Science Into Practice - Latest parsnip varieties tested

Following the first independent variety trial on parsnips for many years, in FV 336, a second trial was commissioned to include new varieties released since that project was completed in order to provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of today's varieties.

Ten varieties were trialled at two sites, in Suffolk and Yorkshire, both on a sandy loam. Roots were harvested on three occasions and assessed for yield, root and crown shape, skin finish, bruising, oxidation, disease and root glassiness, both with and without treatment with maleic hydrazide (applied as Fazor).

The 2011-12 growing season was very dry, so disease incidence was relatively low with no significant differences between the varieties. Across both sites, Albion and TZ6191 bulked up rapidly and had the heaviest yields in the bigger size grades. Javelin had a high proportion of yield in the bigger grades. Dagger had higher yields in the smaller grades. Countess showed the least browning after cutting. Few roots showed root glassiness when treated with Fazor.

As well as the full project report (FV336a) growers can also find the trial summarised in fact sheet 38/12 at

Date for your diary

December 2013 to February 2014 "Be Precise" regional precision-farming events for field vegetable and potato growers. The events will provide information on techniques and highlight potential for saving costs and reducing environmental impact. See

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