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Launching HEIDI, Syngenta’s new cool shoulder variety

Image: Syngenta’s new cool shoulder variety - HEIDI

By Leith Plevey, Syngenta Product Development Specialist – LSV and Cucurbits, ANZ


The period following the early 2000s was particularly bright for Syngenta, when varieties like EASTERN STAR, NORTHERN SKY and DUBLOON, among a suite of other varieties, were a common sight in many Australian fields.

The recent launch of CLAUDIA, a warm-shoulder variety, has been embraced across Australia’s rockmelon production areas thanks to its leading resistance package, attractive uniform fruit and, importantly, consistent high yield potential. Syngenta, with its global expertise in breeding new varieties, is focused on answering the needs of Australian farmers into the future, as it has done over decades.

On the heels of CLAUDIA, we’re now thrilled to launch HEIDI (trialled as MS7350).

Developed for cooler plantings either side of the northern winter, or starting and finishing the southern summer, HEIDI mirrors many of CLAUDIA’s great traits – colour, flavour, small cavity and high yield – only it has a slightly larger size to mitigate those cooler seasons.

HEIDI represents two years of local development, preceded by several visits by our Head Breeder, Rakesh Kumar, to meet local growers and better understand their needs and our varying, and somewhat unique, environments.

It’s this access by our local sales team and growers to engage directly with the Syngenta breeders, placed at several key production regions across the world, that’s helped enable this success and helps shape our program to grow and support the Australian rockmelon market.

Beyond CLAUDIA and HEIDI, our focus is on continuing to draw on that international reach and improve on existing characteristics like flavour and agronomics, as well as introducing exciting new traits to improvement the overall grower and consumer experience.

With good plantings of HEIDI placed across the country already, we’re excited to share the output of the last three years work, and expand plantings moving into 2021. There are still opportunities to trial ahead of summer, so please reach out to your Syngenta representative to arrange seed.