Higher Prices Save Florida Watermelon Season

Abbey Taylor Produce, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Breanna Kendrick The 2018 Florida watermelon season posed challenges for most growers that resulted in lower yields and higher fruit prices. Bob Hochmuth, regional specialized Extension agent for vegetable crops at the University of Florida (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences North Florida Research and Education Center in Suwannee Valley discussed Florida’s 2018 watermelon season. He addressed the …

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Election Day Commentary: Career Politicians or Dedicated Public Servants?

Dan Cooper Agri-business, Fruit, Labor, Tomatoes, Trade, Vegetables, Watermelon

By Gary Cooper, Founder/President AgNet Media Sometimes the timing of events can really make us think. Over the weekend, our nation lost one of its greatest public servants. Senator John McCain was nothing less than a statesman his entire adult life. Not once in all the recent news media coverage did I see him referred to as a “career politician.” …

The Buzz on Hollow Heart

Breanna Kendrick Pollinators, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Breanna Kendrick A lot of watermelon growers have had to deal with hollow heart this season. It’s not known for certain what causes hollow heart, but research is pointing toward pollination deficiency. Hollow heart is a separation of the cells in the flesh of the fruit, which causes a fissure to form. A fissure can form from stem to …

Advice for Managing Watermelon Diseases

Breanna Kendrick Top Posts, Watermelon

By Breanna Kendrick Depending on where you are, different diseases could affect your watermelons. Phytophthora, fusarium wilt, anthracnose, downy mildew and gummy stem blight are the biggest issues that Nicholas Dufault, University of Florida associate professor and Extension plant pathologist, has seen. These are the most common diseases in Florida-grown watermelons. With phytophthora, whole plant death is associated with a …

Gummy Stem Blight Tops Georgia Watermelon Diseases

Breanna Kendrick Top Posts, Watermelon

By Breanna Kendrick With the heavy rains during the 2018 watermelon season, Georgia growers in the Colquitt County area have seen an increase in gummy stem blight in their melons. Jenna Kicklighter, a University of Georgia vegetable agent in Colquitt County, spoke with many growers this year about their season. “Gummy stem blight is the number-one disease growers had the …

A New Race of Fusarium Wilt Brings Trouble

Abbey Taylor Research, Top Posts, Watermelon

Fusarium wilt has been a problem in watermelon for several years. A new race of the disease makes it even more of a struggle to deal with. Nicholas Dufault, assistant professor and Extension specialist in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Florida (UF), says race three fusarium wilt was recently found in the United States. According to Dufault, …

Precautions Growers Should Take in the Rainy Season

Breanna Kendrick Tomatoes, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Breanna Kendrick The abundance of rain in Florida over the past two weeks has brought concerns about bacterial disease issues for farmers. Gary Vallad, University of Florida associate professor of plant pathology and associate center director at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, discusses some of the precautions growers can take to make it through this rainy season. …

Beware of Bacterial and Fungal Pathogens in Increased Rainfall

Abbey Taylor Top Posts, Watermelon, Weather

By Breanna Kendrick Nicholas Dufault, assistant professor and Extension agent in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Florida, researches management of diseases affecting vegetable crop production in Florida. “With all the rainfall, the biggest thing we want to pay attention to is the movement of fungal and bacterial pathogens,” said Dufault. “Fungal and bacterial pathogens will be a …