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Old September 5, 2019   #1
Fred Hempel
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Default The hybrid evolution of Agi Red

We have a new tomato variety - Agi Red

It is a little red tomato with yellow stripes. Fruits start out saladette size and end up cherry size late in the season.

Fruit flavor is well balanced and bright.

The fruits hold well on the vine and off the vine, however unlike many long-shelf-life varieties, they are not rubbery or crunchy.

It is a tomato that growers and gardeners will love, specifically because it has very high end flavor, in fruits that are consistently good for an extended period after harvest.

Agi Red is a hybrid and this balance of fruit characteristics -- Gourmet flavor and texture, with long shelf life and heavy production -- is something we have not accomplished with our OP varieties (Blush, Sunrise Bumblebee, Lucky Tiger etc.). All of our OP varieties have very good flavor, but deficiencies in shelf-life.

I would not say that it it is impossible to get an OP with the balance of fruit characteristics that Agi Red has. But my experience tells me that it would be much, much more difficult to do so.

Over the course of breeding many OP varieties and now hybrids like Agi Red, I have learned not to assume that OP varieties can be everything that hybrids can be. I still grow, appreciate and develop new OP varieties. But I also appreciate the unique things that hybrids can be, particularly for small growers, like myself, who need to consistently deliver fruits with high end flavor to customers.

Agi Red is a tomato I have been trying to breed for over 15 years, and I do not believe it would have happened if my thinking about hybrids had not evolved.
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Old September 5, 2019   #2
Labradors2
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Thanks for mentioning that it's not crunchy. You have my attention . It sounds wonderful! (You forgot to mention about disease resistance here and that's a big plus for many of us!)

How do you spell the name again?

Linda
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Old September 5, 2019   #3
Fred Hempel
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Disease resistance has been very good over the past 3 years in our field, and collaborators in Belgium and Upstate NY said it performed very well for them this year in pretty tough conditions.

That's all we know for now. No specific resistances are claimed at this time.

The name is Agi Red. It was Aga Red for a couple of days before I learned that "Agi" is a better translation of "Baby" from Korean, compared to "Aga".
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Old September 5, 2019   #4
bower
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Would love to see some pics of the Baby, Fred.
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Old September 5, 2019   #5
Fred Hempel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
Would love to see some pics of the Baby, Fred.
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Old September 5, 2019   #6
Fred Hempel
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Agi Red

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Old September 5, 2019   #7
Barb_FL
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It's very pretty. InDeterminate or determinate?

Wispy foliage?

Thick or thin skin? Do you notice the skin when eating it?
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Old September 5, 2019   #8
Fred Hempel
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Indeterminate

Regular leaf.

Not wispy foliage.

Vigorous plants.

Not thick skin. Not super thin either, but much thinner than typical Long Shelf Life tomatoes and I think this is going to be a major trait that people like about it. It has texture characteristics similar to quick-ripening varieties.
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Old September 5, 2019   #9
Barb_FL
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Thanks Fred. Can you provide the same info on your other new F1 varieties?
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Old September 5, 2019   #10
Fred Hempel
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Green Bee

Regular leaf

Not wispy

The most vigorous plant in our field this year.

Super thick skin


Madera

Indeterminate

Regular leaf

Not wispy foliage

Not as aggressive vegetatively as Green Bee and Agi Red. More open architecture.

Intermediate skin.


Talvez

Regular Leaf.

Not Wispy foliage.

Vigorous plants. Can be a bit leggy under some circumstances.

Skin on the thicker side of normal. And fruits with nice shelf life.
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Old September 7, 2019   #11
NarnianGarden
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Does this new Agi red taste very different from the Tiger series?
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Old September 7, 2019   #12
habitat_gardener
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My Green Bee tomatoes have been untouched by the leaf-footed bugs (stink bugs), and I just realized it's because of the thick skins! There's major damage on some of my larger tomatoes.
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Old September 8, 2019   #13
KarenO
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I’m looking forward to trying it!
Sounds like the best of both worlds
Karen
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Old September 8, 2019   #14
Fred Hempel
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Similar sweetness, but more tomatoey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NarnianGarden View Post
Does this new Agi red taste very different from the Tiger series?
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Old September 8, 2019   #15
Fred Hempel
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Maybe "stinkbug resistant" should be on the seed packet.

I hate those things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat_gardener View Post
My Green Bee tomatoes have been untouched by the leaf-footed bugs (stink bugs), and I just realized it's because of the thick skins! There's major damage on some of my larger tomatoes.
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