Options Available for Management of Gummy Stem Blight

Jim Rogers Disease, Watermelon

Gummy stem blight disease pressure has been light so far this season in North Florida watermelons. That trend may soon be changing, however. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, confirmed this week that gummy stem blight disease is beginning to become a problem for Florida watermelons. …

Watermelon Production: Preventative Sprays Needed for Rindworms

Jim Rogers Pests, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson North Florida watermelon producers should be applying insecticides on a preventative basis when targeting rindworms. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, advises growers that an economical program consists of adding a Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) spray now and continue weekly until pest pressure gets …

Disease Update for North Florida Watermelons

Jim Rogers Disease, Florida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Downy mildew disease has yet to make an appearance in North Florida watermelons this year. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, hopes it remains that way. “We’re keeping a really close eye on (downy) because that’s the next one that if we don’t …

sliced watermelon on gray surface

Not So Sweet Prices: January Freeze Event Impacting Watermelon Market

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Exports/Imports, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson The freeze event in late January is having an impact on the watermelon market more than three months later. What were ‘outrageously’ high prices just a few weeks ago have dropped substantially since. It is mostly due to an abundance of supply overwhelming demand. Carr Hussey, a watermelon farmer in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, calls it a …

Fusarium Wilt of Watermelon in Georgia: An Overview and Research Update

Jim Rogers Disease, Research, Watermelon

By Bhabesh Dutta Fusarium wilt has emerged as a chronic problem in watermelon-growing regions in the United States, including Georgia. The disease has been responsible for significant pre- and post-harvest losses in yield and quality. Fusarium wilt is caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (FON). DISEASE SYMPTOMSIn the field, symptoms typically start within two to three …

close up photo of sliced watermelon

Once ‘Outrageously High’ Watermelon Prices Drop in Recent Weeks

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson What was once out of this world market prices for Florida’s watermelon producers have come back to earth a bit. Laura Land, a watermelon farmer from Branford, Florida, and member of the Florida Watermelon Association, discusses how prices have dropped in recent weeks. “They were outrageously high (two weeks ago). They’re moving down pretty quickly. They’re in …

UF/IFAS to Hold On-Farm Watermelon Field Day

Jim Rogers Florida, Research, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson The University of Florida Food and Agricultural Sciences will host an on-farm watermelon field day on Tuesday, May 3 near Trenton, Florida. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, discusses what growers and industry leaders can expect from the field day scheduled for the …

Fusarium Wilt Observed in North Florida Watermelons

Jim Rogers Disease, Research, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Fusarium wilt disease continues to be observed in North Florida watermelons. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, cautions growers against spending large amounts of money on potential remedies. They won’t be effective this late in the growing season. “I saw some of these …