Samantha Kilgore, executive director of the Georgia Watermelon Association, said the season was “good all around.” She spoke with AgNet Media’s Josh McGill in October at the Produce Marketing Association’s 2017 Fresh Summit in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The hurricane season did not have an impact on the 2017 watermelon crop, Kilgore said. Common diseases were still found this year, but she said growers typically know how to deal with those.
“That’s one of the reasons we’re here … to provide education and resources for them to be able to combat those diseases and … do a better job the next year,” she said.
As growers look forward to the 2018 season, there are still some pressing issues on their minds. Kilgore said a top issue is labor regulation. “Being able to get reliable labor for our growers consistently throughout the season and when they need it” is a concern, she said.
According to Kilgore, it is important to have labor when growers need it, because of the immediacy that watermelons, like many other fruit and vegetable crops, require. It is important that growers are able to get the crop out of the field when it is ready.
The Georgia Watermelon Association helps growers continue to improve their crops year after year. Kilgore said it is important that growers continue putting in hard work and keep in connection with the association.
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