Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 5230 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM risk you are willing to take. Costs are about €400,000 per variety. EV: From the first cross to first year of development, the average time is six years for dwarf beans. We test new varieties in a research trial network for at least three years before product development with our clients. Our climbing beans are bred and developed in Spain. There the breeding scheme lasts five years because we can grow beans in three cycles per year, and all three cycles are useful for selection. Whereas dwarf beans are grown only during the summer in Europe, so we only do yield trials once a year. The main Vilmorin breeding station is in La Ménitré, northwest of France, where we do the crosses and first generations. Our greenhouses allow us to grow three seed- to-seed cycles per year. As a company with a global scope, we do some breeding with nurseries in the north, southwest and in Brittany, in France; winter nurseries in Chile; and counter-season seed increase in Spain. Vilmorin’s breeding team has a dedicated bean breeder, two permanent breeder assistants, and the support of local technicians in different locations. Vilmorin devotes 16 per cent of its turnover to research. The bean research rate is aligned with this overall average. ES: How has the yield increase been over the past years? EV: Yield increase is not as critical for the French bean as it is for field crops, such as corn or wheat. Vegetable species are not tested for improved yield and registered in a European catalogue. However, our clients, especially processors, expect improved yields from new varieties. In France, UNILET, the French federation of processed vegetable producers, reports yield increases in all bean types, such as green extra fine and very fine, green larger sieves, wax and flageolets; this is due to improvements in crop management as well. JR: French bean breeding was mainly focused on quality and not quantity. To breed for yield increase in French beans is hard, as the variance in yield between years and locations can be more than 100 per cent. Next to this, yield has to be corrected to equal maturity between the different results. Not correcting your yield data based on maturity of the product can have an effect of +/- 25 per cent. Stable yielding varieties with the right quality can dominate the market for more than 15 years. Because of this long life cycle of varieties, you don’t see a yield increase like we see in field crops, where varieties have a much shorter life cycle. Not seeing yield increases like you see in field crops motivated Syngenta to completely renew its breeding strategy from quality driven to yield driven in 2011. To be able to make this shift in strategy, we developed a new breeding method and built new breeding tools which helped us in identifying and understanding yield increase better. Currently we are seeing the first results of this change, and now we are comfortable to provide and communicate increased yield and variety performance based on data. BAMAKO Extra fine Wax bean from Vilmorin. Syngenta bean trials in the Netherlands.