'Roundita,' a new tomato variety developed by De Ruiter Seeds as part of Vegetables by Bayer, has been grown in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland for about a year. Market Developer Grit Vogt from the Monheim-based company tells us that the variety is mainly used in greenhouse production. "However, it is also suitable in greenhouses without high-tech means as well as for retail operations with tunnel production in summer," Grit Vogt says.
(Left to right:) Yvonne Dojahn, Grit Vogt, and a colleague from Bayer CropScience Germany present 'Roundita' at Fruchtwelt Bodensee 2023 in Friedrichshafen.
"Compared to other varieties, Roundita has the potential to produce a higher number of hawsers during the season. We were also able to determine via our trials that it allows up to 15 percent more yield, and Roundita has a higher resistance package compared to varieties currently on the market," says Vogt. "The individual fruit weight ranges from 14 to 16 grams. We measured brix values up to 11 degrees. The appearance, as well as the taste, are also well received by end customers."
In 2022, the first samples were established. "Most growers have grown it directly this year, as 'Roundita' also generates value for growers. As a cherry vine tomato, it is already offered in individual chains and can be grown and marketed throughout the year. The current situation, with the high energy - and labor costs, pose major problems for tomato growers, switching to more generative and well-balanced new varieties with an excellent resistance package can help growers here."
"It is being tested for bulk in France." Roundita is also available in the Netherlands, where it is currently very difficult to test new varieties with growers. Many growers in the Netherlands are currently very reluctant to test new varieties. Besides the high energy costs, the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV), also known as 'Jordan virus' in Germany, is a major problem here. "Bayer CropScience is actively working on breeding new varieties that combine resistance to ToBRVF and the positive characteristics of previously known varieties."
The development time of new tomato varieties is between five to ten years. Whether individual varieties are suitable for commercialization is checked via test phases in various greenhouses. Vogt: "If the cultivation works under the given circumstances, we will decide as a team whether it can be marketed. This process usually takes one to three years."
For more information:
Bayer CropScience Deutschland GmbH
D - 40789 Monheim