USDA Announces National Watermelon Promotion Board Appointments

Abbey Taylor Industry News Release, Watermelon

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 13 individuals to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Members newly appointed to serve three-year terms are: Ernesto Chamberlain, Nogales, Ariz. Christian Murillo, Nogales, Ariz. Dan O’Connor, Pompano Beach, Fla. Chadelle Robinson, Las Cruces, N.M. Gerardo A. Lozano, Edinburg, Texas Ward Thomas, McAllen, Texas Members re-appointed include: Mathew Singletary, Alva, Fla. …

Suwannee Valley Watermelon Institute Benefits Growers

Abbey Taylor Top Posts, Watermelon

Last week’s Suwannee Valley Watermelon Institute attracted its biggest crowd yet. Bob Hochmuth, a regional Extension agent based at the North Florida Research and Education Center, has hosted the event for eight years and is proud to see its continuous growth. The institute began with a morning session about irrigation and fertilization management. In the afternoon, growers could visit with …

Watermelon Grafting to Manage Fusarium Wilt

Jaci Schreckengost Top Posts, Watermelon

Researchers are studying the effects of grafting in watermelon crops to manage a pathogen continuing to cause problems for many Florida growers. Two University of Florida researchers, Nicholas Dufault and Xin Zhao, are currently on the team to examine grafting possibilities for the watermelon industry. Dufault, an assistant professor and plant pathologist for vegetable and agronomic crops, said that crop …

Cucurbit Crop Concerns for Georgia Growers

Jaci Schreckengost Top Posts, Watermelon

Growers in Georgia are currently facing challenges when it comes to battling fusarium wilt and whitefly-transmitted viral diseases in their vegetable crops, such as watermelon and zucchini. Bhabesh Dutta, an Extension vegetable disease specialist at the University of Georgia, said heavy whitefly pressure is prominent right now as we move from summer into fall. Whiteflies vector viral diseases, such as …

TREC Helps Growers, Trains Future Plant Breeders

Jaci Schreckengost Top Posts, Watermelon

Researchers at the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) are looking for ways to improve production of crops such as squash and watermelon. Geoffrey Meru, assistant professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at TREC, is one of the researchers examining key challenges limiting growers’ success and addressing them through breeding and genetic …

Do You Love Watermelons in the Hot Summer? UF Scientists Are on the Case

Abbey Taylor Top Posts, Watermelon

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Some people love to eat a juicy, seedless watermelon for a tasty, refreshing snack during a hot, Florida summer day. University of Florida scientists have found a way to stave off potential diseases while retaining that flavor. Consumers increasingly savor the convenience and taste of seedless watermelons, said Xin Zhao, a University …

Research Begins on Fusarium Wilt Affecting Watermelon

Jaci Schreckengost Top Posts, Watermelon

When it comes to watermelon, one of the ongoing and increasing challenges is fusarium wilt. This disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus called Fusarium oxysporum. The type of fusarium that causes fusarium wilt is specialized to watermelon, says Bhabesh Dutta, a vegetable Extension pathologist at the University of Georgia. Dutta is leading a collaborative team to examine how fungicides …

Southwest Florida Struggles with Whiteflies and Drought

Abbey Taylor Pests, Tomatoes, Top Posts, Watermelon

The drought is not the only problem Florida tomato and watermelon growers are facing this season. Gene McAvoy, regional vegetable Extension agent with the University of Florida, said whitefly pressure has proliferated and become a big problem for growers. Florida’s relatively warm winter this past year has caused tremendous pest pressure (especially whiteflies) now in the spring. McAvoy says he …