The countdown to Rocky Ford Cantaloupe season is on!

The countdown to Rocky Ford Cantaloupe season is on!

Rocky Ford Growers Association member farms are preparing for another sweet & juicy cantaloupe season

The family farmers of the Rocky Ford Growers Association have been busy over the last couple of weeks planting their world-famous melons. Those amazingly sweet and juicy Rocky Ford Cantaloupes will start rolling into grocery stores across Colorado in mid-July. The ripest cantaloupes are picked daily through the growing season and will go from the field to the grocery store in about 12 hours. 

Matthew Proctor of Rocky Ford Growers Association member farm Proctor Produce and his crew plants melon seedlings recently in Rocky Ford, Colorado
Matthew Proctor of Rocky Ford Growers Association member farm Proctor Produce and his crew plants melon seedlings recently in Rocky Ford, Colorado

RFGA member farms use the latest technology, from row coverings that reduce evaporation, to GPS-guided tractors that are so precise they don’t deviate more than an inch to the right or left over the length of each row. This use of technology protects the drip lines, row covers, and baby plants while reducing the amount of fuel used. Additional technology tracks the melons from seed to the state-of-the-art packing shed where the melons are carefully cleaned, cooled and packed for shipping.  

A GPS receiver sits at the edge of a field to help guide the tractor along each row of melons. The satellite-guided technology prevents damage to the drip lines, row coverings, and seedlings, and saves on diesel fuel.
A GPS receiver sits at the edge of a field to help guide the tractor along each row of melons. The satellite-guided technology prevents damage to the drip lines, row coverings, and seedlings, and saves on diesel fuel.
We are so excited to get out into the fields and start planting for the 2020 melon season,” said Rocky Ford Growers Association president Michael Hirakata. “We grow the sweetest cantaloupe thanks to a perfect combination of blazing hot days and cool nights, along with the fresh, clear Arkansas River water that irrigates the valley.”
Michael Hirakata, president of the Rocky Ford Growers Association and co-owner of Hirakata Farms, inspects a melon in one of his fields.
Michael Hirakata, president of the Rocky Ford Growers Association and co-owner of Hirakata Farms, inspects a melon in one of his fields.

When you see the Rocky Ford Growers Association sticker, you know your cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew melons have been grown on farms that adhere to the highest national health and safety practices mandated by the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification. RFGA farms use cutting-edge safety practices throughout the growing, packing, and shipping process to produce the safest possible cantaloupe.

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The Rocky Ford Growers Association members are family-owned farms, several of which are being operated by 5th and 6th generation farmers.

A young farmer from Proctor Produce helps get the planting job done!
A young farmer from Proctor Produce helps get the planting job done!

RFGA members work together to coordinate planting so that the harvest stretches from mid-July through mid-September.

A great Rocky Ford Cantaloupe season starts with working the ground to prepare it for planting, laying down drip lines and row covers, and finally, planting seeds and seedlings that will grow into those sweet and juicy Rocky Ford Cantaloupe, Watermelon and Honeydew melon that Rocky Ford is famous for!
A great Rocky Ford Cantaloupe season starts with working the ground to prepare it for planting, laying down drip lines and row covers, and finally, planting seeds and seedlings that will grow into those sweet and juicy Rocky Ford Cantaloupe, Watermelon and Honeydew melon that Rocky Ford is famous for!

 

 

About Rocky Ford Growers Association

Rocky Ford Growers Association is a group of family-owned farms in the Arkansas River valley of southeastern Colorado. Rocky Ford Growers Association was formed in 2011 to strengthen and protect the reputation of the cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew melon grown in the area. Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ is officially trademarked to ensure the best and safest quality. For our growers to label their melons as Rocky Ford Cantaloupe, they must be a member of our association and produce melons within the boundaries of the Rocky Ford growing region: Otero County and Crowley County South of the Colorado Canal.

Rocky Ford Growers Association
Rocky Ford, Colorado