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Gowan Seed begins melon crop trials

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - A new melon trial was just planted by Gowan Seed Company as summer growing season heats up.

A few things the trials look for are diseases, pests, size and shape just to name a few.

Crop trials help find the best variety possible for each grower’s specific needs.

The crops in the trials are raised from seed to harvest.

The melons were hand planted by Jake Brandenberger, who does product development for Gowan Seed.

“Some of our growers go into the wheats and sudans and overcrops and we have other growers that go into melons. We have our cantaloupes and honeydews, watermelons, there are some mixed melons out there, some galias,” said Brandenberger.

Brandenburger also said, “we’ve also started planting our melon trials, so they will be coming off, maybe a month after our produce season ends, a little bit longer, but that’s where we’re at right now, the tail end of our growing season.”

Trying to find a product that can ship well, is the most difficult part of the trial for melons, but it's important so they can make it safely to grocery store shelves.

“In the past, we used to grow western shipper cantaloupes and they were really flavorful, but they were soft and they couldn’t travel long distances or they’d get bruised. So now we moved into the harpers, which are a cantaloupe but they are a firmer melon,” explained Brandenberger.

Gowan Seed Company does roughly 300 to 400 trials every year in Yuma and the Imperial Valley.

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Samantha Byrd

Samantha Byrd joined the KYMA team as a reporter in February 2022.

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