Q&A: Third Generation Farmer Shares Thoughts on Lansor, ToBRFV Resistant Tomato Variety

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When it comes to growing commercial tomatoes, yield and quality are paramount. Taste and flavor are equally essential attributes for consumer preference and marketability. Yet, the challenge becomes navigating diseases and viruses, such as tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), while preserving the fruit quality customers have come to love and expect. 

Since 2015, ToBRFV has negatively impacted tomato production worldwide. Now in at least 35 countries, it can damage 70% of fruiting yields, creating considerable waste. Our teams have been tirelessly working to find solutions. The time, dedication and expertise resulted in Syngenta bringing the first ToBRFV resistant tomatoes to the market. The innovation hasn’t stopped there. 

The Lansor tomato variety has resulted in protecting fruit quality, maintaining yields, and preserving the favorable taste consumers have come to expect. We caught up with Idan Alon, a third-generation tomato grower in southwest Israel, to capture his first-hand experience. 

Q&A with a grower

Syngenta: What has been the most significant obstacle for you to overcome? 

Idan: We’ve been growing tomatoes for almost 60 years. In recent years we’ve faced the Tomato Brown Rugose, a virus that attacks our fields resulting in heavily damaging our crops. In the past we produced 20 to 25 tons per dunam (approximately ¼ of an acre). Now, we produce between 8 to 23 tons per dunam (¼ of an acre). The serious financial loss has been one of the most significant obstacles we’ve faced.  

Syngenta: What types of solutions have been pivotal to combating ToBRFV? 

Idan: A few months ago, I began a project with Zeraim Gedera, Syngenta. We grew two varieties to compare results. One which I’ve worked with for many years and a new variety called, “Lansor.” The old variety experiences badly damaged leaves, weak stems, blotchy fruit and poor settings, all consistent with ToBRFV damage. A majority of the fruit from the existing variety is not suitable for marketing. In comparison, Lansor fruit exhibits good color, firmness and increased yields. 

Syngenta: What does the addition of Syngenta’s Lansor variety mean to your farm? 

Idan: For us, this new variety holds hope. We are seeing that we can produce tomatoes in higher quantities and better quality for the Israeli consumer. Ultimately, the profitability for growers will be much higher. 

Syngenta: How has the new Lansor variety impacted your customers? 

Idan: We can offer higher amounts of tomatoes while our customers benefit from improved fruit quality, flavor and better price. 

Lansor is a commercially available tomato variety with ToBRFV (IR) resistance, displaying strong and vigorous growth that brings outstanding ROI potential for growers when compared to non-resistant selections. In addition to the Lansor, innovation and research continues in developing new varieties and modes of action. Visit our ToBRFV Information Center to learn more.