The National Institute of Agricultural Botany has awarded its Variety Cup to the onion variety Vision bred by Syngenta Seeds.
NIAB chief executive Dr Tina Barsby presented the award to Syngenta’s onion and leek product specialist Nigel Kingston and product business manager Michel Bremaud, at the UK Onion and Carrot Conference and Exhibition’s Gala Dinner in Peterborough.
“NIAB’s Variety Cup is awarded to the most promising new variety from the entire spectrum of horticultural, ornamental and agricultural crops,” said Dr Barsby. “It was first awarded in 1986 to the cauliflower White Rock. Since then there has only been one other vegetable winner, again a cauliflower variety in 1997. Last year the malting barley variety Pearl won.”
NIAB vegetable specialist Bruce Napier explained that Vision was an obvious choice because of its storage characteristics. “Vision is an early maturing onion variety with good skin and bulb quality and a high yield. But the variety’s outstanding storage ability singled it out, as we believe it demonstrates a significant step forward in breeding compared to its competitors.”
Vision recorded the best performance in both ambient and cold storage regime trials in 2008. It was also the top yielding onion in NIAB’s replicated trials in 2009 at the sites in Essex and Norfolk.
Commenting on the Award, Mr Kingston of Syngenta Seeds said: “I’m honoured to collect this award on behalf of our breeder Thaam Wijnker. This is very special as it’s the first time an onion has won. It highlights the tremendous improvements made in long-term storage characteristics and environmental considerations achieved by Thaam and his team.
“The award also reflects the recent advances made by the entire sector; seed companies, advisors, growers, packers and supermarkets. Looking back on my 22 years in the seed trade I believe it is an exciting time to be part of the onion industry.”
Mr Bremaud added: “Syngenta Seeds is committed to bringing innovative new varieties onto market and already has an excellent range of onions with promising new numbers coming through. We would like to thank the industry and NIAB for this recognition.”
For further information contact:
Bruce Napier, Vegetable Specialist, NIAB
T: 01223 342278
E: bruce.napier [at] niab.com ()
Nigel Kingston, onion and leek product specialist, Syngenta Seeds
T: 07711 655526
E: nigel.kingston [at] syngenta.com ()
Ros Lloyd, Front Foot Communications
T: 01487 831425
E: ros.lloyd [at] frontfoot.uk.com