Another priority is mildew resistance in romaine and iceberg, especially to downy mildew.
Naturally breeders try to include some traits even as they exclude others. With romaine, for example, tightness of leaf structure contributes to higher pack outs of hearts from the field. That’s one of Syngenta’s marketing claims for Rio Bravo.
Reliant iceberg was initially targeted for desert deals, Mitchell said, but has seen some use in Salinas.
The desert deals are competitive for seed companies in part because of the number of varieties that can come into play. Some may have planting windows of just a week.