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
Berries
May 26, 2017
Jury Sides with University in Strawberry Breeding Lawsuit
Decision says former breeders infringed on UC patents to develop material for corporate breeding firm. Read More
Managed bee hive boxes around a blueberry field
Nuts
May 25, 2017
Stolen Hives Recovered in Nearly $1M Heist
Man likely stole hives from across the state of California in the last three years. Read More
Panama Canal Expansion opening celebration
Farm Management
May 25, 2017
Plight of Trade Policy Grounding Many U.S. Growers
Much-needed investments in labor-saving technology could be key to long-term survival. Read More
Cannabis plant closeup
Farm Management
May 25, 2017
Florida Farm Winning Case for Medicinal Cannabis License
Judge rules in favor of 3 Boys Farm in the quest to expand its crop/business portfolio. Read More
hands holding a globe
Citrus
May 25, 2017
Are We Overstating the World’s Overpopulation Problem?
If growers can’t achieve a fair return on investment and stay in business, it won’t matter what the population is in 2050. We all will be trouble. Read More
Falcon-takes-flight-at-Duncan-Family-Farms
Citrus
May 24, 2017
Falcons Scare off Other Birds at Duncan Family Farms
It collaborates with a firm that uses trained falcons to intimidate and scare off nuisance birds such as the horned larks and pigeons that frequent the area. Read More
Organic
May 24, 2017
Organic Growers in Turmoil (Opinion)
Although consumers are demanding, and getting more organic produce options, growers are grappling with fundamental questions. Read More
Corn leaf aphids on sweet corn
Sweet Corn
May 24, 2017
Stay on Your A Game to Conquer Corn Leaf Aphid
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable pest. Read More
Florida Ag Hall of Famer William Cook
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Search is on For Next Crop of Florida Agriculture Hall of Famers
Nomination period now open for longtime industry honor. Read More
Apples & Pears
May 23, 2017
Grower Shares Personal Impact of Labor Shortage
USApple leader Phil Glaize of Virginia stresses need for reform with current labor regulations, programs at Congressional briefing on agriculture labor crisis. Read More
Stone Fruit
May 23, 2017
Northeast Peach Crop Rebounds
After a mild winter and relatively uneventful bloom time, the crop is setting up nicely for the region. Read More
Berries
May 23, 2017
Researchers Examining Potential for Longer Berry Season in Northeast
Team at Penn State University using low and high tunnels and plastic coverings to extend raspberry and strawberry seasons. Read More
honeybees
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Webinar Series Highlights New Research on Honeybee Health
National Pollinator Week webinar showcases research to improve honeybee colony health by 2020. Read More
stack of lemons
Citrus
May 23, 2017
California Lemon Growers Sue USDA
Lemon industry files suit against rule allowing importation of Argentine lemons. Read More
Bee Vectoring Technologies experimental hives
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Insects (Bad and Good) Make for Interesting Field Trips
Disease-fighting bees and the deadly citrus psyllid were at the center of two recent, research-fueled out-of-office adventures. Read More
The Latest
Berries
May 26, 2017
Jury Sides with University in Strawberry…
Decision says former breeders infringed on UC patents to develop material for corporate breeding firm. Read More
Nuts
May 25, 2017
Stolen Hives Recovered in Nearly $1M Hei…
Man likely stole hives from across the state of California in the last three years. Read More
Farm Management
May 25, 2017
Plight of Trade Policy Grounding Many U.…
Much-needed investments in labor-saving technology could be key to long-term survival. Read More
Farm Management
May 25, 2017
Florida Farm Winning Case for Medicinal …
Judge rules in favor of 3 Boys Farm in the quest to expand its crop/business portfolio. Read More
Citrus
May 25, 2017
Are We Overstating the World’s Ove…
If growers can’t achieve a fair return on investment and stay in business, it won’t matter what the population is in 2050. We all will be trouble. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2017
Falcons Scare off Other Birds at Duncan …
It collaborates with a firm that uses trained falcons to intimidate and scare off nuisance birds such as the horned larks and pigeons that frequent the area. Read More
Organic
May 24, 2017
Organic Growers in Turmoil (Opinion)
Although consumers are demanding, and getting more organic produce options, growers are grappling with fundamental questions. Read More
Sweet Corn
May 24, 2017
Stay on Your A Game to Conquer Corn Leaf…
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable pest. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Search is on For Next Crop of Florida Ag…
Nomination period now open for longtime industry honor. Read More
Apples & Pears
May 23, 2017
Grower Shares Personal Impact of Labor S…
USApple leader Phil Glaize of Virginia stresses need for reform with current labor regulations, programs at Congressional briefing on agriculture labor crisis. Read More
Stone Fruit
May 23, 2017
Northeast Peach Crop Rebounds
After a mild winter and relatively uneventful bloom time, the crop is setting up nicely for the region. Read More
Berries
May 23, 2017
Researchers Examining Potential for Long…
Team at Penn State University using low and high tunnels and plastic coverings to extend raspberry and strawberry seasons. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Webinar Series Highlights New Research o…
National Pollinator Week webinar showcases research to improve honeybee colony health by 2020. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2017
California Lemon Growers Sue USDA
Lemon industry files suit against rule allowing importation of Argentine lemons. Read More
Citrus
May 23, 2017
Insects (Bad and Good) Make for Interest…
Disease-fighting bees and the deadly citrus psyllid were at the center of two recent, research-fueled out-of-office adventures. Read More
Crop Protection
May 23, 2017
Valent Grants Organic Farming Scholarshi…
University of Florida Doctor of Plant Medicine student receives $1,500 toward the development of training materials. Read More
Varieties & Rootstocks
May 23, 2017
In Quest for Low-Seeded Citrus, It Takes…
Momentum for viable mandarin hybrids for Florida reaching a peak in the land down under. Read More
GenNext Growers
May 22, 2017
How to Make Dollars and Sense of Today&#…
Despite current challenges impacting the future of the North American fruit and vegetable industry, there are opportunities to be had. Read More