The STARKE AYRES tomato range has something for every commercial farmer in South Africa. STARKE AYRES covers the whole range, from indeterminate round for the fresh market to determinate saladette varieties for the informal market, as well as processing varieties for the processing market.
A local tomato breeding programme puts STARKE AYRES in a favourable position, because it allows selection of varieties specifically targeted at the South African market. The company has three testing stations across South Africa to ensure the selection of widely adaptable material. Every season the best plants from several thousand are selected for developing new parent lines. The focus is on yield, fruit quality and size, plant architecture and of course, disease resistance.
The tomato farmer constantly faces new threats, such as Fusarium oxysporum race 3, which is currently spreading through South Africa. The breeding programme enables STARKE AYRES to select hybrids with unique combinations of disease resistances, while maintaining favourable agronomic traits. The breeding programme not only focuses on the South African market, but also on international markets such as Mexico, Brazil, Kenya and other African countries.
STARKE AYRES has recently launched new tomato varieties that are well adapted across South Africa. TF 3798 is a new semi-commercial variety with an excellent disease package, which includes:
HR: Verticillium Wilt (Va, Vd), Fusarium Wilt (Fol: 1-3), Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)
IR: Root-Knot Nematodes (Ma, Mi, Mj), Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV).
TF 3798 is widely adaptable and can be used as an open field variety or as an undercover variety. It produces very good quality fruits of around 160g.
RENKA* is a new indeterminate round hybrid tomato that is doing exceptionally well in undercover production across South Africa. The variety was tested in the East London area and also did well in off-station trials, which were extremely promising, with impressive results. RENKA* has a vigorous, strong plant, which is well balanced with exceptional uniformity of internodes, fruit set, trusses and fruit size. The fruit has a deep oblate shape, deep red colour, and average weight of between 160g and 180g. The stem attachment is neat, and the fruit has very low incidents of ribbed shoulders or malformation. The fruits typically have three locules with thick walls and very good firmness as well as very good internal colour.
RENKA* has a strong disease resistance package, giving the variety the edge above other varieties available:
• HR: Verticillium Wilt (Va, Vd), Fusaruim Wilt (Fol: 1-3), Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)
• IR: Root-Knot Nematodes (Ma, Mi, Mj), Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV)
RENKA also showed very good field tolerance to powdery mildew due to the open plant frame, which allows for good air movement
MIYON* is a semi-determinate variety from STARKE AYRES’ own breeding programme that has done very well in several locations. This variety will be available semi-commercially.
It is a determinate tomato hybrid suited to open-field production for the fresh market as a trellised type, and is an early to medium maturing variety. In summer plantings the first fruit will mature in 80-85 days after transplanting. The date of harvesting may vary by as much as 10 days between early and late season plantings. This needs to be taken into consideration when planning planting schedules under different growing conditions.
MIYON has an excellent disease package:
• HR: Verticillium Wilt (Va, Vd), Fusarium Wilt (Fol: 1-2), Bacterial Wilt (Rs), Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV).
• IR: Root-knot Nematodes (Ma, Mi, Mj), Powdery Mildew (Lt), Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV).
The STARKE AYRES range of saladette varieties is truly excellent. JESSE* is a new indeterminate saladette variety that was recently launched after intensive trials. It is well adapted to various climatic conditions, but mainly aimed at summer production where large fruit size to the top of the plant plays an important role. JESSE is a medium maturing variety. In summer plantings the first fruit will mature in 80-85 days after transplanting. JESSE is classed as a medium cycle variety that produces over six months. It has a very high quality, tapered, blocky fruit with an average mass of 140g-160g and exceptional fruit quality with thick walls. JESSE combines long shelf life with superior taste. Fruit colour is red to deep red; no green shoulders are present. The fruits are very uniform on the truss with a high marketable yield potential; a high percentage of large first grade fruit can be expected. The variety is jointed and has a small calyx scar compared to the fruit size.
JESSE offers an excellent disease package to the grower, which includes the following:
• HR: Verticillium Wilt (Va, Vd), Fusarium Wilt (Fol: 1-3), Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV).
• IR: Root-knot Nematodes (Ma, Mi, Mj), Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV).