Sweet corn and lettuce have gained attention from seed developers, resulting in recently released varieties.
“Tomatoes, peppers and sweet corn are leaders in vegetable consumption by the U.S. population and, given this, are sizable seed markets,” said Scott Langkamp, head of vegetables in North America for Syngenta, Boise, Idaho..
“The input traits currently available for sweet corn offer many benefits in yield and quality of the crop while reducing the need for insecticide applications,” Langkamp said.
Syngenta plans to launch Attribute II, a sweet corn variety upgrade from the company’s Attribute brand of insect-protected sweet corn. Attribute II will have enhanced insect protection, according to Langkamp.
“Capitalizing on the full potential of a plant requires a holistic approach to production from seed to traits to seed care to crop protection,” Langkamp said.
Summer Sweet MultiSweet
Abbott & Cobb Inc., Feasterville, Pa., also has worked to improve its sweet corn seed.
Two new varieties are the Summer Sweet MultiSweet 2340 and the Summer Sweet MultiSweet 2001 MR.
The bicolor, hybrid 2340 variety is the newest in the SSW (U.S. Patent No. 6,184,438 and additional patents pending) line. It has increased husk protection and grows on a sturdy plant, among other traits.
The white hybrid 2001 MR matures early and has good seedling vigor and a strong flag and husk package, according to Lisa Zaglin, marketing manager for Abbott & Cobb.
Nunhems USA, Parma, Idaho, focuses its efforts on 10 main crops. Recently, lettuce has been popular for the company, according to Rebecca Catlett, produce chain manager for the Americas.
The company has a new multileaf lettuce product being grown by River Ranch Fresh Foods, Salinas, Calif.
Heritage Blend, a blend of red and green lettuces, was featured as the best product introduction at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2011.
Other produce categories aren’t being ignored, though.
Nunhem’s Intense tomato, sold under the Tesoro brand name by Livermore, Calif.-based The Produce Exchange, is a meatier tomato that was released to retailers late last year.
The variety has less gel, which means less waste and mess. It was featured in Food Network magazine.
Abbott & Cobb also have added varieties of honeydew to its SummerDew line. These melons are less likely to have defects and have a denser flesh, better color and longer shelf life.
Syngenta recently released Angello, a seedless sweet snacking pepper, and Angelle, a snacking tomato.
Hazera Seeds Inc., Coral Springs, Fla., recently named their smaller, snacking cucumber. The bordero cucumber is only about 4 inches long.
The company is also in the process of developing a super-mini watermelon that will only weigh 2-3 pounds.