South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline: Gummy Stem Blight Concerns

Jim Rogers Cucurbits, Disease, Florida

Gummy stem blight disease has increased in recent weeks in cucurbit fields across southwest Florida, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline. It has become the predominate disease in some watermelon fields in the area. The disease remains moderate in cucumber crops on the east coast. Gummy stem blight’s symptoms appear as light to dark brown circular spots …

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. …

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 Effect: Rain This Week Should Help with Cold Weekend

Jim Rogers Florida, Watermelon, Weather

Watermelon plants are in the ground in North Florida. Producers must now guard against potential sub-freezing temperatures that are in the forecast for the upcoming weekend. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, said forecasts are predicting temperatures in the low-to-mid 30s Fahrenheit. “Rain ahead of the …

UF/IFAS Watermelon Trials Focus on Nutrient/Water Efficiency

Jim Rogers Florida, Research, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agents are conducting on-farm trials this year to help watermelon producers be more efficient with their resources. Tyler Pittman, UF/IFAS Extension agent in Gilchrist County, explains what north Florida producers can expect from some of the research trials. “Here in Florida, one of our hottest topics …

Proper Pollination of Watermelon Helps Prevent Hollow Heart

Jim Rogers Watermelon

By Clint Thompson A common condition of watermelons can be rectified with a couple of pollination adjustments from producers. Gordon Johnson, an assistant professor and Extension specialist in fruits and vegetables at the University of Delaware, said proper pollination can help nullify any development of hollow heart. “Our research pretty much proves that inadequate pollen will lead to higher incidences …