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The story behind one of the most successful melon varieties on the market

Vegetables
06.12.2017

Due to the persistence and hard work of a small local team, the new melon variety, Claudia, was launched into the Australian market to great success and then gaining global recognition since. It wasn’t an easy ride though, read on to understand the story behind one of the most successful melon varieties on the market.

Claudia is a Harper Melon and was first trialed in the Australian summer of 2013.

Product evaluation in Australia and New Zealand is heavily reliant on the synergies the Syngenta Seeds Team has with other global markets and good product profiling.

Due to the diverse agricultural production and vast geography of Australia and New Zealand, the small, but nimble Syngenta trialing team has to meet the challenge of achieving more from less while retaining high quality data collection to make confident decisions around varietal advancement or deletion.

The team also focuses heavily on delivering a strong pipeline of exceptional products so that Australian growers can compete with their overseas competitors.

So when Rachel Archbald, Syngenta Australia’s Cucurbit Senior Trials Officer, discovered the Claudia variety in 2013, the team were understandably excited about its promising production. It took another couple of years of refined trialing by the team to work out Claudia’s agronomic suitability and season fit.

“I actually discovered the variety on my birthday, which was extra special for me”, Rachel said.

“We had spent some time in the field trialing the variety in different agronomic environments and working out what planting dates were best for the Australian market.”

Australia was the first country to produce and commercialise the Claudia variety, with the variety capturing the attention of other overseas markets thereafter.

US melon breeder, Rakesh Kumar, visited Australia in 2016 to launch the variety at the Australian Industry Melon Conference and Field Day, where he acknowledged the variety’s potential and prompted him to retrial Claudia back in the US production market. Claudia has since gained traction in South America.

“We were really excited to have Rakesh come out to Australia to launch the variety and meet some of our local customers,” Rachel said.

“We are so proud of Claudia and are excited to see how the variety continues to perform next season.”

Claudia is now regarded as the new benchmark for quality and disease resistance. Bred specifically for Australian growers and markets.

Features & Benefits

  • Highly concentrated crown fruit set – two harvest passes in most cases.
  • Best in class resistance package – Cotton Aphid and MNSV resistant
  • Easy to identify maturity indicators
  • Firmer flesh and tight cavity – maximizing field holding and harvest flexibility
  • Significant long shelf life quality – perfect for long haul transit and export
  • Ideal for main season (summer) production, shoulders of winter production
  • Excellent fruit size uniformity, yield and attractive netting
  • Crisp, sweet flesh with rich salmon colour
  • Seed available now

Seed is available for this season and for more information call 1800 022 035.