By Clint Thompson
Harvests of North Florida watermelons are in full swing across the Suwanee Valley. How long they are able to continue vary from farm to farm.
Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) regional specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, discusses the outlook for how much longer the harvests will continue.
“There’s many of the farms in the southern part of the region that have been harvesting for two full weeks. There’s other farms that are just starting now. We’ve got a pretty wide spread there, and I think we’ll see some fields within a 7-to-10-day period that will be done. We’ll have other fields that will be going three weeks as long as the market holds. I think it’s a pretty wide range,” Hochmuth said.
“Some of them will be done in a week to seven days. But there’s other ones that are just getting started that have really good yield potential in them.”
North Florida producers have a finite harvest window following the production from the southern part of the state and preceding South Georgia production. Growers hope to capitalize with as many harvests as possible.
“I think most of these (fields) are three harvests. In some cases, the really strong fields might go on another one. A month of harvests would be a long harvest period for us in this region. Two weeks is too short. Three weeks is pretty common,” Hochmuth said.