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 …

Attention North Florida Watermelon Producers: Diseases Observed in Isolated Fields

Jim Rogers Disease, Research, Watermelon

Two diseases have been observed in North Florida watermelon. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, reported in his weekly email that Psudomonas (angular leaf spot) and gummy stem blight have been reported, though in isolated fields. “If bacterial diseases are not a concern in your fields, …

Copper Applications: What to Know for North Florida Watermelon Producers

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Research, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson A better understanding of copper applications could provide North Florida watermelon producers a safer management plan in producing their crop this season. Mark Warren, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agent in Levy County, wants to better educate producers about the different forms of copper and its potential impact on watermelon plants. …

pieces of fresh juicy watermelon

Florida Watermelon Producer Discusses Inputs, Looming Market Prices

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Trade, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Florida Watermelon harvests are about to commence. One producer has done all he can to keep his crop clean this season, even if input costs rose to new heights. “I’ve got no disease pressure, no bug pressure. We spray them every seven days. You sit back and wonder if we’re wasting money because there’s nothing wrong with …

close up photo of green watermelons

North Florida Watermelon Plants Rebounding from Freeze

Jim Rogers Florida, Watermelon, Weather

By Clint Thompson The majority of North Florida’s watermelon plants have rebounded from the cold temperatures during the weekend of March 12. Damaged plants are beginning to show new growth and make a significant recovery in a week and a half since temperatures dropped below freezing. Growers who started planting earlier in mid-to-late February are seeing the biggest difference, says …

Freeze Impact: Watermelon Growers Still Determining Extent of Damage

Jim Rogers Florida, Watermelon, Weather

By Clint Thompson Thursday’s expected sunshine should help shine a light on the damage inflicted on North Florida’s watermelon plants from last weekend’s sub-freezing temperatures. How much acreage will need to be replanted is still a question for growers impacted by temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit in the Suwanee Valley. “Because this was not necessarily a frost situation, …