Ep 130. Jan Van Der Heide on Seed Breeding for Growing Success

How much do you really know about the vast universe of vegetable breeding?


Today we’re joined by a long-time acquaintance of mine, Jan van der Heide of Bejo Seeds, located in Oceano, California. Bejo is a leading company in breeding, production, and sales of vegetable seeds. With operations in more than thirty countries, Bejo is an internationally oriented family business. Their 1,900 employees are dedicated to developing the best vegetable varieties for the present and the future. They prioritize building long-term relationships with their customers rather than going for quick wins. Join us today to learn how Jan helped build a multinational farming operation!

In This Episode:

How Jan got started in the vegetable breeding industry 2:34

What a good trial looks like 3:57

The current main breeding requirements for onions 15:12

What’s going on in the vast world of cabbage 24:19

What became of the Nelson Carrot 35:52

What became of Winterbor Kale 47:21

How long it takes to create a successful hybrid 1.01:29

About the Guest:

Jan van der Heide is Northeast Market Manager for Bejo Seeds, which is a daughter company of BEJO ZADEN, a global breeder and producer of hybrid vegetable seeds.

Jan’s work involves working with breeders, phytopathologists, seed technologists, and other researchers to develop hybrid vegetable varieties that are widely adapted and fit today’s markets. We pay close attention to disease and pest tolerance, stress tolerance, flavor, color and texture, seed health and quality, and overall ease of production.

A large part of Jan’s time is spent working with the farm crew in Geneva, NY, and with commercial farms to put together research and demonstration trials. These trials are used to evaluate and introduce new varieties, provide sales support and education to our dealers and distributors, and we welcome visits from growers, gardening enthusiasts, and a multitude of school groups as well. At the end of the season, all produce is harvested and distributed by local food banks.

Steward Resources:

Steward is transforming agriculture by equipping regenerative farms with the capital they need to grow. As a financial partner, we offer private commercial loans and the expert support services that sustainable farmers, ranchers, fishers, and producers need to expand and sustain their businesses. Through Steward’s user-friendly online platform, responsible lenders are able to join us in fueling this growth and participate directly in these loans, deepening their connection to agriculture while providing critical funds needed by farmers. Certified B Corporation. Get started at gosteward.com

Website: gosteward.com

Online Loan Application: https://lets.gosteward.com/farm-loan

Newsletter: https://lets.gosteward.com/join-our-community

Resources and mentions

Website – https://www.bejoseeds.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BejoSeeds/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bejo_usa/

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV5pJjEWR1LGiSgZB3emw0w

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bejoseeds?lang=en

And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!

We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, What to Look for in a Farm Property, etc), which you can download here.