End in Sight: South Georgia Watermelon Harvests Nearing End

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Watermelon harvests are winding down across South Georgia. Late-season rainfall has sparked disease outbreaks in fields, says Tim Flanders, a watermelon scout. “Most of the folks I’m dealing with are beginning to wrap up. I’ve got some late watermelons that I guess they will continue to try to go for a while, but that’s just a small …

Grafted Watermelon Plants Costly But Effective Against Fusarium Wilt Disease

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Grafted watermelon plants remain a significant defense against fusarium wilt disease. They are just costly and cause a delay in harvests, says Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “It does appear that properly managed grafted watermelons can be very helpful in managing fusarium …

Costly Year for Gummy Stem Blight Control

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Georgia, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Gummy stem blight’s presence in North Florida watermelons this year was expensive to manage. It could be even costlier to growers’ sustainability in the future. “Are we going to start losing effectiveness of chemistry?” pondered Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “That’s the …

Here’s What Happened: North Florida Watermelon Season Recap

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Georgia’s delayed start to the watermelon season was North Florida’s gain for a second year in a row. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, confirmed last week that some of his growers were still picking over fields, mostly because Georgia volume had not …

Call for Entries: Watermelon Retail Merchandising Contest Open

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

WINTER SPRINGS, FL – The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) is excited to announce the call for entries for their 16th annual Watermelon Retail Merchandising Contest. Retail chains, independent retailers, and commissaries are invited to compete for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000, with $2,500 awarded to the second place, $1,000 for …

South Georgia Watermelon Harvests Underway

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Watermelon harvests are underway across South Georgia. One crop scout attributes an uptick in disease pressure in watermelons this year to the increased rainfall experienced throughout the region in the spring. Tim Flanders, who scouts watermelon fields in the Tifton, Georgia, area, also said producers experienced some diseases sooner in the production season than normal. “We’ve got …

Fusarium Wilt Management: Grafting, Right Cultivar More Important Than Fungicides

Clint ThompsonSouth Carolina, Watermelon

Research has shown that grafting or choosing the right watermelon cultivar is more important than fungicide applications in managing fusarium wilt, according to one Clemson scientist. Plant pathologist Tony Keinath reported in his experiment at the Coastal Research and Education Center in Charleston, South Carolina, Cracker Jack had more diseased plants (5.8%) than Fascination (0.2%). Twelve of the 13 diseased …

Attacking Anthracnose: UGA’s Dutta Highlights Research in Watermelon Disease

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson University of Georgia (UGA) research aimed at managing anthracnose disease in watermelons continues on the Tifton Campus. Project director Bhabesh Dutta, University of Georgia Extension vegetable plant pathologist, outlined various aspects of the grant during a recent Extension agent training. Dutta emphasized the importance of trying to reduce the disease’s impact from all angles. “We’re trying to …

Gummy Stem Blight Worst in Recent Memory

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson North Florida watermelon growers have been able to manage most disease pressure this year; except for gummy stem blight. It has been the one disease that has been extremely problematic for producers, says Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “I’d say it’s more …

Mini Melon Harvests Underway in Georgia

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Watermelon harvests are underway in Georgia. It’s not the big, seedless melons, which are still a few days away. Mini melons were being harvested last week. Jaime Patrick, Patrick Family Farms in Omega, Georgia, said his mini melons were being harvested, starting on Thursday, June 6. “We’ll do 15 buses a day, something like that. It isn’t …