Posted 25 April 2012. Plant Health Progress.
Monsanto Company Launches New Downy Mildew Resistant Cucumber Hybrids
New Seminis brand product to provide growers with the potential for increased production, flexibility and improved sustainability
Source: Monsanto Company Press Release. www.monsanto.com
St. Louis, Missouri (April 20, 2012)--This spring, cucumber farmers in the U.S. and Canada will have new hybrid options that help protect against damaging Downy Mildew disease. Monsanto’s Seminis® brand will offer growers two slicer cucumber hybrids that increase harvestable yield potential and enable a reduction in both the number and cost associated with the fungicidal sprays currently used to control the disease.
Thanks to the effective disease resistance developed through conventional breeding and a new donor, Seminis® Downy Mildew resistant cucumber hybrids have the potential for a more flexible spray schedule. By allowing the opportunity to reduce fungicide applications, Seminis® Downy Mildew resistant cucumber hybrids help growers conserve resources and protect the environment while offering improved economic performance.
“Downy Mildew is a globally-significant disease problem affecting yield and quality for many crops, including cucumbers,” said Ronnie Blackley, Monsanto’s Cucurbit Technology Development Lead. “We are very excited to offer cucumber growers a new defense against this damaging disease, which was previously limited to fungicides.”
In 2012, Seminis® is offering two Downy Mildew resistant cucumber varieties: SV3462CS and SV4719CS, which will be offered exclusively with FarMore® F1400 Cucumber Technology from Syngenta Seed Care. This proprietary seed protection system provides superior fungal disease and insect control while working to maximize cucumber production value by enhancing performance and quality.
Scott Weathington, President of the agricultural consulting firm Agri-Technologies, had the opportunity to test these two new varieties in various field trials over the past year. Weathington said he tested both varieties with a 7-day spray program under high downy mildew pressure.
“Compared to two leading commercial varieties, both varieties were equal in terms of yield, quality, shelf-life and color in trials where pressure was low. Even under high pressure, 3462 [SV3462CS] has a good fruit shape, really good foliage and really good resistance to downy mildew,” he explained. “One of the things that we observed was it hung on a lot better than the leading commercial varieties. 4719 [SV4719CS] also has good fruit shape, superior foliage resistance to downy and it was beautiful in the field.”
Bill Brim, a grower in Tifton, Ga. also had the chance to view these new varieties on his farm this past year. “We had a trial of the Seminis Downy Mildew resistant cucumbers on my farm and you could definitely see a difference where the pressure affected those cucumbers a lot less than in the others,” he explained. Brim is one of about a dozen Seminis New Product Innovators, a new program that gives select growers the first look at new products and technologies like these new Downy Mildew Resistant hybrids.