BRAWLEY – The first Enza Zaden Onion Field Day was held April 27th at the Thomas Cox Farm in Brawley, CA. Over 40 select southwestern growers and dealers participated, in addition to a delegation of six key growers from Brazil.
Enza Zaden’s onion portfolio currently offers 14 varieties, including top short-day and intermediate-day programs, as well as top 100% organic varieties. More hybrid varieties are in the pipeline, including several nearing readiness for commercial markets. These hybrids in development reflect Enza Zaden’s commitment to leadership in onion breeding programs, particularly for southwestern growing conditions.
Of currently available varieties, Francesca, a mid to late short-day yellow globe onion featuring genetically unique firmness was a major feature for growers attending the field day. Francesca offers notable tolerance to Pink Root and other fungal diseases, in addition to mechanical harvesting potential.
“The combination of Francesca’s firmness, its relatively uniform size and its excellent top vigor, provide an opportunity to significantly reduce labor costs while improving overall harvest efficiency. Mechanical harvest can make a major difference, and growers are excited about varieties with that game changing potential,” said Pine Higgins, Area Sales Manager, Enza Zaden USA.
Other short-day varieties featured at the field day included Taipan, which can be sown in a wider window; Madalyn, a large bulb, high-yielding quick-to-mature variety; Samurai, featuring partial resistance to fungal diseases alongside good flavor and firmness; and Gabriella, featuring large, uniform, globe-shaped bulbs with an extended shelf-life.
Growers were pleased to see Enza Zaden’s continuing investment in short-day varieties along with other segments. They also appreciated detailed insight into Enza Zaden’s hybrids in development.
“We’re highly committed to leadership in onion breeding programs for the southwest, and we recognize the value of grower insights in developing new varieties. For that reason, we set up the field day as a series of one-on-one sessions for growers to walk the field with our team of product specialists and researchers, gaining insight into current and upcoming commercial varieties, some of which could be on grower fields by next season. Our innovation pipeline is very exciting for southwestern onion growers,” said Javier Russek, Senior Product Specialist, Enza Zaden USA.