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For hints and tips on growing a vegetable garden or subsistence farming visit the Starke Ayres Garden Centre website - www.starkeayresgc.co.za
Vegetable seed varieties
Starke Ayres is the African leader in the development, production and marketing of a wide range of high-yielding vegetable seed varieties. These are supplied to professional growers in the commercial vegetable farming industry all over the world.
Its vegetable seed breeding programmes are supported by state-of-the art research facilities, with comprehensive trials to ensure that innovative new varieties deliver successful crops.
Quality control guarantees high-quality vegetable seed varieties
A rigorous quality assurance programme ensures that the vegetable seed varieties bred, produced and processed are of the highest purity and germination capability.
Starke Ayres has high-end research facilities, with best-practice biotechnology and pathology services and infrastructure. It specialises in breeding its own varieties and sources the best available stock from its suppliers internationally.
It also operates in a number of locations around the world, selecting the best possible locations (in terms of climate and growing conditions) to ensure the highest levels of quality and seed production.
Seed is stored in strictly controlled environments and undergoes rigorous physical quality testing twice a year. These tests are conducted in registered laboratories by trained and highly-skilled analysts using validated ISTA (International Seed Testing Association) protocols. The genetic purity of every seed lot is field tested or evaluated in a state-of-the-art biotechnology laboratory to ensure that vegetable seeds comply with strict standards.
All seed is freshly packed and distributed prior to the sowing season, to ensure that growers only receive seed in the best possible condition for crop success.
Research and development
Starke Ayres’ strategic focus is on the development of vegetable seed varieties that meet or exceed growers’ current vegetable production needs.
It focuses on broadening its genetic base and product range to provide the new genetics that the market requires.
It constantly endeavours to anticipate future needs through strategic alliances with various groups, including direct interaction with commercial vegetable growers, processors and vegetable buyers. With 7 plant breeders and 8 other vegetable researchers, Starke Ayres relies heavily on strategic partners for access to new technologies.
State of the art vegetable seed variety breeding
Starke Ayres applies marker assisted breeding, double haploid breeding and the latest DNA testing techniques to the vegetable seed varieties that it breeds. Its R&D division also maintains agreements for the exchange of technology and germplasm with universities, institutes and other breeding companies across the globe.
While its applied breeding is concentrated at its 6 South African research stations, Starke Ayres has breeder trial sites further north in Africa, and in USA, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary and New Zealand.
Disease resistance and tolerance to abiotic stresses are important objectives in all Starke Ayres programmes. As a result many of its current commercial vegetable seed varieties are characterised by their uncomplicated growability.