn and other agronomic advantages inherited from Glamoral. Both varieties together with Sideral, complete the harvesting calendar from November to July.

In the range of Romaine lettuces, Nunhems goes further and commits to the tendency to grow smaller and more compact varieties, with the aim of encouraging consumption in Spain. Smaller Romaine type lettuces, that weigh around 450 grams per piece, will be introduced in the domestic market, a new concept inspired by British consumer habits. "Our market studies confirm that the consumption and market value of romaine lettuce in Spain is decreasing. This is due to the lack of harmony between the current supply of too large and over-ripe romaine lettuce which affects its flavour and consumption experience, and the demand of the current consumer who is more focused on the organoleptic quality of romaine", explains Alfonso Fernández, lettuce specialist at BASF Vegetable Seeds.

Therefore, more flavour and smaller calibre are the new attributes added to the already complete, range of Nunhems Romaine.

Romaine industry
Special mention of the novelties in the Romaine typology is required, especially indicated for industrial processing and suitable for mechanised harvesting. This year Nunhems presents NUN 6193 LTL, with a dark green colour to the taste of consumers in Northern Europe, and NUN 06567 LTL with a lighter colour, in accordance with consumer trends in Southern Europe. Both varieties offer a high yield per square metre and are characterised by their extra-sweet taste. In both cases, their suitability for processing and resisting to oxidation after mechanical cutting is very good.

Mini Romaine
In the Mini-Romaine lettuce category, Basf has presented NUN 06549 LTL, a classic mini-romaine that stands out for its wide harvesting calendar throughout the winter and spring and also because it has an extraordinary resistance to Tip Burn (from mid-February to summer). It is a guarantee of size, formation, flavour and resistance to Tip Burn. In addition to the technical field sessions, Nunhems will hold next Thursday in La Puebla the event 'Romaine Revolution', in which several experts will offer updated information to know in depth the market and consumer trends in Romaine. Representatives of companies such as Hispatec and Kantar Worldpanel Spain will participate.

New trend in Multileaf
For the first time, Nunhems develops suitable Multileaf varieties adapted to mechanised harvesting, with the aim of reducing labour costs and responding to the demand of the processing markets in Northern Europe, where labour availability is beginning to pose a problem. In this line, Multigreen 114 is presented, standing out for its performance and for offering a very complete resistance package. Multigreen 114 incorporates the signs of identity that already defined the Nunhems Multileaf range, such as high productivity per hectare and resistance to oxidation after cutting.

In Iceberg lettuce, the Nunhems varieties are differentiating themselves by demonstrating excellent field performance and quality, which has already earned the trust of producers. This year, Nunhems introduces new features that allow harvesting calendars to be extended to ensure a continued supply of Iceberg throughout the year.

Goldiva is one of the highlights at Iceberg, with a very long harvesting period and a freshly cut appearance at all times. NUN 216 LTL, with high resistance to Tip Burn is incorporated for the summer cycle.

In the Little Gem category, Nunhems has introduced Thicket for the autumn-winter campaign and Thespian for the summer campaign. Both varieties offer high standards of quality and resistance.

Complete Spinach Programs
In the field demonstration that concludes next Friday, you can also learn about two important novelties in spinach. Serpens, with excellent quality and resistance to leaf spot for the autumn and spring cycles, and Regor, with vigour, quality and yield for the winter cycle.

With these two novelties, Nunhems reinforces a wide range of spinach varieties for the entire sowing calendar. "Our mission is to offer to the whole chain, safe and profitable varieties for any crop cycle, so that complete spinach programmes can be tackled and buyers can be loyal", according to Carlos del Espino, spinach specialist at BASF Vegetable Seeds.

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