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For Defense

For Defense offers protection against Fusarium

Rijk Zwaan’s For Defense cucumber varieties protect against infection with Fusarium. This fungus has been a serious problem for cucumber production worldwide for many years. It has a negative impact on both the yield and the quality of the fruits. Resistant varieties offer growers an effective solution. For Defense is part of Rijk Zwaan’s Defense label.

"With For Defense varieties I don’t have stress anymore during the cultivation process"

- Marinos Epitropakis

Why growers choose For Defense

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cucumber is a fungus found in soil and substrates that attacks the root system and is difficult to eradicate. Growers who choose to work with Fusarium-resistant cucumber varieties can be sure of stable production and fruit quality. Besides that, they need to use fewer crop protection agents, so For Defense also contributes to a better working environment. As a result, For Defense gives growers greater peace of mind throughout the crop cycle.

Benefits of For Defense

  • Stable production
  • Better fruit quality and less waste
  • Reduced need for crop protection agents
  • Better working conditions

Cucumber varieties with For Defense

Rijk Zwaan offers a growing number of varieties with Fusarium resistance. For Defense varieties are extremely suitable in regions with a high prevalence of this fungus, such as Spain, Greece and South Africa. For Defense varieties are indicated by both the label and the name, which always starts with ‘For’ (such as Forami RZ and Fornax RZ).

Fusarium in susceptible varieties

As a soil and substrate fungus, Fusarium affects the root system. At first, Fusarium causes just a few leaves to wilt slightly. A couple of days after the initial infection, however, the wilting becomes more progressive. The fungus damages stems as well as leaves, and plants are no longer able to recover. As a result, they become a potential source of infection for other plants.

Trials reveal clear differences

There is a big difference between the effects in cucumber plants with Fusarium resistance and those without. In trials, a comparison between Rijk Zwaan’s resistant varieties and susceptible varieties in a greenhouse with infected soil produced very clear results. Watch the time-lapse video to see the difference.

Minimising the risk of spread

Although Rijk Zwaan’s For Defense varieties are resistant against Fusarium, there is no guarantee of 100% protection. Therefore, it is essential to maintain good workplace hygiene in order to minimise the spread of the fungus.