Powdery Mildew Detected in North Florida Watermelon

Jim Rogers Disease, Florida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Lab testing has confirmed powdery mildew disease in watermelon in the Suwanee Valley region of Florida. Growers should be proactive in beginning their fungicide spray programs, says Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “We got the first confirmation, and it was very good …

North Florida Watching for Powdery Mildew

Jim Rogers Disease, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson North Florida watermelon farmers and industry leaders have yet to see a widespread attack of any one disease, such as powdery mildew. But they are paying close attention to the plants that are in the ground. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) regional specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, is …

watermelon

Georgia Watermelon Crop Stymied by Adverse Weather Conditions

Jim Rogers Georgia, Watermelon, Weather

By Clint Thompson Georgia’s watermelon crop is off to a sluggish start following cool temperatures, heavy rains and high winds in recent weeks. Ty Torrance, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable agent for Colquitt, Tift and Worth counties, describes the impact he has noticed in fields so far. “There’s a little bit of cold injury. The largest impact is everything’s …

close up shot of watermelons

Fungicide Programs Key for North Florida Watermelon Producers

Jim Rogers Research, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Fungicide programs are crucial for North Florida watermelon growers trying to stave off disease development in their young plants. Especially following cooler temperatures and heavy winds last weekend, the watermelon crop in the Suwanee Valley region is susceptible to various diseases. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent …

New Viruses to Watch for in Watermelon and Other Cucurbits

Jim Rogers Disease, Pests, Watermelon

By Pamela D. Roberts Whitefly-transmitted viruses are the major disease problem for watermelons grown in South Florida. For the past few decades, whitefly-transmitted viruses have included squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV), cucurbit leaf crumple virus (CuLCrV) and cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV). A HISTORY OF VIRUSESAlthough SqVYV was first identified from squash in Florida in 2005, it had most likely been …

Watermelon Anthracnose: Current Trends and Future Directions

Jim Rogers Disease, Research, Watermelon

By Navjot Kaur and Bhabesh Dutta Watermelon anthracnose is caused by the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum orbiculare, which impacts all above-ground parts of the plant. C. orbiculare also causes anthracnose in other cucurbit crops such as cucumber, muskmelon, squash, gourd, pumpkin, cantaloupe and honeydew. The disease is favored by conditions including high humidity, rainfall, overhead irrigation and warm temperatures in the …

Time to Sample Watermelon Plants

Jim Rogers Florida, Research, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson It is time for petiole-sap testing or leaf tissue analysis for watermelon producers in North Florida. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, discusses the testing service that UF/IFAS Extension provides to growers. “We collectively provide a service of going out and running petiole …

close up shot of watermelons

Watermelon 2021: Domestic Production Down, Imports Up

Jim Rogers Exports/Imports, Florida, Watermelon

Domestic watermelon production was down in 2021, though imports from other countries like Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras rose. Domestic production totaled 3.37 billion pounds last year, a decrease of 2% from 2020. This was mostly attributed to a 7% decrease in Georgia production because of a cooler spring and 35% decrease in Texas due to Winter Storm Uri. Florida’s watermelon …