Powdery Mildew a Growing Concern for South Florida Watermelon Producers

Clint Thompson Disease, Florida, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson What was once a disease that feasted mostly on squash in South Florida has quickly taken more of a liking to one of its fellow cucurbits – watermelons. Pamela Roberts, vegetable plant pathologist at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, discussed at last week’s Citrus, Vegetable and Specialty Crop Expo how powdery mildew disease has …

USDA AMS Revises Standards for Watermelon

Clint Thompson Top Posts, Watermelon

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is revising the U.S. Standards for Watermelon to provide a common language for trade. AMS is establishing a total tolerance for anthracnose and decay in the U.S. No. 1 and U.S. No. 2 grades; adjusting the range of average weight from 20-to-42 to 10-to-34 pounds to align with current marketing …

New Viruses Detected in Florida Melons

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

IMMOKALEE, Fla. — Florida’s watermelon producers face two new viruses. But it is important to remember that finding a disease is the first step to managing it, says a University of Florida scientist who helped diagnose both diseases. “Now that it is known that there are additional (watermelon) viruses in the mix, efforts can be made to determine their impacts …

Downy Mildew Disease Detected on Watermelon in Georgia

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

According to the University of Georgia Extension vegetable blog, downy mildew disease has been detected on watermelon in Ben Hill County, Georgia. Downy mildew is among the top diseases of cucurbit crops, like cucumbers, watermelon, squashes and pumpkins. It can destroy plant foliage and cause the leaves to curl and die. This leaves the plant vulnerable to blisters and sunscald …

Sour Ending for Watermelon Season

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

By Clint Thompson Southeast watermelon producers prefer weather conditions to stay as dry as possible during harvest time. Needless to say, this summer has been anything but ideal for growers in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Persistent rains, increased disease pressure and diminishing market prices have added up to a challenging couple of months, says Josh Freeman, University of Florida/IFAS Associate …

High Volume, Prices for Melon Growers Heading Into Fourth of July Weekend

Clint Thompson Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Vegetable and specialty crop prices are down for most commodities, except watermelon. Tim Coolong, associate professor in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said he heard last week that watermelon prices were holding at about 20 cents per pound. That’s encouraging news for producers heading into this week’s Fourth of July weekend. “Mid-June, …

Downy Mildew Alert: Watermelon Disease Found in Two South Carolina Counties

Clint Thompson Disease, South Carolina, Top Posts, Watermelon

Downy mildew disease was found on watermelon this week in two South Carolina counties – Allendale and Barnwell – according to The South Carolina Grower. This is especially concerning, since it reduces sugar content once 25% are infected. All watermelons should be sprayed with a fungicide effective against downy mildew. Gavel, Ranman and Elumin are the least expensive fungicide choices. …

Factors to Consider When Managing Phytophthora Fruit Rot in Watermelons

Clint Thompson Disease, Top Posts, Watermelon

Increased rainfall means conditions are favorable for the development of phytophthora fruit rot (Pcap) in watermelon, according to University of Georgia Extension Vegetable Blog and Extension plant pathologist Bhabesh Dutta. There are several pre- and post-harvest considerations growers need to be mindful of in protecting their watermelon crop from the disease. Dutta recommends: Avoid harvesting watermelons from low spots in …