North Florida to Feature More Late-Season Watermelons

Clint Thompson Florida, Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon

North Florida watermelons will be in supply later than normal, says Branford, Florida producer Laura Land. Land, who is also a member of the Florida Watermelon Association, says there will be more late-season watermelons this year in North Florida. “The increase in acreage that I’m seeing here in the North Florida area is pretty much that later crop,” Land said. …

Alert: Florida Watermelon Producers Wary of Increased Disease Pressure

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

Rainfall over the weekend in north Florida has watermelon producers wary of potential diseases that could potentially occur. Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, cautions farmers to look for any new symptoms that could occur. “Most of our fungicides are in fact preventative. Trying to play catch-up with a preventative fungicide after a disease has …

UF/IFAS Extension Agent: Cold Damage Was Close on Watermelons

Clint Thompson Florida, Top Posts, Watermelon, Weather

Almost two weeks after a cold Easter weekend, North Florida watermelon producers are still counting their blessings. They understand the minimal damage their crop sustained during a chilly Easter weekend could have been a whole lot worse. “It was really, really close,” said Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “Because a lot of those plants …

Narrow Escape: North Florida Watermelons Dodge Significant Frost Damage

Clint Thompson Florida, Top Posts, Watermelon

Watermelon farmers in Northeast Florida escaped significant damage this weekend during frost and prolonged cold temperatures, believes Bob Hochmuth, UF/IFAS Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “The way that I characterize it is we escaped narrowly. I think if we had another degree or two colder or if the event had been a couple of hours longer, any …

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Chilly Outcome: Cold Temperatures Damage Some South Georgia Crops

Clint Thompson Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon, Weather

Cold temperatures and a late-season frost could lead some South Georgia vegetable producers to replant some of their crops, namely watermelons and cantaloupes. Bill Brim, part owner of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton, Georgia, said his plants survived most of last weekend’s temperature drop, other than some cantaloupe plants in Worth County. “Cantaloupes got burnt a little bit in some …

Watermelon Production Decreased in 2020

Clint Thompson Florida, Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon

Prices were High Watermelon production in the United States decreased in 2020, while prices remained strong. According to the USDA Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, domestic fresh-market watermelon production totaled 3,419.9 million pounds in 2020, which is a decrease of 4.4% from the previous season. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported that production in 2019 was 3,579.2 million …

Storage Options for Watermelons

Clint Thompson Alabama, Top Posts, Watermelon

From production to harvest, the battle is not yet over for watermelon farmers. There is the subject of post-harvest care, specifically, with storage options. Joe Kemble, Alabama Extension vegetable specialist, cautions growers that watermelons are not adapted to long-term storage. “They will last two to three weeks at most in storage,” Kemble said. “If you’re looking at long-term storage, say …

How Sweet it is: Refractometers Help Melon Producers Determine Maturity

Clint Thompson Top Posts, Watermelon

Watermelon plantings are under way across the Southeast, but it’s never too early to start thinking about harvest. While maturity levels in seeded melons can be determined by thumping the melon or observing its appearance, seedless melons are not as simple. Joe Kemble, Alabama Extension vegetable specialist, recommends producers to utilize a refractometer to determine the brix or sweetness levels …