Seed World

Estival Lettuce named 2010 Seed of the Year

Left to Right, Martin Harry, Eastern Marketing Manager SeCan; Sylvie Jenni, Estival Lettuce Breeder, AAFC; and Rene Van Acker, Associate Dean of External Relations, Ontario Agricultural College

A lettuce variety with outstanding performance, sustainability, marketability and industry impact topped entries in the sixth annual Seed of the Year competition (east division).

Estival Lettuce, developed by Sylvie Jenni of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, was named Seed of the Year (east division) today at a recognition event at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.
Estival Lettuce is a promising new cultivar, as demonstrated by its 3 years on the market. Estival represents 18 per cent of the total crisphead lettuce sold in Canada. It has a high tolerance to bolting and rib discolouration. Estival has a greater capacity over other popular varieties to produce a high head weight on a short stem. It is a high-quality lettuce variety better adapted to extreme weather conditions and was developed specifically for both the fresh and processing markets.
Three other finalists for the east division of Seed of the Year were also recognized at the event. They are Yukon Gold, a potato variety nominated by University of Guelph professor Alan Sullivan and technician Vanessa Currie; AC Gehl, a hulless oat variety developed by Bill Collins and Vern Burrows of the Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa; and AC Rigodon developed by Jean-Pierre Dubuc and Andre Comeau of the Soils and Crops Development Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Quebec City.
The Seed of the Year competition encourages public breeders to highlight their research accomplishments in developing a new field crop, forage, fruit, vegetable or herb variety. Any publicly developed Canadian variety is eligible to compete.
The competition was designed by University of Guelph and SeCan, with support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Additional sponsorship was provided by Ontario Bean Producers, Ontario Soybean Growers, Canadian Seed Growers, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association and Ontario Asparagus Marketing Board.