Sneak Peek: April 2023 Specialty Crop Industry Magazine

Jim Rogers Sneak peek

The April issue of Specialty Crop Industry Magazine puts watermelons in the spotlight. There is new leadership in the National Watermelon Association. George Szczepanski talks about his new role as NWA executive director after succeeding Bob Morissey, who was in the role for nearly 20 years.

April Sneak Peek

Szczepanski inherits an organization amid a challenging era for growers, including high input costs and labor reform. He will continue the organization’s mission of advocating for watermelon producers across the United States. Morissey also reflected on his years of contribution.

Inflation could reset the watermelon industry. Greg Leger, who owns one of the largest grower-shipper operations in the Southeast, discussed the current agricultural landscape that has growers taking it one season at a time.

“We’re just trying to make it one more season. We all realize we can’t keep doing this,” Leger said. “It just doesn’t make any sense if it stays like it is now. Hopefully, this is the reset button we’ve been looking for to bring other production problems in check. Maybe we can learn to do more with less and be more efficient.”

Bhabesh Dutta, a Cooperative Extension vegetable pathologist and associate professor at the University of Georgia Tifton campus, provides research updates on diseases affecting Georgia cucurbits. These diseases include fusarium wilt and anthracnose.