In the spotlight: The Rijk Zwaan Brassica varieties for organic production

Brassica is a healthy group of vegetables that are a perfect fit with organic production. From white cabbage, red cabbage and pointed cabbage to broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi… at Rijk Zwaan we can provide all types of Brassicas. Reliability, uniformity and disease resistance are the most important qualities. Here, we highlight some of our varieties for temperate and Mediterranean climates.

Temperate climates

Organic growers of white cabbage often opt for Congama RZ. This balloon-shaped white cabbage has a fine yet solid internal structure and is suitable for larger sizes: 2.5 to 4 kg. The variety has strong vigour, even in stressful or dry conditions. “A major advantage for organic cultivation is its field tolerance against thrips,” says John Buijsman, Crop Specialist Brassica.

 

The new variety Lincma RZ is a very good green, slim pointed cabbage for the summer. It has a good shelf life, which makes it ideal for the fresh market. Buijsman: “The excellent vigour and the good field standability of Lincma RZ are important advantages for organic growers.” Its weight range is 0.6 to 1.5 kg.

 

Tourima RZ is another highly popular pointed cabbage among organic growers. “One of the reasons is that this reliable variety can be used flexibly for the entire growing season,” states Buijsman. The cabbage has a fine internal structure and a closed tip. The weight for the fresh market is between 400 g and 1.5 kg, but it can also be grown as a baby cabbage. The strength against cracking gives Tourima RZ good field standability and a long harvest window.

Larsson RZ is relatively new. “This broccoli variety has got off to a flying start all over the world because of its ease of harvesting and good post-harvest quality,” Buijsman explains. Larsson RZ has a heavy head for late spring, summer and autumn. Conveniently for organic growers, the broccoli crop can cope well with less nitrogen thanks to the excellent root system and it is also strong against soft rot.

 

Arienzo RZ is new cauliflower variety that is a reliable choice for growers at the beginning of the summer. Buijsman: “This variety is interesting for organic growers because of its good vigour, even with a low soil temperature and less nitrogen.” The crop is very vigorous, self-covering and has very upright, broad leaves. The combination of these broad leaves with the white curd creates strong visual appeal.

Opaal RZ is a popular cauliflower variety for covered crops in early spring. “This variety has been the best choice for early cultivation for years, which illustrates its quality,” says Buijsman. The development time is 55-60 growing days.

Santamaria RZ is a cauliflower variety for the summer and autumn. It has a heavy and dense curd, nicely rounded florets and good visual appeal. The crop is very self-covering and vigorous.

Eder RZ is a kohlrabi variety for the spring and early summer. It has a flat round bulb and very good internal quality.

Lech RZ is our summer and autumn kohlrabi variety with high-quality and upright leaves. “Lech has excellent field standability and uniformity,” Buijsman explains.

Mediterranean climates

Flexima RZ is our leading white cabbage for autumn and winter in warmer climates. This variety is characterised by its round shape, dark green colour, early compact filling and uniformity. The handling and cleaning are very easy and the outer leaves wrap around the head nicely, providing natural protection. “For organic growers, one very important advantage is that this variety is strong against thrips and has Fusarium resistance,” states Carlo Fermi, Crop Specialist at Rijk Zwaan Italy.

Topma RZ is a relatively new Fusarium-resistant white cabbage for the early season. The variety has a medium height, a nice green colour and usable wrapper leaves. “The head is round with a waxy green colour. This variety is strong against thrips,” Fermi explains.

Teama RZ is the main pointed cabbage variety for winter production on the Iberian Peninsula and for all seasons in Italy. The variety has strong vigour and protective wrapper leaves. Teama RZ has a reliable shape and size and a fresh green colour. The weight range is 1 to 2.2 kg. The crop grows to a medium height. Fermi: “The Fusarium resistance of this variety is important for organic growers.”

 

 

The new pointed cabbage variety Lincma RZ is suitable for not only temperate climates but also for warmer regions, in which case it can be harvested in spring and autumn. Fermi: “This new variety has a slim shape and a nice yellow-coloured heart. Other important advantages are its vigour, good field standability and Fusarium resistance.”

Redma RZ is an intense red cabbage with an oval/round shape, dense filling and a short core. This variety has very strong vigour, medium height and good waxing. The weight range is 1.5 to 3 kg. “The long harvest window makes Redma RZ a very interesting variety,” says Fermi.

For winter production, Fermi advises the red cabbage Resima RZ. “This variety has a deep red colour, a round shape and is very uniform.”

 

 

Many organic growers choose the savoy cabbage Madlene RZ for harvesting in spring and autumn. Madlene RZ is a sweet-tasting, compact cabbage. It performs well under stressful dry and hot conditions. The variety is an attractive fresh lighter green colour with a yellow internal heart. Head weights vary from 1.3 to 2.5 kg.

 

 

Savoy cabbage Morama RZ is the best choice for winter harvesting. The weight range is 1.5 to 4 kg. The variety has a light yellow heart and a fresh green external colour. “Because of its good field standability, Morama RZ is a reliable cabbage for organic growers,” comments Fermi.

Miramonte RZ is a cauliflower for spring and autumn production. The head is dense and produces a white curd with a good shape. The plant is vigorous and the wrapper leaves cover the curd well.

Casper RZ is the main cauliflower for harvesting in Mediterranean climates in autumn and early winter thanks to the very stable curd quality under variable climate conditions. It has a very white and dense head and is strongly self-covering. “The white colour is one of the advantages of Casper RZ. It is also very strong against heat stress,” adds Fermi.

 

Fermi also mentions the new purple cauliflower Lavender RZ and the Romanesco Puntoverde RZ as well as its successors. “In the organic market, segmentation in terms of both colour and shape is an important trend. These varieties can be combined to create attractive mixes of different cauliflowers. Lavender RZ is a vigorous plant with a good wrap. Puntoverde RZ is a strong summer variety, and we’re currently testing new Romanesco varieties with new resistances and a longer harvest window.”

 

 

There is also a growing demand for organic kohlrabi, according to Fermi: “Consumers want to buy vegetables that have been grown without any pesticides.” Kohlrabi Eder RZ can be grown in spring. The excellent inner quality, the very uniform field performance and ease of harvesting are all great advantages.

For winter harvesting, the kohlrabi variety Lippe RZ is a reliable choice. This kohlrabi has a round-flat shape, uniform growth and is an attractive colour. The good vigour for winter production and the good plant sanity are also important. Fermi: “We’re currently developing new kohlrabi varieties that look very promising for the organic market.”

Download the leaflet about our new Brassica varieties for organic production

Would you like to receive personal advice about our Brassica varieties for organic production? Please contact your local Rijk Zwaan organic specialist.

 

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