Friday, February 16, 2018

New lettuces from Bayer cover the supply calendar by combining production from various countries

The Nunhems® brand offers top quality all year round with varieties that can be grown in Spain, the United Kingdom and northern Europe
Offering highly versatile varieties that can meet demand from different market segments is the objective that Bayer has achieved with its new lettuces. During the field demonstration sessions that the Nunhems® brand has carried out at its experimental station in La Palma (Murcia), Bayer has given a new meaning to the concept of versatility by developing new lettuce varieties that cover the whole supply calendar by combining production cycles in different parts of Europe.
“With these new varieties we are able to serve any distribution chain all year round with the same variety of Romaine lettuce by combining autumn and winter production in Spain with summer production in the United Kingdom or northern Europe”, notes Alfonso Fernández, Bayer’s crop specialist. “The huge popularity of our romaine lettuces, with Glamoral having become the market leader in winter, clearly shows that we made the right decision in developing a new concept based on the versatility of the raw materials, which the market has been demanding for some time now and benefits every link in the supply chain,” he adds.

The concept developed by Bayer for its range of romaine lettuces goes even further. The firm has presented new varieties that can be grown in both conventional and high density cultivations and can also be used equally for fresh sales, commercial processing or lettuce hearts in single and twin presentations. None of these varieties is sensitive to photoperiod and hence do not twist, even when the plantation density is very high. “We’re not just rounding off the annual calendar by growing the same variety in different countries depending on the time of year, but enabling the same variety to be delivered to different market segments at the same time,” contends Alfonso Fernández.

For autumn and spring cultivation, Sideral* is a romaine variety developed under the same premise of versatility and is characterized by its excellent yield and high resistance to Tip Burn and twisting. Although Sideral is heavier, it is a medium-sized lettuce that is particularly attractive to producers and consumers thanks to its excellent flavour and leaf texture.
Mayoral continues to offer very attractive pieces with slightly puffy leaves and more flavour than other varieties that have a more rustic appearance and are harsher on the palate.

In the mini-romaine lettuce category, Rugbee* has conquered the market for its exceptionally reliable production from late December through to May. Rugbee is a very stable variety with all the usual resistance to Bremia Lactucae, which guarantees the right size per piece in full winter production. Thimble* continues to stand out in early harvests for its flavour and shape. Thimble is also resistant to Tip Burn.

Rugbee and Thimble are also an example of versatility, with the great advantage that these two varieties can be grown both in Spain and Northern Europe, thus rounding off the production calendar and guaranteeing a continuous supply of top quality produce all year round.
Better Baby Leaf
In the Baby Leaf category, Bayer is introducing the Better Baby Leaf concept to differentiate varieties that have an added extra in terms of useful life, colour, texture and yield per hectare. The distinguishing features of the Better Baby Leaf concept are very interesting for the processing industry, which obtains a longer-lasting raw material which is also much tastier. All the new lettuces included in this new concept have a comprehensive resistance package: RedFlash, GreenFlash, Nitaflash and ThorFlash.

For autumn production, Kuenka* has become the market reference thanks to its excellent versatility, a characteristic it shares with other new products in the Iceberg category that allow production to be fulfilled during the whole autumn period.

The inclusion of Aspirata* for spring harvests is worth mentioning, which is resistant to mildew and aphids. Aspirata is easily distinguished for its excellent formation. Nunhems® completes its leadership in this category with Mestiza, Vanguardia and Adara*.

In the Little Gem category, Bayer has pulled off a surprise with the presentation of Themes*, which represents the introduction of a new and intriguing concept. Themes stands out at the point of sale for its leaf closure and overlapping, which makes it especially attractive to look at. Its glossy dark green colour is also very eye-catching. Its sweet, intense flavour and crispy texture makes Themes an unparalleled treat for the taste-buds. “Themes will revolutionize the market thanks to its innovative approach in terms of shape, colour and flavour”, says Carlos del Espino, the Bayer crop specialist. In addition, Thermal* is being consolidated as being particularly suitable for the winter market with its resistance to mildew and aphids.

New trends in the Multileaf® category
With a view to offering a higher yield and a longer useful life, the new generation of Multileaf® Apollo is being strengthened with the launch of a new variety that will increase production per hectare and is notable for its resistance to oxidation. Both characteristics make this new variety the ideal candidate for the processing industry, consolidating the sales leadership that Bayer has achieved with Multigreen 101 and Multired 98. Across the whole range, new resistances have been incorporated to Bremia Lactucae, aphids and Nasonovia.
During the field demonstration, Bayer revealed its new lines of spinach with resistance to spinach mildew (Pfs) from breeds 1 to 16. It also presented the advances that have been made in improving agronomic characteristics (shape, colour, yield, vigour) and in preventing leaf marking (leaf spot) caused by fungi when plant material that is less sensitive to this problem is included. Bayer has thus managed to ensure that the leaves maintain their attractive dark green colour and to minimizes the loss of commercial value as a result of fungal-type damage.

Among the varieties presented it is worth highlighting Pegasum* for its high resistance to leaf spot and excellent performance. It offers a high yield in the field with a good colour and very good leaf shape, a factor that supermarkets rate very highly. Hydrus* embodies an extensive sowing calendar plus homogenous, high quality production throughout the season. Hydrus also benefits from full mildew resistance and excellent resistance to leaf spot.

This year the field demonstration days also included a show-cooking session to showcase the numerous culinary possibilities of the new lettuces from Nunhems®. From 13 to 15 February, dozens of trade professionals who visited Bayer’s experimental station in La Palma had the chance to savour some innovative dishes such as cream of Sideral romaine lettuce with cheese and freeze-dried apple ravioli topped with Theme, or Pegasum spinach hummus in textures on toast.

The culinary versatility of these new lettuces from Bayer and their tremendous capacity to win over consumers was also evident in recipes such as warm multi-leaf salad with calamari curls and Asian majao, and a roll of Vanguardia Iceberg lettuce containing crispy roast pork on pineapple and fennel chutney.

* APC granted and in the application process for inclusion in the EC Common Catalogue of Vegetable Varieties.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to

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