In the hot Jordanian summer, Harris Moran Seed
Company held its first-ever field trial in the
Middle East, displaying the latest vegetables developed especially for this dry, arid part of
Some 150 customers from -- Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, Yemen, Oman,
the UAE, Greece, Morocco, Turkey, and Algeria -- walked the test fields outside the capital city
Amman. For four days, they inspected all 75 varieties, including 25 experimental varieties of
watermelon, peppers, tomatoes, corn, eggplant, beans, squash, melons, and cucumbers.
Vegetable consumption in this part of the world is high. But tastes in flavor, texture, shape, and
color differ dramatically from Western standards. Harris Moran breeders who traveled to Amman meet
the challenge of tailor-making new varieties for this exotic market.
Squash mainstays like Barq and Goya ? both white tapered types -- were joined this year by
experimental varieties that feature built-in disease resistance. Customer attention was focused
on HMX 8723, a variety that boasts ZYMV and powdery mildew tolerance, as well as HMX 8724, a
white cylindrical squash that features ZYMV tolerance.
In melons, a new commercial Ananas-type melon called Rayyan was featured. It has a small seed
cavity, fruit uniformity, and ripens to a mottled green-orange color at harvest. It's tolerant to
powdery mildew and resistant to fusarium wilt (0 and 2).
Dealers, growers, and university people who walked the trial said these regionalized trials are the
trials of the future.
Franck Berger, vice president of sales and marketing for Harris Moran, said the field day and
the new varieties created exclusively for the Middle Eastern market "strengthens Harris Moran's
commitment to the Middle East. For our customers it allows them to see their crops growing in their
Company news release