East Coast demo fields “Exceed” Expectations and more!

We sat with our very own Yair Askira, Regional Product Manager Pepper and Watermelon, to learn more and get the latest update on our watermelon and pepper varieties.

“Developing new plant varieties plays a crucial role in meeting the demands of both growers and consumers. New varieties should offer increased productivity, plants that provide more growing adaptability, and improved disease resistance”, says Askira. Here are our up-and-coming select varieties that truly do make a difference in our market:

Lamuyo pepper Monfort is our latest pepper. It is a TSWV-resistant variety that has shown exceptional performance in California.  It has a robust plant that has impressive adaptability and is very productive.  Monfort is rapidly becoming a favorite for CA Lamuyo growers, as it offers the option of multiple harvests throughout the season and the fruit has thick walls and excellent firmness.

As for Watermelons, we are EXCITEd to share that there are several varieties that indeed EXCEED our expectations:

On the East Coast, our demonstration plots of mini watermelons have yielded impressive results.  One of the standout performers is the Exceed variety which has a crimson rind pattern. Exceed truly delivers outstanding performance in terms of flavor and texture.

Additionally, Excite, which is also a crimson variety, proves to be an excellent choice. The East Coast trials have underscored the potential of these varieties and their suitability for different market preferences.

Watermelon growers in California and Mexico face increasing challenges from powdery mildew (PM), which negatively impacts crop quality and yields. To address this issue, our new watermelon variety Onza has been introduced. Onza is a tiger-type, personal-size watermelon which provides strong tolerance to powdery mildew.  It has vigorous vines that offer excellent cover for the fruit and is very productive. The fruit has intense red flesh, which is firm, crisp, and exceptionally tasty. As damage from PM becomes more prevalent, the demand for resistant varieties is on the rise. With its excellent quality, vigorous plant growth, and resistance to powdery mildew, Onza is set to make a significant impact in the watermelon industry.

What’s next? You may ask. According to Askira, “We have now focused our breeding efforts on developing conventional-sized seedless watermelon varieties that will provide the same high-quality internal attributes as our minis”.  We aim to strike the perfect balance between size, taste, and texture. We are planning to conduct extensive trials in the upcoming season to ensure their viability on a larger scale. By refining these varieties through rigorous testing, we strive to offer growers superior options for meeting market demands.

In conclusion, the introduction of Lamuyo Monfort pepper and Onza tiger-type watermelon has injected new possibilities into the vegetable-growing landscape. With their disease resistance, impressive yields, and superior quality, these varieties have garnered attention from growers in California and beyond.

As the industry continues to evolve, the pursuit of innovative plant breeding techniques will pave the way for even more remarkable varieties that meet the diverse needs of growers and consumers alike.