Increased Flavor Equals Increased Consumption

Monsanto is relatively new to the vegetable market, but some of the newly released varieties, as well as those in the company’s product pipeline, have the potential to be real game changers when it comes to consumer demand and grower friendliness.

In 2005, Monsanto acquired Seminis, marking its entrance into the vegetable arena. Since then, Monsanto’s main role, according to Consuelo Madere, president of the Monsanto global vegetable seeds division, is to consider the consumer experience and make vegetables taste better in order to boost consumption. Another goal, she says, is to help growers produce a better crop with more marketable yields.

During a media event at Monsanto’s global headquarters in St. Louis in August, Madere briefly touched on what Monsanto is working on in terms of vegetable crops:

Tomatoes: The company is working to identify variations in acid and sugar to create the taste of heirloom tomatoes. What makes that “garden taste,” and how can advanced breeding help recreate it? Monsanto aims to find out.

Scientists are also working on developing new tomato hybrids for resistance to Gemini viruses, including tomato yellow leaf curl.

Melons: A big problem consumers have is selecting a melon that they know is going to taste good, and it can be just as difficult for growers to know, too. Monsanto takes the guesswork out of it with its new SweetPeak honeydew melons. These melons are orange in color and offer a sweet taste and firm texture that makes it easy to cut into cubes. A smaller cavity means more fruit and less waste. In addition, the melons’ skin color changes as they ripen, which lets growers know the optimal time for harvesting.

Another newer melon on the market is the Melōränge, which features dark-orange flesh. It can be up to 30% sweeter than traditional winter cantaloupes. They’re also smaller in size and offer “perfectly ripe” stickers to let consumers know the melon is ready to be eaten right away.

Lettuce: The new Crisphead Romaine Cross offers the best attributes of iceberg and Romaine — the high nutrient content and deep green color of Romaine, neatly packed into the crunchy sweetness of iceberg.

Broccoli: Harvesting crews will appreciate the Seminis EasyHarvest broccoli. The crown extends even with the leaf canopy, and the stem doesn’t need to have large leaves removed, making for easier harvesting. Because the crowns mature uniformly, this variety requires fewer passes through the field during harvest, too, resulting in decreased labor costs.

Another new broccoli variety, Beneforté, created using a Sicilian broccoli ancestor, offers extra nutrition in the form of boosted antioxidants. Each serving contains two to three times as much of the antioxidant-boosting phytonutrient glucoraphanin found in many other broccoli varieties.

Peppers: Marker-assisted breeding is being used to create peppers that are resistant to phytophthora blight. Sweet peppers will be launched first for the Eastern U.S., followed by hot and sweet peppers for Mexico.

Sweet corn: Available this fall, the Seminis Performance Series Sweet Corn hybrids will provide biotechnology traits that will offer control of above- and below-ground lepidopteran and coleopteran pests (corn earworm, fall armyworm, European corn borer, and corn rootworms). In addition, the hybrids will have the Roundup Ready trait, making them tolerant to over-the-top applications of glyphosate.

For more on these varieties, as well as other offerings from Monsanto, visit www.monsantovegetableseeds.com.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Apples & Pears
February 21, 2017
Snow Doesn’t Stop Day 1 of IFTA Conference
While the Wenatchee, WA, area has experienced higher-than expected snowfall, tour-goers trudge on to learn the latest about advanced production systems and high-value apple varieties. Read More
Grapes
February 18, 2017
Sustainability Is a Growing Factor in Wine Purchasing
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance updates certification program, shows sustainability is important part of wine trade. Read More
citrus psyllid closeup
Insect & Disease Update
February 18, 2017
The War on Citrus Psyllids Still Raging
Despite control challenges, keeping the pest in check remains the best approach to managing HLB. Read More
IMPAC.org screenshot
Citrus
February 17, 2017
How Precision Agriculture Is Helping Farmers Win Over Consumers
New Florida-based organization is seeking to break down barriers between farmers and shoppers by providing a platform to not only show what is grown, but how it's grown. Read More
Grapes
February 17, 2017
Washington Organization Rebrands Itself
Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers unveils new identity at convention, now known as Washington Winegrowers Association. Read More
Registration area at the 2017 Florida Blueberry Growers Association Spring Meeting
Berries
February 17, 2017
Florida Blueberry Growers Counting on a Comeback
With last season's disaster in the rear view, all eyes are searching for bluer skies. Read More
Agras MG-1 agriculture drone
Equipment
February 17, 2017
Wanted: Tech Innovators for Drone Challenge
Land O'Lakes Prize offers up $150,000 to help make drones more useable for farmers Read More
Fruits
February 17, 2017
Are Drones the Future of Pollination?
Researchers in Japan have turned drones into robot bees as artificial pollinators. Read More
GenNext Growers
February 16, 2017
Young Start-Up Hort Tech Companies Honored
Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology Scholarships promote sustainability. Read More
GenNext Growers
February 16, 2017
Young Farmer Success Act Reintroduced to Congress
Bill to add young growers to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Read More
The Latest
Apples & Pears
February 21, 2017
Snow Doesn’t Stop Day 1 of IFTA Conferen…
While the Wenatchee, WA, area has experienced higher-than expected snowfall, tour-goers trudge on to learn the latest about advanced production systems and high-value apple varieties. Read More
Grapes
February 18, 2017
Sustainability Is a Growing Factor in Wi…
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance updates certification program, shows sustainability is important part of wine trade. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
February 18, 2017
The War on Citrus Psyllids Still Raging
Despite control challenges, keeping the pest in check remains the best approach to managing HLB. Read More
Citrus
February 17, 2017
How Precision Agriculture Is Helping Far…
New Florida-based organization is seeking to break down barriers between farmers and shoppers by providing a platform to not only show what is grown, but how it's grown. Read More
Grapes
February 17, 2017
Washington Organization Rebrands Itself
Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers unveils new identity at convention, now known as Washington Winegrowers Association. Read More
Berries
February 17, 2017
Florida Blueberry Growers Counting on a …
With last season's disaster in the rear view, all eyes are searching for bluer skies. Read More
Equipment
February 17, 2017
Wanted: Tech Innovators for Drone Challe…
Land O'Lakes Prize offers up $150,000 to help make drones more useable for farmers Read More
Fruits
February 17, 2017
Are Drones the Future of Pollination?
Researchers in Japan have turned drones into robot bees as artificial pollinators. Read More
GenNext Growers
February 16, 2017
Young Start-Up Hort Tech Companies Honor…
Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology Scholarships promote sustainability. Read More
GenNext Growers
February 16, 2017
Young Farmer Success Act Reintroduced to…
Bill to add young growers to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Read More
Fruits
February 16, 2017
New App Helps Fruit Growers Calculate Ch…
App helps growers calculate chill hours based on locations and models and assess physiological needs of fruit crops. Read More
Citrus
February 16, 2017
Food Trends Driving Growth Opportunities…
More niche markets emerging for growers to give consumers what they want and need. Read More
Vegetables
February 15, 2017
Tanimura & Antle Will Now Be Partial…
The third-generation farming company takes employee commitment to the next level Read More
Business Planning
February 15, 2017
Are Retailers Your New Competition?
Target will be following a trend that is already under way in Germany and China: offering shoppers greens that are grown right there in the store. Read More
Citrus
February 15, 2017
Florida Citrus Community Loses Longtime …
John Merritt, known as an innovative grower and staunch industry advocate, was 60. Read More
Farm Management
February 14, 2017
Californians Holding Breath as More Stor…
Nearly 200,000 people evacuated below nation’s tallest dam; even growers have had enough for now. Read More
Stone Fruit
February 14, 2017
Georgia Peach Growers Brace for Low Chil…
Last year trees netted almost 700 chill hours; however, Extension agent expects that figure to drop to 600 hours this year. Read More
Grapes
February 14, 2017
2016 California Winegrape Crush Up 9%
Prices were up 12%, and red wine grapes continue to gain on white wine grapes in popularity, though ‘Chardonnay’ remained king. Read More