Jan. 27, 2016
Monsanto is happy to announce the recent opening of a new greenhouse facility in Níjar, Spain. The facility will be the first-of-its-kind for Monsanto’s vegetables business, focused exclusively on the research, development and testing of new hybrid rootstocks for tomato breeding. Rootstocks serve as the base for tomato crops in protected cultivation, which are grafted onto the rootstock during the early nursery stage.
This allows the plant to grow on a sturdy foundation and benefit from a strong root structure, obtaining the necessary water and nutrition with better resistance to nematode (roundworms) and disease. A few weeks after the grafting, the two plants bond together. This process allows the grower to cultivate tomatoes with better performance even during the long winter season. These tomato hybrids are grown through conventional cross-breeding techniques.
“Strengthening our focus and investment in tomato rootstock breeding allows us to bring more tailored solutions to our growers,” said Stine Petersen who leads Monsanto’s global tomato rootstock breeding programme. “New rootstock varieties will help improve both crop strength and yield, as well as fruit setting reliability, disease and nematode resistance, ensuring affordable tomatoes are available to consumers all year long.”
This new 5,000-square-metre dedicated facility will allow Monsanto to develop and screen more rootstock hybrids across a range of crop and testing environments to ensure the best new generation of rootstock varieties are available to growers across Europe. Monsanto’s goal is to increase its rootstock-development – a significant and ambitious improvement to the speed at which Monsanto will be able to bring new varieties to market.