Harris Moran Seed Co.'s complete line of melons was on display recently during its annual melon trials in the Arizona desert.

Industry experts, growers, and shippers stopped by Flanagan Farms in Yuma, Ariz., to examine the 45 varieties of melon, honeydew, and watermelon, developed especially for the desert growing areas.

The varieties spanned the spectrum, from the industry standards like Oro Rico to exciting experimental triploid watermelon varieties like HMX 9916, an early, medium-sized, round, crimson type.

The half-day event introduced growers to just-released varieties too, such as Nitro, an early Western melon featuring large size and high yield.

Bill Copes, melon breeder for Harris Moran, said the products in this year's trial offered growers many options.

"Our varieties fill most of the slots - early season to main - in most of the growing regions. Their yield, shipability, and disease resistance take some of the gamble out of growing," Copes said.

Jana Middleton, product manager for Harris Moran, said all of HM's outstanding varieties fare well in the grocery store as well as in the field. Their firm, succulent fruit - coupled with their attractive color - often translates into repeat sales at the register.