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All the latest news on Starke Ayres’ vegetable seed varieties, and the success that commercial vegetable seed farmers have achieved using them.

This page will also be updated with new seed variety releases and other commercial seed industry news.


Clearly visible is the growth of INVINCIBLE white pumpkin production in the Western Cape. INVINCIBLE is very tolerant of sunburn, has great internal quality and stores exceptionally well. White pumpkin production in South Africa has been given an INVINCIBLE boost by the introduction of a new variety featuring the concept of “Easy to Cut, Easy to Peel” with great taste. This unique variety is called INVINCIBLE and combines the quality characteristics of a grey pumpkin BUT with a white skin colour.

The advantage of the white skin colour is the improved tolerance to sunburn and this reduces grower risk significantly. Particularly important in areas where pumpkins are grown with vines, this tolerance allows a crop to remain on the land while grapes are harvested. INVINCIBLE also stores exceptionally well because discoloration of the white skin colour is much slower than with many grey pumpkins.

INVINCIBLE has a semi-bush growth habit with deep-flat shaped fruits and a thin, smooth skin. The flesh is much thicker and seed cavity smaller than most grey pumpkins. These features give INVINCIBLE an excellent size to weight ratio. This is one of the key aspects that attracted Preiss Visser of the farm Vorentoe to INVINCIBLE. Preiss has limited land available for pumpkin production and INVINCIBLE delivered for him a second year in a row. Preiss harvested 170 bins per hectare with an average weight of 5kg per fruit. Average fruit diameter was 28cm. Congratulations again Preiss with this excellent achievement.

Open/View: INVINCIBLE in the Cape


Shine Bright Like a *DIAMOND

It has been said that the most valuable feature of any diamond is the feeling it stirs in the person who puts it on and shows it off. It is perhaps for this reason diamonds have been described as a girl's best friend.  Not anymore! 

The new hybrid broccoli DIAMOND is set to become a farmer's best friend.  Characteristics such as a smooth, dome shaped head, low cut stem, medium sized beads, no hollow stem and best of all extremely quick maturity take DIAMOND a cut above the rest.  DIAMOND delivered a flawless performance when it was trialled as BR 621at major growers in Gauteng, KZN, and the Cape during last summer.  Bred to endure extremes in summer and winter, DIAMOND can be grown as a year round variety in many areas.  In summer DIAMOND can mature in as little as 60 days. Maturity may vary by as much as 10-25 days between mid- summer and mid-winter plantings (area andclimate dependant). Maturity is very uniform with a high first cut percentage. 

Apart from DIAMOND being  a quick and  highly adaptable variety, its other outstanding feature is that it can be cut very low at the base, making it ideal for a pre pack.  In DIAMOND we have unearthed yet another gem for broccoli growers. For an outstanding, high yielding broccoli designed for the fresh and pre pack market make DIAMOND part of your broccoli programme this summer!

For advice on growing slots for your specific area contact your area representative or our call centre for more advice.


Open/View: Shine bright like a diamond - Broccoli


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