TESTING OF NEW VEGETABLE CULTIVARS
An increasing number of new cultivars are constantly being offered in the catalogues in this country and abroad for all branches of vegetable growing. It should be stated, however, that the number of new names in a large measure exceeds the number of really new cultivars. It is not possible to have so many breeders of new cultivars of a given species as there are new names appearing annually in the catalogues and publications. Therefore, this is either a case of individual strains of a given new cultivar or of renaming of cultivars.
That is why in practice it is exceedingly difficult for the vegetable grower and seed dealer to determine which of these cultivars are really new, and first of all, which are actually better. It is still more difficult, however, to ascertain quickly whether these cultivars are suitable for convential production. Even if these new cultivars are authentic at a given evaluation and suitable for breeding, there may not necessarily be a market value in raising them.
Therefore, it is necessary that the testing of new cultivars is conducted in close contact with production and sale. Recommendations that would ensure success can be made only after careful consideration of the various difficulties involved in raising individual crops, the market requirements and the possibility of a regular supply of seed.
During the last few years the vegetable growers in Austria regard with special concern the development of vegetable cultivars in view of the changed requirements of the market. The quality standards for the individual vegetable crops contribute in a large measure to this. The constantly increasing requirements of the market throw a shadow partly on the future and partly on the first steps in this development. The larger a given economic region, the clearer should be the decisions relating to production. For that reason the grower should take into consideration the market requirements already in his choice of the cultivar.
The vegetable seed used in Austria are mostly of alien provenance. This country has seed of several very good strain breedings, that excell the foreign ones as to market value. These are the radishes Roten Riesen von Aspern, celeriac Wiener Riesen, head lettuce Kagraner Sommer, Wiener Kräften, Attraktion (Bohemia), the cos lettuce Wiener Maidiwi, and the pepper Neusiedler Ideal for breeding of new cultivars or for maintenance breeding. These relatively old Austrian selections have met the requirements of the market for a long time. Nevertheless they and some other native cultivars constitute anly a small portion of the big production programme for commercial vegetable growing.