View_Blog

By host on 3/17/2014 10:30 AM
 

 You only have to look at the real estate the salad mix range holds on the super market shelves to realise that these are products ever increasing in popularity, ticking all the boxes. As consumers we want the full package: convenience, flavour and presentation, and for the growers, the products offer profitability, ease of harvest, and industry growth.



Let’s focus specifically on the fancy lettuce market for now. The products Lefroy Valley are working with are bred for disease resistance, leaf texture, shape, size, colour, flavour, uniformity and resistance to bolting. As seedsmen and women, we work in conjunction with growers to test all varieties on a pre-commercial basis to understand the suitability to market. Hundreds of varieties are available across the globe, but selecting varieties which are suitable for the Australian conditions is another aspect again. This requires vigorous...
By host on 12/10/2013 10:10 AM
The history of the carrot can be traced back 5000 years, originating in Afghanistan, and then over the centuries being carried along the trade routes of Arabia, Africa, and Asia, to be sold in regions anxious to cultivate new and productive plants. Even in the early days there were many varieties of carrots, coming in an assortment of colours - purple, white, black, and red but, surprisingly, not orange!

Both the ancient Greeks and the Romans were familiar with carrots, although these early varieties were not the sweet, succulent orange carrots that are grown today. Early carrots were typically not often eaten as food by the Greeks, but were used for medicinal purposes. The Romans were known to have eaten both raw and cooked carrots accompanied with an olive oil dressing containing different herbs.

Carrots were well-known to 16th century botanists and writers, who described red and purple varieties in France, and yellow and red varieties in England. The Dutch cross-bred the yellow and red carrot to produce a variety that was the emblematic colour of the House of Orange. This carrot quickly became popular and was further developed to become the sweet, succulent orange carrot which is the most recognized colour of carrot used throughout the world today.

...
By host on 9/3/2013 11:24 AM
  

White Blister (White Rust) on Broccoli - Albugo candida (Ac)

White rust is common on Brassica oleracea (broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage) but also mustards, radish, horseradish and weeds from the Brassica family. In Australia the greatest commercial problem occurs with broccoli. The age at which the plant is infected determines the degree of economic loss. When infection occurs in seedlings, the plants are likely to die but the direct effect of infections later in the crop is generally not as severe. The difference in broccoli is that when lesions occur on fully developed heads, significant economic yield loss can result. Symptoms can occur on different stages of development, affecting cotyledons, true leaves and florets (heads). On cotyledons, the effect...
By host on 6/14/2013 3:47 PM
TOMATO & WATERMELON GRAFTING In vegetable production one of the consequences from continuous cropping is the buildup of soil-borne pathogens such as Fusarium wilt, Bacterial wilt and Nematodes. Grafting of vegetable plants is becoming an effective option to assist to overcome these problems. In addition to disease resistance, grafting of a vigorous rootstock to traditional vegetable cultivars can increase yield and improve water and nutrient uptake. The use of a vigorous rootstock will increase the vigour of the plant due to the stronger root system. This results in improved leaf area and stem diameter and enables the plant to continue growing under cool conditions and extends the productive life of the crop. The use of chemicals against soil diseases can be reduced. Stronger plants reduce the chance of successful attacks by secondary parasites. A graft combination of a vigorous scion on an equally vigorous rootstock can reduce the amount of fertilizer required. Field experience has shown on tomatoes,...
By host on 4/17/2013 11:24 AM


 

Sweet corn breeders have drawn heavily on the work done by field corn breeders, and have found that in many respects the two crops are essentially alike; in others, however, they differ considerably. Sweet corn, like maize is a hybrid crop requiring at least two parents to create the resultant progeny. Sweet corn breeders focus on a greater number of what can be termed subjective traits such as pericarp tenderness, eating quality and overall ‘bite’ – the experience of what it is like to actually bite into an ear of corn. These are quite complicated traits and ones that are hard to measure with any sort of mechanical device. The simplest method of determining these traits is to just take a bite of cob! The similarity with field corn is more in relation to the agronomic traits such as disease resistance, standability...
By host on 2/27/2013 8:51 AM
By 2050 the world’s population will reach 9.1 billion, 34 % higher than today. Nearly all of this population increase will occur in developing countries. Urbanization will continue at an accelerated pace, and about 70 % of the world’s population will be urban (compared to 49 % today). In order to feed this larger, more urban population, food production excluding crops used for biofuels, must increase by 70 %.  The agricultural community will have to produce the same amount of food in the next 40 years that was produced in the last 12,000 years to feed the growing population. This is going to require a remarkable effort from all those involved in this process, from breeding companies to marketing companies to the growers and distribution systems. More food has to be produced with less land, limited water, limited fossil fuels and the changing climate. This food also has to get to markets with minimum wastage. The number of hectares required to feed individuals has changed dramatically over the years. In 1960...
By host on 12/15/2012 9:15 AM


After several years in development, screening against new diseases in Australia and seeking varieties which would satisfy the requirements of growers and consumers, Lefroy Valley is ready to launch a new generation of broccoli writes Kosta Popov, broccoli Product Development Manager at Lefroy Valley.

We went one step backward to go two steps forward! Some years ago, problems with broccoli production left growers dissatisfied with the quality of their product. At the same time consumers were not happy with what they were paying for.

At Lefroy Valley, at that time, the decision was made to change our approach to assessing broccoli trials and to raise the bar higher. It was a long & difficult path to travel. Our target was to satisfy the growers’ needs with a good quality product which would perform under different climatic conditions, and would also show resistance to diseases. At the same time a high quality...
By host on 9/3/2012 11:23 AM








WHEN IS IT BEST TO USE TRANSPLANTS AND WHEN IS IT BEST TO DIRECT SEED?

Pumpkins need an optimum soil temperature of 21oC to germinate. At this temperature seed should take approximately 6-8 days to emerge. Most pumpkins will NOT germinate if soil temperatures are under 16°C so, therefore, if an early crop is planned then seedling transplants must be used.

Once soil temperature has warmed up to the required germination temperatures then direct sowing of seed into soil can commence. Seed should be sown 2.5cm to 4.cm deep.

Soil Temperature

The plants response to this temperature

No germination

...
By host on 8/6/2012 9:37 AM
Fusarium Crown Rot is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f sp radici-lycopersici  abbreviated as “ For”. In Australia it has been more prevalent in greenhouse environments, but also occurs in open field under quite specific conditions.

The fungus enters through wounds and openings caused by newly emerging roots. The first symptoms are the yellowing of the older leaves, the wilting of the plant usually in the middle of the day when the lowest fruit have reached a mature green stage, and then the permanent wilting and death of the plants.  The disease is identified by the decaying of the tap root, the development of brownish water-soaked areas in the crown region of the plant. In the crown and, up about a further 15cm, the conducting tissue of the stem is discoloured dark brown. This is different from Fusarium wilt, which shows lighter discolouration all the way up the stem.

Conditions that favour Fusarium Crown Rot are cool soil temperatures in the region of 10 to 20 deg C, low soil pH, waterlogged...
By host on 7/13/2012 1:07 PM