May 23, 2019
Enza Zaden field days create connections between researchers and growers
Jess Schmidt

{Sponsored} Enza Zaden is launching new varieties in two field days, one in San Juan Bautista, California June 11-13, 2019, and the other in Florida, which occurred May 14, 2019.

The California Field Days will focus on different crops. The new lettuces, endive and Eazyleaf® products will be in the spotlight in San Juan Bautista. Shaina Bronstein, organic sales representative for northwestern U.S. and western Canada, is excited about the new pairings available in the EazyLeaf line. Enza Zaden Field DaysThe greens in the EazyLeaf line are designed to be a teenaged size lettuce; by cutting off the base, the greens will be springmix-sized. The varieties in this line are designed to be paired together, such as Burgundy, the new red tango, with Ezrilla, a green variety.

Besides EazyLeaf, the California field day will focus on a new endive with proven genetics from Europe. Enza Zaden will allow growers to trial new varieties. The line includes “adaptable varieties and field growing characteristics such as uprightness and yield. New varieties Maratoneta and Benefine are curly and tres fin, respectively,” Bronstein said.

The Florida field day, which occurred on May 14, focused on watermelon, tomatoes, peppers and squash. Growers saw some of Enza Zaden’s outstanding new zucchini varieties, such as Green Machine and Dunja, both of which boast higher yield and better disease resistance. In addition, Enza Zaden had new genetics to see which offer reduced spines on the vines and early fruit production.

Growers also saw three new green bell peppers with bacterial leaf spot resistance and provided feedback to the Enza Zaden breeding team. “We wanted to learn what growers see and how we here at Enza Zaden can stay at the forefront in the ever-evolving pest and climate change issues growers face. Group-think is how we can stay on top of these issues, so field days are imperative to allow exchange of information between our team and growers,” said Adrienne Shelton, organic product specialist for the East Coast.

“At each research station, we have conventionally managed and organically managed plots. The section of land that is certified organic follows all USDA requirements, with inspections yearly,” Shelton said. Shelton noted that the stations are set up like this to demonstrate organic variety performance as well as to enable early stage breeding and selection. Additionally, the shared space ensures that organic varieties are exceptional performers.

Jean-Francois Thomin, marketing manager for Enza Zaden North America Inc., says field days are also about how growers can improve production costs. This can be anything from the higher yield and uniformity, plus better shelf life with newer varieties. “Since we have smaller teams focused on specific regions, we are able to adapt our breeding priorities very quickly,” Thomin said.

Enza Zaden’s goals for these field days are to get solid grower feedback on the new varieties and on what should be developed next, plus to learn more about what growers are hearing from wholesale buyers and farmers market attendees alike.

“Nothing replaces looking at products in the field with growers. The feedback and new ideas that result from these conversations are invaluable,” Thomin said.

Growers are encouraged to make an appointment for the California field days, which will occur on June 11-13. To register for an appointment, growers should email customer.service@ Florida’s field day ran May 14, 2019.

Enza Zaden / Vitalis Organic Seeds — FLORIDA | 27610 Crosby Rd, Myakka City, FL 34251

Enza Zaden / Vitalis Organic Seeds — CALIFORNIA | 525 Lucy Brown Rd, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045

© 2019 Enza Zaden

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands