Hazera is the worldwide market leader in round radish. It has reached this position by breeding this crop actively since several decades, focusing on innovation and a well-chosen range of key traits. A short look at the latest innovations in this crop that becomes increasingly popular among consumers.
Round radish growing ranges from indoor with high density sowing (giving a small bulb size < 30 mm) to outdoor low density (bulb size > 40 mm) and outdoor high density sowing (intermediate bulb size). From direct sowing into harvest period in the summer, radish grows in just 20 days indoor and 25 days outdoor, making it a fast crop. Usually round radish varieties are red colored.
According to Wim van der Heijden, Global Product Manager Root & Bulb Crops at Hazera, market leadership certainly didn’t come by coincidence: “Since 1974 we’ve been breeding and selecting round radish varieties, systematically searching for the advantages that markets were demanding. In 1987 we made a breakthrough introducing high performance hybrid varieties with higher yields and uniformity. Beside yield and uniformity, we always put much focus on reliability in all growing conditions.”
One of the main focus points today in variety breeding is disease resistance. Disease in crops can have dramatic consequences for growers’ incomes. Wim: “Recently Hazera succeeded to introduce high levels of resistance to Fusarium and to White rust (Albugo candida). Especially the last one, introduced in our variety Autella, is a real breakthrough, in line with Hazera’s flow of innovations for the benefit of growers. Downy mildew is another important resistance that we are bringing to higher levels now.”
Hazera’s breeders work on needs expressed by growers, but also on those expressed by processors, distributors and supermarkets. Wim: “Bulbs should always have high internal quality, and be highly solid. Internally they should be nicely and evenly white, and remain so after the product has been cut, for example for use in prepacked salads. Consumers like to have them available year-round, so our breeding extended this spring crop to a real four seasons one. In general good shelf life, nice taste and a fresh appearance are very important and definitely within our breeding scope.”
Another striking innovation is the introduction of a completely white round radish hybrid. Wim: “The new white radish, that is also resistant to White rust, enables very nice red-white-green color combinations on the supermarket shelves, so the product becomes even more attractive.”
Tasty Pearls of Freshness
Radish, with the Latin name Raphanus sativus, belongs to the Cruciferae or mustard family. There are many types, colors and shapes. In the past decades radish has gained popularity and is now grown and consumed all over the world, from the Americas to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Radish is commonly sold loose or in bunches, is often pre-packed and used more and more in pre-cut salads. It is a healthy product to consume, with high levels of important vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. Radish contains high levels of anti-oxidants as well.
Hazera Radish for US Market
In the US market we’re very active with breeding, product development and commercial activities. Several varieties have established themselves in the US market. Diego is one of the examples. This flexible and productive variety has been used for many purposes. It holds its internal color very well. Another variety that has proven itself is Melito, this variety is mainly used for the bunch market. Growers appreciate the uniformity, color and strong tops of this hybrid.
Recently introduced Fabuloso (34-211) is receiving good feedback for the cold desert climates in the winter. Donato and Danilo are two other varieties with a strong disease package (Rhizoctonia and aphonomyces) and high net pack out. These varieties are used in the Midwest, but also many bunching growers use Donato for their productions. All in all we focus here as well on the high net pack out with our hybrids. There’s more to come in the nearby future!