Rijk Zwaan Launches First Commercial Squash Varieties

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Entering the market with big ambitions, Rijk Zwaan has launched its first three commercial squash varieties: Calawinter RZ, Calabonita RZ and Calagreen RZ.

“For Rijk Zwaan, squash is a valuable addition to its already very broad range of vegetables,” according to a news release. “Squash is produced globally and the popularity of the crop is still growing. Rijk Zwaan has conducted extensive research into market wants and needs. As a new market entrant, the company is keen to offer solutions for the entire chain, from growers to consumers.”

All three are within the cylindrical dark green type, according to the company. Calawinter RZ is suitable for indoor winter production, while Calabonita RZ — thanks to its intermediate resistance to powdery mildew — can be grown indoors and outdoors in spring, summer and early autumn. Calagreen RZ will complement Calabonita with higher vigor in the protected segment.

When breeding squash varieties, Rijk Zwaan reports its top priority is harvest reliability. These first three varieties offer a good yield and a thorough package of natural resistances against diseases and pests.

Furthermore, since squash is a relatively labor-intensive crop, the company is developing plants with fruits that can be harvested more efficiently to contribute to better financial performance for customers.

From the end customer’s perspective, Rijk Zwaan wants to set itself apart with high-quality fruits that retain an attractive shine long after harvesting. For now, the breeding team has focused on the dark-green segment. However, the first varieties in the white and yellow segments will follow shortly, which will enable the company to respond to the rising popularity of mixed packs.

Rijk Zwaan plans to expand its portfolio for open field next year.

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