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Hybrid asparagus beat the harvest heatwave, says Norfolk firm

Jamie Petchell of Global Plant Genetics with Guelph Eclipse asparagus spears. Picture: Global Plant Genetics.

Jamie Petchell of Global Plant Genetics with Guelph Eclipse asparagus spears. Picture: Global Plant Genetics.

Global Plant Genetics

The latest hybrid asparagus varieties have proved their worth after a challenging harvest season, according to Norfolk experts in plant genetics.

The record temperatures in May increased the growth rate of asparagus spears, making traditional varieties more susceptible to open heads – a symptom of “class 2” product.

But new hybrids were able to resist these conditions and still produce top quality produce, said Jamie Petchell of Brancaster-based Global Plant Genetics, which is the European seed distributor for two new commercial asparagus hybrids to be bred at the University of Guelph in Canada.

“The Guelph Eclipse and Guelph Equinox asparagus varieties form part of a new generation of hybrids that have improved spear qualities coupled with increased yields over previously standard types for green asparagus production in Northern Europe,” he said. “We have been working on trials of both for a number of years and it is great to see truly excellent performance on a commercial scale these days.”


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