UF/IFAS Watermelon Trials Focus on Nutrient/Water Efficiency

Jim Rogers Florida, Research, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agents are conducting on-farm trials this year to help watermelon producers be more efficient with their resources. Tyler Pittman, UF/IFAS Extension agent in Gilchrist County, explains what north Florida producers can expect from some of the research trials. “Here in Florida, one of our hottest topics …

Proper Pollination of Watermelon Helps Prevent Hollow Heart

Jim Rogers Watermelon

By Clint Thompson A common condition of watermelons can be rectified with a couple of pollination adjustments from producers. Gordon Johnson, an assistant professor and Extension specialist in fruits and vegetables at the University of Delaware, said proper pollination can help nullify any development of hollow heart. “Our research pretty much proves that inadequate pollen will lead to higher incidences …

Watermelon Producer: Unknowns a Real Problem for Growers

Clint Thompson Florida, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson The supply chain crisis that is gripping the U.S. is leaving watermelon farmers in a state of flux on how to proceed with the upcoming season. Florida growers are two months away from planting this year’s crop. Input costs and availability are on top of producers’ minds, says Lara Land, watermelon producer and executive council member of …

Price Adjustment: Watermelon Farmers Need Assistance to Remain Sustainable

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

By Clint Thompson Extremely high input costs makes watermelon production unsustainable for Southeast producers. Carr Hussey, a watermelon farmer in Florida, Georgia and Alabama and chairman of the board of the Florida Watermelon Association (FWA), said there be a must price adjustment for farmers to remain afloat. “Pricing, I think it’s going to change this season, I really do. Farmers …

Costly Increase: Input Expenses for Watermelons Will Impact Consumer Price

Clint Thompson Florida, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson South Florida watermelon producers are two months away from planting this year’s crop. Farmers are bracing themselves for the high input prices that are rampant throughout the agricultural industry. Mark Bryan, president of the Florida Watermelon Association, said the impact of the increased input costs will be felt at the grocery stores next spring and summer. “We …

Fall Watermelon Production Not Recommended in North Florida

Clint Thompson Florida, Georgia, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Josh Freeman, University of Florida (UF)/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Associate Professor in Horticultural Science, is completely honest when assessing the potential of fall watermelon production in north Florida. “To be completely frank, we would not recommend watermelon growers grow watermelons in the fall,” Freeman said. His blunt assessment is attributed to the multiple variables …

A Lot to Learn: Two New Viruses a Concern for Florida Watermelon Industry

Clint Thompson Disease, Florida, Top Posts, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Two new watermelon viruses discovered recently in Texas are now a concern of Florida producers. As if South Florida growers did not have enough diseases to concern themselves with, these two new viruses are now on growers’ and industry leaders’ radar. Pam Roberts, professor of plant pathology and state Extension specialist for vegetable pathology at the University …