Friday, May 12, 2017

Bayer showcases complete package to melon growers in Griffith

Griffith, Australia.
Ensuring consumers get a good eating experience is a key priority for watermelon and other melon growers across Australia.
Simon Forward, Watermelon and Melon Specialist for Southern Australia and Damon Atkinson, Watermelon and Melon Specialist for Northern Australia.
In fact, Bayer Watermelon and Melon Specialist for Southern Australia, Simon Forward believes the whole supply chain is on board with this goal, meaning all stakeholders are working together closer than ever before.

The Bayer Watermelon and Melon Field Day, held near Griffith (NSW) in mid-March, was a perfect example of this cooperation, as growers, retailers, agronomists and researchers gathered to inspect the latest Nunhems varieties on offer from Bayer’s vegetable seeds business.

The event included innovative Nunhems varieties such as Golden melon, Crispy Pear melon and Premium mini watermelon, as well as trial work from the crop protection sales, marketing and product development teams demonstrating the in-field performance of Bayer’s biological product, Serenade® Prime.

Mr Forward says attendees were drawn together by a common goal.

“Growers right through to retailers are certainly starting to work a lot closer together to give the consumer a good eating experience,” he explains. “They don't want to put any sub-par melons or watermelons on the shelf.”

“The melon and watermelon field day was a really valuable opportunity to not just showcase older Bayer varieties, but also put some new material in front of growers. “We're a very proactive company, and growers like to see that we're on the front foot, bringing new varieties into Australia.”
There were growers from all over the country in attendance at the field day, and while the more northern growers were also after innovative varieties, Bayer Watermelon and Melon Specialist for Northern Australia, Damon Atkinson, says they have unique needs in other respects.

“Northern growers in particular need a melon that's going to transport well because of the distance to market, to the supermarket chains. What this means is northern growers are particularly interested in a high flesh density in our varieties, along with rind thickness, sweetness, general storability and a good shelf life.”

The interest in good quality is a common trait desired by all melon and watermelon growers according to Simon Forward.

“They're really chasing varieties with a reasonable shelf life, good eating with nice, firm flesh and color is also important. Growers also want varieties that chain stores are chasing, they don't want fruit sent back to their farm,” he says.
With growers wanting to maximize returns through better varieties, higher productivity and better soil health, the challenge for Bayer is to deliver those requests in a complete package.

“Our varieties lead the market at this point in time, but going forward we're looking at firmer flesh to what we have today,” Mr Atkinson explains. “We’re also looking at products that have better disease tolerance and are sweeter, with a better flesh color - we're looking for the whole package. It's always a compromise, but we're always improving.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Simon Forward, who says the Bayer approach can be summed up easily.

“We are working together to bring a really good result for the grower, with quality seed, soil ameliorating bacteria, and sustainable farming,” he explains. “I certainly think there's some huge opportunities moving forward to give the supply chain the whole package.”

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to

Forward Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Serenade® is a Registered Trademark of the Bayer Group
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