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“Sustainable production is feasible and a reality”

Bayer will hold its Melon & Watermelon Week with the spotlight on sustainability, profitability and, of course, flavour

This year, Bayer is bringing back its Melon & Watermelon Week from the 29th of June to the 8th of July. On the 29th they will kick off with a day full of talks on market trends and new concepts, and, from the 30th, the field days will be held on a plot of land in Torre-Pacheco. At this edition, they will continue combining the digital part with the physical one and they will restart visits of international clients from Australia, South America, France or the USA, after Covid.

Seminis’ catalogue is based on three pillars: producer profitability, flavour and sustainability. The latter will be the centre point of the days. “Sustainable production is feasible and a reality, and we want to show it to the supermarkets and marketers,” according to José Guirado, Market Development Melon Ibérica at Bayer.

“Our R&D is aimed at varieties which have at least resistances to powdery mildew and aphids, in addition to certain viruses. In fact, 95% of the varieties we have in the fields are, at least, resistant to powdery mildew and aphids for complete programmes worldwide.” This means many advantages, as it allows healthier crops to be obtained, minimizing the use of plant protection products, resulting in a financial saving for the producers and greater environmental sustainability, amongst others.

On the exhibition farm, they will display resistant materials, grown also using zero-residue handling, with crop rotation, in this case of legumes, host plants to encourage the production of auxiliary fauna, reducing the carbon footprint and devices to monitor the water footprint.

“The situation in the Mar Menor has encouraged farmers to make more requests for varieties with resistances, and we want to help them showing both supermarkets and marketers that melon production is sustainable. In the Campo de Cartagena, as in the rest of Spain, farmers are producing in accordance with the legislation in force,” Guirado explains.

Strengthening its portfolio

Seminis has added new materials to its Galia Cyro Line range for the Iberian Peninsula: Albizu and Galvir. It is strengthening its global portfolio with these varieties, with “All year round” 365-day supply, underscoring its leadership in Galia worldwide.

In yellow melons, the Manchester variety completes the Chester and Rochester line, for medium-late productions in Murcia and early productions in Castilla-La Mancha. Manchester is the first of the line with resistances to powdery mildew and aphids, and this year it is making its commercial debut, after the introduction of Chester for Almeria and Murcia (early), highly regarded by marketers and supermarkets, and Rochester for late productions in Almeria, currently in its second commercial year. “With these three materials, we offer the same melon typology for all regions.”

Another of the new developments form the Seminis brand is the Orange Candy SV MA6558, with resistances to 3.5 of powdery mildew and aphids and an easier agronomic handling. This variety has pushed the production surface area forward and allows a 365-day supply (in Brazil, Senegal, Costa Rica…).

The R&D team at Bayer is working on the development of specialities, with products that have different colours, flavours and textures, but not only this: “Innovation also means looking for materials with strong root systems to optimise water resources, or that have an easy agronomic handling… And we are already doing this.”


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