2016 Australian Industry Melon Conference & Field Day - Wrap Up
16th – 18th March
‘Belah Heights’ on the border of Victoria and New South Wales was the setting for the 2016 Australian Industry Melon Conference and Field Day, with the industry coming together for three days of trials, presentations and socialising.
The postponement of the biennial event in 2015 meant growers and suppliers had been starved for new solutions and conversation. The conference organisers, the Australian Melon Association (AMA), didn’t disappoint as was reflected in a solid turnout of delegates, twenty nine exhibitors and the quality of speakers presenting.
Central themes where the implications of the CGMMV virus, the need for a Melon Levy to protect growers going forward and best practice farming.
Breeders from around the globe were in attendance, including Syngenta’s own Matt Kinkade and Rakesh Kumar. Both based in Syngenta Woodlands, California, they weren’t short of an audience when it came to showing off the varieties during the afternoon trials inspections.
In addition to growers sampling the taste of new melon variety MB3281 and MS3303, Rakesh demonstrated the superior Aphid resistance of the latter to growers.
Matt had a lot of interest with new variety WDL4432, including the ‘Belah Heights’ agronomist who had overseen the planting for the past 12 weeks, and was keen to sample the product. Watermelon was well represented with commercial varieties Javelin, Wahoo and Raider on trial as well as SP-6, Super Pollenising variety.
On a social note, the AMA held the Gala dinner at the Grand Hotel and a Farm tour with winery BBQ lunch to wrap up the 3 day event.
Syngenta, alongside EE Muirs, hosted a stand-alone Grower Night the evening prior to kick-off, where guests could socialise before informal presentations from the Syngenta Breeders and Syngenta Solutions Development Lead, Scott Mathew.