Catania* (breeder reference: SVDN7396), the new early main crop carrot, is celebrated at BCGA Demo Day

Catania* (breeder reference: SVDN7396) was recognised for its vigorous foliage, uniformity, bolting tolerance and high yields at the British Carrot Growers Association (BCGA) Demonstration Day alongside their exciting trial variety also on show.

The Vegetable Farmer, December 2022

This year’s British Carrot Growers Association (BCGA) Demonstration Day in October was held in Perthshire at Fairygreen Farm, Kinrossie and kindly hosted by Tompsett Growers. The extremely scenic location hosted plots from six seed houses, as well as fungicide trials organised by Bayer and plots looking at breakage, frost resistance and crown rot. Richard Crownhurst reports.


New varieties

Bayer Seminis is working hard to increase its carrot portfolio, and technical account manager Matt Garnett says Carruba (SVDN5756) is starting to attract more interest from growers thanks to its true bolting tolerance. "It is a true second early with strong tops for top-lifting," he explained. "It has healthy dark green foliage and produces uniform roots with high yield potential." The foliage also makes it suitable for bunching and with the ability to harvest from June until mid-September it is a very versatile variety.

For the early main season, the company is introducing Catania (SVDN7396) which has vigorous and erect healthy foliage producing a strong canopy. "Catania produces very smooth and uniform roots with good tip finish," Matt added. "It also has good tolerance to internal greening and bolting and produces a strong root with high yield potential and good storage ability." As well as other varieties (including processing, coloured and Imperator types), Seminis was also showing one of the latest trial varieties (labelled simply as Carrot 1), illustrating that the company's breeding programme continues to produce interesting and useful material.


Crop protection trials

As well as the variety plots, Bayer had undertaken a fungicide trial on the site, and were also demonstrating the results of using Velum Prime (fluopyram) nematicide in carrots elsewhere. "We have undertaken more replicated trials on high pressure sites this year and compared Velum Prime to the leading garlic extract product," explained Bayer's Jack Hill. "There were clear differences in yield, as well as a reduction in fanging and the symptoms associated with free-living nematode species."

He adds that growers are now more familiar with the effective application of Velum Prime, with many now applying via a boom fitted to the front of the bed tiller. "This means that the product is being applied at the correct depth which helps keep the moisture in the soil for improved efficacy, he added. "We have also looked at co-applications of Velum Prime with Serenade, as the two products should complement each other to reduce the vectors associated with cavity spot infection of the roots."

The replicated fungicide trial at Fairygreen Farm included untreated plots, Nativo (trifloxystrobin + tebuconazole), Rudis (prothioconazole) and a new product coded LS, as well as different combination programmes. "We are starting to see some Alternaria come in on the untreated plots, but the plot treated with 0.5 Vha of LS has less visibly less yellowing and looks greener," commented market development manager James Howell. "That backs up our findings from other trials across Europe." The new product is currently being assessed by CRD and it is hoped that it will be commercially available for use on carrots and brassicas in 2024 witha7-day post-harvest interval for use against Alternaria, Sclerotinia and powdery mildew. "We are also looking at the use of foliar applications of Serenade as a preventative or protectant treatment, for example on organic crops," added James. "The key to successfully using Serenade in this way is to apply the product before the disease gets the chance to develop."

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