Seed Industry

Paxton is a dependable choice in production regions with clubroot pressure

27 March 2023, Brazil: Cauliflower is a popular vegetable that is grown on almost all continents. However, the clubroot pathogen causes considerable crop damage in many production regions. With its clubroot-resistant summer variety Paxton RZ, Rijk Zwaan offers growers a solution to this frustrating problem. “Growers have peace of mind thanks to the harvest reliability in combination with sales flexibility,” says breeder Evgeny Novoselov.

Total loss of crops

Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae), which particularly affects brassica crops, has been around for decades. It occurs on all continents and currently affects 10% of the total production area. The disease is difficult to tackle, so once the pathogen is in the soil, it poses a big problem for growers, according to Michael Kreitz, Crop Coordinator Cauliflower. “Severe cases can cause a total loss of crops, so a cauliflower variety with clubroot resistance is a very welcome development,” he explains.

First variety with Pb Defense label

When it was launched 18 months ago, Paxton RZ was the first Rijk Zwaan cauliflower variety with high resistance (HR) against the clubroot races Pb:0, Pb:1 and Pb:3. All HR varieties can be recognised thanks to the Pb Defense label. This variety was a real breakthrough, according to Evgeny Novoselov. “Breeding was a complex and intense process that took us more than a decade. But that was actually pretty fast, because brassicas have a long growth season.”

Paxton proves its value in practice

Over the past months, Paxton has proven its value in practice. Michael Kreitz: “Growers have discovered that a variety with Pb Defense significantly reduces the risk of infection. We have photos to illustrate the difference. At a site where clubroot was rife, only 20% of the susceptible variety survived until harvest. Paxton continued to grow strongly, resulting in a harvest percentage of 85%. That gives growers peace of mind.”

Paxton combines harvest reliability with sales flexibility

Thanks to its harvest reliability, ever-more growers are choosing Paxton, including in key production regions such as Brazil, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Scandinavia, Australia and the USA. Evgeny Novoselov adds that Paxton has many other benefits, such as its weight and the fact that it offers broad sales opportunities: “This summer and autumn variety – which grows for 77 to 97 days, depending on season and area – can be cultivated for both the fresh market and the processing industry. That flexibility is a big advantage for growers.”

New Pb Defense varieties in the pipeline

As a follow-up to Paxton, Rijk Zwaan is currently testing a wide range of cauliflower varieties with Pb Defense. “We expect to launch another summer variety onto the market soon, with the same harvest reliability but a shorter growth cycle. We are also working on Pb Defense varieties for autumn and winter production,” states the breeder.

Contact your local organisation

Growers that are interested in Paxton or other Rijk Zwaan cauliflower varieties can gain a closer look by visiting the company’s various demo fields worldwide. They can contact their local organisation to check where cauliflowers will be on display. “We are happy to welcome growers to Rijk Zwaan so that they can assess the quality of Paxton for themselves,” concludes Crop Coordinator Michael Kreitz.

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