Thriving in tough conditions. Long shelf life. Good field-holding capability. Those are just a few of the descriptions given by Harris Moran Seed Co.’s managers at the company’s melon field day held in Yuma, AZ, in early June.
Harris Moran, member of the HM.Clause Business Unit inside the Limagrain vegetable seed division, highlighted several new varieties and industry standards. What follows is an overview of their offerings.
Origami: A unique cantaloupe, Origami is in its second year of commercial sales, explained Yoav Mendel, product manager, melon. “It is grown on a strong plant, thrives in tough conditions and has easily identifiable maturity indicators. Customers like the quality and bold flavor profile,” added Mendel.
HMX 3600: This main-season deep-orange flesh melon will have additional seed available next year for large scale trials. A main-season Origami type with uniform 9s and 12s, it is good for processing markets because it has firm flesh. It has fit well in main-season trials, is easy to harvest, and has high Brix, explained Meir Peretz, Western region manager.
Oro Rico: Known as an industry standard, this melon is in the same class as Mas Rico and Rio Dulce. According to Peretz, it harvests from July to September and shippers and receivers like it because it has good field-holding capability and exceptional internal quality.
Bronco (HMX 2586):Another new variety, Bronco, which is mostly size 9s, is slated to fill the fall slot in Arizona and the main season in the San Joaquin Valley. “As Oro Rico was the industry standard with good shelf life and reliability that growers could count on, we learned that growers wanted an even bigger size, which is what we’ve found in Bronco,” explained Peretz.
HMX 3601: This Western shipper has uniform shape and its internal color is very similar to Navigator. A very early variety, it has a slight oval shape, dark-orange flesh, and high Brix. There will be enough seed next season for trials, added Peretz.
Gold Rush: Mike Pasquinelli of Nature Fresh Produce in Yuma (a producer of Gold Rush attending the field day) says it is the size and yield he gets with the melon that makes it a good fit for his operation.
This Western shipper features a strong vine and good internal quality, said Peretz. “It is very popular with growers. They like the consistency.”
Karman: A Charentais-type specialty melon, Karman offers high Brix (14-15) sometimes going up to 20. It also has good field holding capability.
Versailles:This netted Charentais type is larger, size 12s, and earlier than Karman. According to Peretz, growers start with Versailles and then move to Karman later in the season.
Fiji: A Harper-type melon, Fiji has a net that is similar to Western shippers. The main difference is the outside colors are gray and don’t turn gold, said Peretz. In addition to its high Brix, the main advantage of this oval-shaped melon is its long shelf life, making it good fit for the processing industry.
Melosso: This variety is a main-season green flesh honeydew, mainly for the San Joaquin Valley and fall production in Arizona. It is a uniformly shaped melon with a smooth shell and outstanding fruit setting capability. It also features a small seed cavity, is very sweet, and tolerates high temperatures during July and August.