Carrot Variety Buyers’ Guide
International Carrot Conference PMA Fresh Summit Canadian Carrot Town
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Vol. 26, No. 4
In This Issue:
Carrot Variety Buyers’ Guide
Wisconsin Welcomes International Carrot Conference
12 PMA Offers Taste of
Carrot Industry Trends
14 Festival Celebrates
Canadian Carrot Town
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The annual Bradford Carrot Fest shuts down the main street of town for two days and attracts 30,000 visitors and more than 200 vendors. Photo courtesy Bradford Carrot Fest
On the Cover: Niland F1, a late Nantes variety with good crack resistance, is billed as an excellent slicer with high recovery and long storage. Check out a selection of additional varieties in our Carrot Variety Buyers’ Guide on pages 4-5. Photo courtesy Bejo Seeds
10 New Products 11 In the News
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Carrot Variety Buyersâ€™ Guide 1972 Silver Spur Place Oceano, CA 93445 (805) 473-2199 www.bejoseeds.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Adana F1 is a new early-maturing bunching carrot with a maturity of 55 days. It has great flavor and texture, coupled with nice orange cylindrical roots with good uniformity and length. Tops hold up well to cooler fall weather. Roots have good field holding.
With a maturity of 90 days, Purple Sun F1 is excellent for production of sweet and tasty purple carrot juice loaded with anthocyanin.
With a maturity of 72 days, this continental Nantes variety is an excellent all-around carrot. It is a quality slicer and offers high uniformity for tray packs. The variety has strong tops and good disease resistance, and it stores very well. It is also available as organic seed.
Istanbul F1 is an Imperator-type fresh market processing carrot for cello, slicing or bunching. With a maturity of 75 days, the variety is very uniform, high yielding and well adapted. Roots are 9 inches long and 1.25 inches in diameter. Tops are strong and erect, measuring 18 inches.
Purple Sun Adana
Istanbul Duquesa 18095 Serene Drive Morgan Hill, CA 95037 Phone: (408) 778-7758 www.sakatavegetables.com
New to the Sakata lineup is Duquesa. This Nantes type has excellent top strength with a very smooth exterior. The variety features vibrant interior and exterior color, excellent flavor and crisp texture. Carrots are about 15-16 cm long. Duquesa is adaptable in many areas with mild to moderate climate. 4
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With a 68-day maturity, Enterprise is a cut-and-peel, slicer type carrot with outstanding extra length of 12 to 14 inches on loose soil. Dark-orange roots have small cores with some crack tolerance. Strong tops have good Alternaria resistance.
This F1 hybrid has a maturity of 56 to 66 days. Use as an early, long Nantes for fresh market and storage, or fully mature for slicing and dicing. The variety produces smooth, bright orange roots 7 to 8 inches with blunt tips. Roots hold longer in the field without cracking and have fewer green shoulders. Tops average 15 inches, are tolerant to powdery mildew and Alternaria leaf spot and are very strong for mechanical harvesting on sand or muck soils. The variety is excellent for storage.
This F1 hybrid is a multi-purpose carrot well suited for early cut-and-peel production, as a slicer and as an early cello carrot for the fresh market. This smoothskinned, 10- to 12-inch long carrot has good flavor and color that is consistent throughout the interior with no green shoulders. Tops are good with medium leaf blight resistance.
Envy is an F1 hybrid with a maturity of 66 days. This early jumbo is 12 inches long with 1.5 â€“ 1.75 inch diameter, which may vary depending on spacing. Envy produces smooth, bright orange roots with blunt tips and is suited for mineral and muck soils.
Apache has a maturity of 65 days. Roots are dark orange, average 10 inches and are very smooth. Use for early cello packs. The variety is resistant to Alternaria. Sow at 18 live plants per foot.
With a maturity of 60 days, this F1 hybrid produces smooth, straight, cylindrical Nantes carrots that are very uniform in shape and type. They have clean, rounded shoulders and clean, airy tops. Use for medium-term soil storage. The variety has high resistance to powdery mildew and Alternaria dauci and intermediate resistance to cavity spot.
International Carrot Conference
International Carrot Conference attendees check out carrots grown in a field trial in Hancock, Wisc. Photo courtesy Lindsey du Toit, Washington State University
ttendees of the 39th International Carrot Conference left Madison, Wisconsin, with a clearer picture of the Midwest carrot industry and a better understanding of the latest challenges and opportunities in carrot production worldwide. The conference, held Aug. 21-24, welcomed approximately 120 people from more than a dozen countries.
Ag in the Midwest
Jed Colquhoun with the University of Wisconsin-Madison opened with an overview of Wisconsin’s agricultural economy and the role of specialty crops in the state. Agriculture continues to be the backbone of rural Wisconsin, and specialty crops like carrots help diversify the production and processing systems, he said. The Upper Midwest has many of the same challenges that have become prevalent across U.S. agriculture such as an aging farmer population and shortage of labor. However, there are also distinct benefits that separate the region from many other production areas and have led to a strong processing carrot presence, Colquhoun said. Water is relatively prolific and available for both production and processing. The Great Lakes Basin includes 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater. The region has a transportation advantage to nearby population centers that include over 34 million eaters. The area also has a history of working together for common solutions in agriculture and continues to enjoy a strong presence of cooperatives such as Organic Valley and Land O’Lakes. 6
Challenges in Processing
Growth in Organics
Lindsey du Toit with Washington State University and Mary Ruth McDonald with the University of Guelph compare notes at the variety trial. Photo courtesy Irwin Goldman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phil Simon with the University of Wisconsin and USDA, Laura Maupin with Seminis and Paul Miller with Paul Miller Farms view the results of the variety trial. Photo courtesy Irwin Goldman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Nickolas George, president of the Midwest Food Products Association, detailed the status of the vegetable processing industry in the Midwest. The industry is big and it is not going away, but it does face some challenges, he said. Consumers prefer fresh vegetables over processed, and organic continues to grow market share. Unit volume of all forms of vegetables (canned, frozen and fresh) has declined since 2015. Canned vegetables have decreased the most, by far. Dollar sales â€“ and therefore profits â€“ of shelf stable vegetables continue to drop sharply as consumers perceive less value in canned food. Sale of frozen vegetables is declining, but dollar volume is up. This trend is expected to persist for the foreseeable future, according to George. Profit margins are thin, and operational costs are rising. A lack of skilled labor is the greatest challenge for processing plant managers, with regulatory compliance, Food Safety Modernization Act supplier verification, energy costs and a shortage of transportation rounding out the top five.
Micaela Colley, program director of the Organic Seed Alliance, reported on the U.S. organic carrot market, which reached $88 million in sales in 2016. Organic carrots accounted for 11.7 percent of total carrot production acreage and 10.8 percent of sales in 2016, down from a peak of 14.7 percent of total acreage in 2011. This represents a greater percentage of the total market compared with other vegetable crops and over 5 percent of total organic vegetable sales. Research programs are striving to address production challenges in response to expansion in organic carrot production. In particular, weed competitiveness is of primary interest in organic carrot breeding and cultivar choice, as weed management in organic carrots is a significant labor cost input and weed tolerance can vary by variety. Root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are a key pest in both organic and conventional production, and organic producers rely on field selection, crop rotations and practices to boost soil health in lieu of soil fumigation. The recent release of nematode-resistant breeding lines for key species M. incognita and M. javanica holds promise for helping manage the pest, Colley said.
39th International Carrot Conference Diversity in Variety Trial
The final day of the conference took attendees to the Hancock Agricultural Research Station, where results of a variety trial were on display. The trial included 200 carrot varieties and hybrids from 10 seed companies and two public carrot breeding groups. Entries included 45 Imperator cut-and-peel “baby carrot” cultivars, 61 Imperator cello varieties, 28 cultivars in the Nantes and Kuroda class, 46 processing types, and 20 varieties of novel color and shape. The carrots were grown near Hancock, Wisconsin, in the Wisconsin central sands region. The trial offers a side-by-side comparison of how each variety or hybrid performed. Looking ahead, the 40th International Carrot Conference is slated for 2020 in Washington state.
Micaela Colley with the Organic Seed Alliance speaks about organic carrot production. Photo courtesy Irwin Goldman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Roots lie on dry ground for conference attendees to examine after 11 inches of rain in a single day earlier in the week kept the group from walking through the field trial. Photo courtesy Lindsey du Toit, Washington State University
A display of white and yellow carrots illustrates some of the different carrot root colors for which carrot breeders are breeding. Photo courtesy Lindsey du Toit, Washington State University
Conference attendees participate in a carrot tasting and flavor workshop featuring carrots produced in University of Wisconsin research plots. Photo courtesy Phil Simon, University of Wisconsin-Madison
International Carrot Conference attendees view the entries grown in the variety trial. Photo courtesy Shelby Ellison
New Products Tong Introduces Next Generation Fieldloader Pro
Tong Engineering describes its next generation Fieldloader Pro as a complete in-field crop cleaning and loading powerhouse. The machine is designed with greater flexibility, transportability and gentler handling than the previous model. The Fieldloader Pro is suitable for multi-crop use, working effectively on carrots, onions and potatoes. It can be built to clean and load up to 150 tons of crop per hour. The Fieldloader Pro features a high-capacity reception hopper, feeding a choice of crop cleaning units. The machine includes a four-person inspection area before crop transfers to Tong’s new-style foldable cart elevator, which cradles crop deep into the bulker trailer. Visit www.tongengineering.com.
Fluid Injection System Enters the Market
Reflex Connect, a new product from Agri-Inject, provides programmable variable rate application of fertilizers and ag chemicals through center pivot, lateral move and drip irrigation systems. Features include remote control, real-time monitoring and alerts, and detailed charts and reports available through any smart device. Operators can use the web interface to change the chemical injection rate, and set alarms including set-points, system shutdown values and notification targets. Users can also monitor chemical flow, chemical pressure and irrigation water flow. Reflex Connect automatically adjusts injection rates to ensure proper fertilizer dosing, compensating for extending corner spans, changes in pivot speed or variable prescription rates. Visit www.agri-inject.com.
Lindsay Launches Pair of Products
Lindsay Corporation has developed two products built to improve efficiency and boost yields. The new Zimmatic Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) has new software, a new controller and a larger 5.7-inch color touchscreen designed for quick set-up and easy-to-understand monitoring. The new VFD is fully integrated into the FieldNET remote telemetry platform, giving growers the ability to monitor and control it offsite. The NFTrax 2.0 is an updated airless wheel assembly that will never go flat and keeps wheel ruts to a minimum, according to the company. Built with maximum flexibility, it has a heavy-duty vulcanized rubber belt with a steel cable core tensioned over 10 newly designed, winged drive points meant to apply even pressure across the entire belt surface. This forms a larger surface area to evenly distribute the machine’s weight, resulting in improved performance over varying terrain and field features, according to Lindsay. The company also plans to make available an optional new tread pattern for NFTrax 2.0. With an aggressive, alternating tread, the Z-Tread is designed for areas where more traction is required such as slopes, low spots or areas with slick, clay-based soil. Visit www.Zimmatic.com.
In the News Certis USA Expands Facility
Certis USA has built a new azadirachtin formulation and packaging facility in its factory in Wasco, California. The construction expands the company’s capacity for its neem seed-based bio-insecticide Neemix 4.5. The expansion also establishes a vertically integrated in-house production system for Certis’ neem bio-pesticides, from its joint-venture company in India that performs seed sourcing, cleaning, extraction and processing, to its dedicated neem oil and azadirachtin purification, formulation and packaging facility in California. Neemix 4.5 is an insect growth regulator used to control pests including weevils, leafhoppers, nematodes and cutworms.
Seedway Acquires Champion Seed Assets
Seedway has acquired the vegetable seed business assets of Champion Seed Company. Champion will operate and market vegetable seed products under the Seedway brand. Headquartered in Hall, New York, Seedway is a full-line seed company, marketing vegetable seed from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast and the southern provinces of Canada. Seedway expects no changes to the Champion Seed Company sales, field and clerical staff. In addition, Seedway will maintain Champion Seed Company locations in McAllen, Texas; Uvalde, Texas; Coachella, California; Bakersfield, California; Tifton, Georgia; Nampa, Idaho and Celaya, Mexico. NEW/USED WALK-IN COOLER-FREEZER REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS
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PMA Offers Taste of Carrot Industry Trends By Eric Woolson
message coming from the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) 69th annual Fresh Summit was clear: consumers continue to demand more convenience, measured portions, bigger flavor, organic products and greater traceability. The growing shortage of over-the-road truckers and the ability to improve food safety and reduce labor costs through automation also dominated conversations at the Oct. 18-20 convention and expo in Orlando, Florida. Some of the carrot industry’s mostestablished names and a number of smaller companies seeking larger market share vied for attention from the expo’s international audience. At the Melissa’s Produce display, the talk of the carrot section focused on different varieties of baby carrots and a growing consumer interest in cooking with rainbow mixes. Millennials are leading an uptick in the demand for more diverse dishes that include specialty products with greater nutrition value.
Uplift in Organics
“Organic is growing across the board. More and more people are searching for it and eating it,” said Dale Roberts, regional merchandising manager at Melissa’s Produce. Matt Stocks, head of Melissa’s organic program, said the organic market is recording double-digit annual growth thanks to a cross section of demographics. “Millennials may not have higher income, but they will save money elsewhere to purchase organics. Baby boomers want longevity and they’re eating healthier. There’s the ‘save the planet, save the world’ group that chooses organic products,” Stocks explained. “And, there’s a melting pot. It doesn’t matter what 12
Colorful displays of fruits and veggies offered by Melissa’s Produce catch the eye of PMA Fresh Summit attendees. Photo courtesy Melissa’s Produce
our nationality or origin is, we all love variety. We’re learning to cook different dishes with different ingredients; the Food Network is helping with that trend. We’ve definitely seen a huge uplift in organics thanks to all these trends.” Acknowledging consumers’ growing expectations for organics, food safety and traceability, Grimmway Farms spoke to the reasons why the company highlights its farmers and growing practices through consumer-focused digital and in-store marketing campaigns. “Consumers do want to know where their food comes from. They want to know that it’s safe, nutritious and tastes good,” said Eric Proffitt, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Bakersfield, California, vegetable company. “We see these trends growing across the country.” Diane Shulman Rabin, chief executive officer and owner of Jerry Shulman
Produce in Levittown, New York, said the Fresh Summit is “always a good way to connect in person with clients and potential clients and spread the word about our awesome product.” She represents the third generation of an 80-year family business that has been a fixture in metropolitan New York City and supplies produce as far south as Florida. The “awesome product” Rabin highlighted at the trade show is a carrot variety imported from Israel. “Demand has been good and will continue to be,” she said. “The quality is excellent. We import at a time when Canada has finished, so there is kind of a gap in East Coast carrot supply. Carrots from Israel are very sweet, are a different variety than what is grown in the states and, therefore, there is very little waste, which makes them excellent for processing and eating.”
During a workshop pursuing solutions to the growing shortage of over-the-road truckers, a representative of the American Trucking Association said the current 50,000-driver shortfall will balloon to a 200,000 shortfall in approximately 10 years. Ideas included improving driver pay and benefits, company-to-company driver rotation programs, improved technology, greater coordination of shipments, changes in the federal work visa program, reducing the age requirement for interstate truckers, requiring companies to receive loads more quickly or not count time at terminals against drivers’ daily time limits, greater use of autonomous vehicles, more intense recruitment efforts, a national “driver ROTC” program and even appealing to “millennials’ sense of adventure” and affinity for “tiny house living.”
State of the Industry
In her remarks about the state of the industry, PMA CEO Cathy Burns emphasized the need for the entire industry – “from growers, packers, transportation, wholesalers and retailers to health officials and regulators” – to commit to food safety. Emphasizing that food safety “must be the cornerstone” of every organization, she added, “Food safety is not just an action, it is an attitude.” She urged everyone in the produce industry to adopt emerging food safety technology and best practices to move “from a reactive enterprise to a proactive approach.” “I’m on a personal mission to ensure our industry voice is heard,” she said.
She vowed to ensure the industry is “not only part of the conversations but that we are leading them.” Burns cautioned that even as consumers seek more plant-based food, they are “looking in other sections” of the grocery store. The trend is ironic because consumers consistently indicate they recognize the preeminent nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables. “We cannot let protein define produce,” Burns said. “Our goal remains to help the world understand the single most important thing they can do to live a healthy life is to eat more fruits and vegetables. We cannot let them be replaced in customers’ diets and eating habits.” Cathy Burns, CEO of the Produce Marketing Association, delivers a state of the industry address during the PMA Fresh Summit. Photo courtesy Produce Marketing Association
PMA Fresh Summit attendees peruse the booths of more than 1,600 exhibitors displaying their wares on the trade show floor. Photo courtesy Produce Marketing Association
Festival Celebrates Canadian Carrot Town Story and photos by John Stolarczyk, World Carrot Museum
here are several carrot festivals around the world, from New Zealand to Europe to California, and as the curator of the World Carrot Museum, I have visited them all at least once. The last visit to the Bradford Carrot Fest in Ontario, Canada, was in 2006, so the time was right to re-visit and see how it had changed over the years. The small town of Bradford West Gwillimbury comes alive once a year to produce its Carrot Fest street festival, celebrating the area’s agricultural heritage and the role carrots play in the economy
and the community. The Holland Marsh at Bradford is one of Canada’s biggest carrot producing areas, with an annual value of the carrots grown in the Marsh estimated at $130 million. Carrots are grown in the area for 11 months of the year. The Bradford Carrot Fest has been celebrated for 20 years and was voted as one of the top 100 events in Ontario by Festival & Events Ontario for the last eight years. During opening ceremonies, city and province leaders praised local residents and farmers for putting the town on the map as the vegetable basket of Ontario.
World Carrot Museum curator John Stolarczyk poses for a picture with Bradford Carrot Fest mascots Captain Carrot and Gwilly.
Colored carrots are available to sample and purchase at the nearby farmers market.
The Holland Marsh Growers’ Association, representing the major growers in the area, handed out free bags of Holland Marsh carrots to visitors. At the local farmers market, located just a short walk from the festival, people could buy fresh local produce and sample carrots of every color, which are ever increasing in popularity. The event attracted 30,000 attendees and more than 200 vendors. Musicians, street performers and a kid zone added to the festivities. Overall, the festival was a lot more carrot related than my previous visit, but it could be more carrot themed and perhaps, like many other “carrot towns,” it would benefit from the construction of a significant carrot focal point such as a carrot statue, mural or informational plaque about the town and its carrot history. Jody Mott, executive director of the Holland Marsh Growers’ Association, hands out free bags of carrots to festival attendees. Mott is pictured with World Carrot Museum curator John Stolarczyk.
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