Dutch vegetable breeder Rijk Zwaan is entering the squash market with the launch of its first three commercial varieties.
Following research into the growing popularity of squash varieties and assessing the needs of the market, the seed specialist is adding the varieties to its portfolio of vegetables.
Calawinter, Calabonita, Calagreen are the cylindrical dark green type of squash.
Calawinter RZ is suitable for indoor winter production, while Calabonita RZ, has an intermediate resistance to powdery mildew and can be grown indoors and outdoors in spring, summer and early autumn.
Calagreen RZ will complement Calabonita in the protected segment. Rijk Zwaan also plans to extend its portfolio for open field next year.
Labour-friendly and productive
The three varieties produce good yields and have a “thorough package of natural resistances” against disease and pests, according to the breeders. Harvest reliability has also been a top priority for the squash variants.
One of the strategic developments in these three new varieties is to improve harvest efficiency as squash can be a relatively labour-intensive crop. Rijk Zwaan has developed plants with fruits that can be harvested faster and give growers better financial gains.
The breeding team has initially concentrated on the dark green segment, however, the first varieties in the white and yellow segments will follow shortly. This is in response to the rising popularity of mixed packs and Rijk Zwaan’s strategy to set itself apart with high-quality fruits that retain an attractive shine long after harvesting.