“Yellow cherry tomatoes are not always as tasty as they look. While visiting DeRuiter’s high tech trials at the Expo Agroalimentaria last month, visitors could taste the DRO948TS .
The DRO948TS is forthcoming from the Mexican high tech breeding pipeline. “High tech is the premium segment in Mexico’s greenhouse horticulture, it currently covers around 10 percent of the market. The acreage is stable, but is still expanding moderately year by year; a reason for us to develop high tech varieties that are dedicated to the Mexican market”, said DeRuiter’s Thijs Peekstok when explaining to us why the breeder has its own Mexican program. “Mexico is the most important supplier of greenhouse produce for North America, and the customers are demanding the same high quality product as they are used to from the domestic production. But Mexican growers demand special varieties that can also cope with the specific climates of their countries. We are very proud that we can now show the first results of this program!”
“Mexico’s high tech growers are increasingly in search of good quality crops, that have a good production, good post-harvest behaviour, are firm and have the right shape”, said Jose Jaime Bocanegra of DeRuiter Mexico. “That is a large criteria, but our Mexican breeding program is really dedicated to creating varieties that fulfil all of these requirements.”
DeRuiter’s Jose Jaime Bocanegra and Homero Benitez at the high tech demonstration of DeRuiter at the Expo AgroAlimentaria 2014 last month.
A trend amongst Mexican High tech growers is the demand for crops that last longer during the season. “All of the growers, whether they grow tomatoes, cucumbers or bell peppers, are all looking for more weeks of harvest. The crop changes are becoming shorter, because the growers want to increase the weeks of supplies to their customers in the U.S. and Canada.”
One of these long lasting crops that DeRuiter is known for is the Torero beefsteak tomato, a variety with a long, extended harvesting period and continuous quality tomatoes. The crops sometimes provide 40 weeks of harvest in certain regions.”
In regards to beefsteak, DeRuiter is further strengthening its position on the market with the introduction of Foronti. “This variety has all of the good aspects of Torero, but with a higher production potential and mildew resistance, we give growers another option to choose from.”
Damian Solomon, Harry Kroeker, Hilda Diaz and Thijs Peekstok of De Ruiter.
TOV Merlice + Rootstocks
“But also the coarse TOV variety Merlice has become very big in Mexico”, Bocanegra added. “We are now the leader in this segment with Merlice. The crop is favoured especially with the combination of the Maxifort rootstock. But we are now also introducing the rootstock DR141TX, a rootstock that suits the Mexican market very well. We are working in the centre of Mexico with the high tech growers, they are achieving very good results with the DR141TX due the fact that it really stands out in hot summer conditions, has big potential for high yields, and is enhancing plant endurance.”
Also in Mexico, DeRuiter is increasing its focus on the implementation of more taste in the varieties. At the show we had a chance to experience one of the first results of this with the yellow cherry tomato DRO948TS. From our experience, yellow cherry tomatoes are not always as sweet and tasty as they look. The new DRO948TS however has a surprisingly fresh and sweet taste. We were amazed by the good taste, and the visitors couldn’t resist picking them.
This young visitor couldn’t resist the new tasty yellow cherry tomatoes
Bocanegra: “Customers are looking for high brix in this kind of variety, we know that this variety can achieve high brix levels without problems. In normal cases, growers had to increase the EC to achieve higher brix levels, but the DRO948T is producing sugar by itself. On top of this the variety has great potential to produce a high yield as well, the productivity is phenomenal.
“This is one of the first examples coming out of our new breeding pipeline that is combining high yield and taste”, Bocanegra said. “But also presentation and shelf life are very important. We are very confident that we will continue with implementing a balanced combination of all these requirements in our new varieties that are in the pipeline for the future!”.