North Florida Melon Season Nearing End

Clint Thompson Florida, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Watermelon harvests are nearing an end in North Florida. It’s time to take stock of how production went this season as 80% to 90% of the region’s crop has been harvested. Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, said farmers were satisfied with how this year transpired. “Prices really dictate their happiness. For …

Developing Diseases: Increased Rains Expected to Challenge Melon Growers

Clint Thompson Disease, Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Increased rain events in June mean a potential increase in disease development for Georgia’s watermelon producers. Bhabesh Dutta, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist, said there are a few diseases that growers need to be mindful of following excessive rain in parts of South Georgia over the past week. “I would say I’ve been seeing a …

Insect Impact: Whiteflies, Wireworms, Rindworms Impacting Florida Watermelons

Clint Thompson Florida, Pests, Top Posts, Watermelon

Insects are active in North Florida watermelon fields. According to his weekly email, Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, said rindworms remain a problem. Growers need to maintain a good preventative program up until the last week of harvest. There have also been various reports of whitefly populations. This is especially concerning because they vector …

Powdery Mildew: Conditions Ripe for Disease

Clint Thompson Disease, Florida, Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson North Florida’s watermelon season is nearing an end in multiple fields, but one disease continues to persist. Growers in the region still need to be wary of powdery mildew disease. Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, said in his weekly email that if growers have a couple of harvest weeks left, they …

Fusarium Wilt: Disease Worse This Year Amid Cooler Spring

Clint Thompson Disease, Florida, Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson It wasn’t ideal conditions for most watermelon diseases this spring. But one pathogen preferred the cool temperatures. Fusarium wilt, the disease that can cause plant death if the infection is severe enough, has been spotted throughout Florida and in the South Georgia production region, said Josh Freeman, University of Florida/IFAS Associate Professor in Horticultural Science. The cooler …

Tasty Treat: Exceptional Quality Expected for Watermelons This Year

Clint Thompson Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon, Weather

By Clint Thompson Ideal weather conditions contributed to “exceptional” quality of this year’s watermelon crop. That’s the expectation of two industry experts. “I think the quality this year has been outstanding,” said Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “Some of that is due to the climatic conditions. We had a lot of real, clear, bright …

Mini Melons: Costs, Lack of Demand Limiting Market Share

Clint Thompson Florida, Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson High production costs and lack of demand have kept mini melons from taking a big bite out of the watermelon industry, believes Josh Freeman, University of Florida/IFAS Associate Professor in Horticultural Science. “They may have been making small incremental gains, but I don’t think they did what many people thought they were going to do 15, 17, …

Watermelon Prices Just Average Amid Rising Input Costs

Clint Thompson Florida, Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson The watermelon prices that were good, maybe, 10 years ago are not so much in the current economic climate. Branford Florida watermelon producer Laura Land estimated that current prices are approximately 18 to 20 cents per pound for 45-count seedless; roughly $126 per bin. However, the same input expenses that cost Southeast vegetable producers all spring are …