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Dutch growers updated on new varieties, ToBRFV research and Data Driven Growing

Organized for the Dutch market, Syngenta’s Inspiration Day recently took place in the port of Rotterdam. In between imposing container ships, a large group of Dutch growers was received at Futureland. The turnout was great. So much so that it had to be split into two groups to ensure a corona-proof event.

Prior to the speakers’ presentations, there was room to see and discuss the varieties in all tomato and bell pepper segments with one of the Syngenta people.


Breedig trials specialists
We spoke with Geoffrey Hibbs. Geoffrey is a breeding trials specialist and, in that capacity, he assesses whether new varieties can move on to the next stage in the breeding process. He follows up on the trials of the latest varieties early on. With him, we discuss a number of varieties that are still in the pre-commercial stage. Large-scale trials are being prepared for these because they are promising ones.

Guido de Wit and Marie Legendre

KM2003syn1This cherry tomato makes its own sucrose, so the entire growing process requires less energy from the crop. Geoffrey: “That is beneficial for the taste. We can call that a golden combination. Moreover, the production is 15-20% greater than that of the standard variety in this segment.”

syn2The taste experience of this tomato is similar to that of the Angelle’s. Geoffrey: “A soft taste. It melts in your mouth. In terms of yield, this variety is better than the Sweetelle. It has shorter vines, which makes the crop more labor-friendly.”

This variety belongs to the medium vine segment. Geoffrey: “The 8C18301 really stood out in our evaluations compared to two leading varieties. Certainly, as regards production in general, as well as early production specifically, it was clear that this variety may go on to larger-scale field trials.” Its flavor is similar to that of the Sevance.

8C16319syn4This vine tomato deserves a place in the spotlight because of its high production figures. Geoffrey: “Those figures are about 10% higher than the current standard in this segment.”

605156 syn5Lastly, Geoffrey shows us the 605156. “This is an improved version of the Lemonade. The presentation is perfect, and the taste especially delicious.”

Annelies Justé

Annelies Justé, of DCM, is a bioengineer and PhD student in microbiology, and she is conducting intensive research on ToBRFV. She shared her practical knowledge in her presentation. One of the bad things about this virus is that a crop could be infected but give no sign of it yet. Apparently, a long time will pass between infection and symptoms. And this is also variable.

Mechanical infection is also a tricky one. A virus on a surface can still be transmitted after between six months and a year. Testing is therefore essential, and that can be done in various ways: via drain samples, leaf samples, and swabs.

By now, tomato growers are well aware of the threat of ToBRFV. Nevertheless, it still goes wrong sometimes. Annelies has heard the stories about you ‘never’ really getting rid of it, which fortunately is not entirely true. Annelies also knows of examples of greenhouses that are completely clean again after a thorough cleaning. “You shouldn’t forget critical places in the greenhouse, such as carts, gutters, or dust on the lamps.”

Ruud Kaagman

Ruud Kaagman, Global Crop Unit Head Tomato at Syngenta, discussed several points that a breeder should already be aware of in 2021. The breeding process takes ten years of research, so foresight is needed. There are key trends such as urbanization (leading to the professionalization of cultivation), changes in consumption behavior (the snack segment will continue to grow), sustainability (drought-resistant varieties and residue-free cultivation), automation/robotization (because labor will become a limiting factor anyway) and digitalization.

And on that last topic, it was time for Martin van Tol, of, to speak.

Martin van Tol

Data driven
Martin van Tol is sales manager at He discussed the roadmap to Data Driven Growing. This is a term you hear a lot lately. Martin: “We create models to increase the Return on Investment for the grower based on data. That’s the goal.” assigns values to data so that it becomes information. Based on that factual information, the grower can make informed decisions. He says they do so with the Plant Empowerment principles in mind; it’s all about keeping the plant in balance.

The goal is certainly not to replace humans. The tools are there to help the growers. Data driven organizations will have even more opportunities to increase their ROI.


Geoffrey Hibbs with 8C18301

For more information:

Peter Colbers
Mobiel: +31 (0)6 1270 9364

Peter Geerts
Mobiel: +32 4 7531 5999

Rob Gevers
Mobiel: +31 (0)6 1383 4162

Pieter Stijnen
Mobiel: +32 4 7760 4912

Marcel Vis
Mobiel: +31  6 1296 4722

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

Prepared according to

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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