Marie-Laure Bayard, Elsoms Asparagus Specialist
Elsoms are delighted to announce the appointment of Marie-Laure Bayard as ‘Asparagus specialist’. This appointment will strengthen the vegetable sales team even further and will be key in developing and promoting Bejo’s asparagus breeding programme in the UK.
Elsoms is the UK’s exclusive distributor for Bejo Zaden, who are the leaders in plant breeding and seed production of outdoor field vegetables, and they have a strong programme in Asparagus breeding which is led by Jos Verhaegh.
In her previous role at the UK’s only asparagus crown raiser, Hargreaves Plants, Marie-Laure was heavily involved in many aspects of the asparagus crop including new product development, trialling and working with growers and retail contacts. Marie-Laure’s new role will involve working closely with UK asparagus growers, trialling and assessing new material to meet their requirements. She will be working in very close cooperation with Jos. Jos has a wealth of experience in asparagus; he started breeding asparagus at Nunhems in 1981 which was subsequently sold to Limseeds. In 1999, Jos started his career with Bejo, giving him the opportunity to breed varieties for the global market. In 15 years since Jos joined Bejo, he has bred 10 ‘100% male hybrid’ asparagus varieties which are grown worldwide.
Jos Verhaegh, Asparagus Breeding Manager at Bejo Zaden said “I met Marie-Laure during the open days at Hargreaves Plants. I am looking forward to sharing our knowledge in asparagus, and working together to meet the needs of the UK asparagus growers”.
Bejo are producing and trialling new asparagus varieties for the global market and their variety Cumulus has now 40% of the early asparagus market in Germany. Asparagus Bacchus is also becoming popular in Germany as a new anthocyanin free variety suited for the colder climate. Prius could work extremely well for green production in the UK with the advantage of exceptionally good tip quality. Crowns should be available for trials next year.
Bejo are also introducing a number of other named new varieties such as Magnus, more adapted to warmer climates for white or green production and Atticus, bred for green production, suitable for climates such as Peru, Mexico and Spain.
Others are still in the very early stages, but with great potential including Bejo 2989, again more suited to warmer climates but with a very attractive green colour.
Bejo 2988 is looking promising as an early variety with high yield, good tips with colourful bracts. For the later season, Bejo 2987 has excellent head quality and thinner spears.
Another exciting development in the Bejo asparagus breeding programme is the introduction of the first 100% purple hybrid asparagus line worldwide. Both Bejo and Elsoms are extremely excited about the potential of Bejo 2975, which gives a much higher production than its competitors.
Elsoms are extremely confident in this asparagus programme and if you would like to know more about the new varieties mentioned above please contact Marie-Laure, Elsoms Asparagus specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01775 715000.