Delay in Disease Pressure Helps Melon Production, Farmers Save Money

Jim Rogers Disease, Florida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson The extended delay of certain diseases occurring in North Florida watermelons was a much-needed blessing for producers. The hot and dry conditions were a big reason why. Only last week was the first case of downy mildew observed in Levy County. Gummy stem blight pressure only became problematic within the last couple of weeks. Those diseases thrive …

Downy Mildew in North Florida Watermelons

Jim Rogers Disease, Florida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson What was inevitable has now become reality for North Florida watermelon producers – downy mildew disease in this year’s crop. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) regional specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, confirmed the presence of the disease in Levy County during his weekly email alerts. “It’s something that …

photo of watermelons

Fertilizer Applications Need to Continue During Watermelon Harvests

Jim Rogers Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Watermelon harvests have begun in North Florida. But that doesn’t mean producers should halt their fertilizer applications. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, emphasizes to growers the importance of continuing their fertilizer application program. “Lets say you and I have a field and …

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 …