Shaping Up: North Florida Melon Harvests Less Than Two Weeks Away

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson North Florida watermelon producers are less than two weeks away from harvesting this year’s crop. For some growers, it may be even sooner than that, believes Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “There’s lots of volleyball size watermelons out there. The crop is …

Attention Watermelon Producers: Be Alert for Increased Rindworm Feedings

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Rindworm activity has yet to be reported in North Florida’s watermelon crop. But increased feedings are expected in the upcoming weeks, believes Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. Hochmuth reported in his weekly email on Sunday that growers should continue to scout for …

Bacterial Leaf Spot Confirmed in North Florida Watermelon Crop

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

Disease detection picked up over the previous week in North Florida watermelons. As observations of bacterial leaf spot and Alternaria leaf spot have been confirmed, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is advising growers to scout fields more closely as a result. “Based on field visits last week, I see the greater concern and recommendation to be …

Disease Management Options for North Florida Watermelons

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson While disease incidences have been minimal so far in North Florida watermelons, growers would be wise to plan accordingly, says Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. Hochmuth said in his weekly email that only gummy stem blight has been observed in the Suwanee …

North Florida Melons Setting Fruit

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson The earliest planted watermelons in North Florida are already setting fruit. That is what happens when plantings start in mid-to-late February, says Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. “The earliest planted ones, the ones that were planted the third week in February, those …

Running Behind: South Georgia Melon Growers Delayed in Plantings

Clint ThompsonGeorgia, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson South Georgia watermelon producers are behind in their plantings this spring, according to one University of Georgia Extension county agent. Excessive rains are the reason why, said John Bennett, Wilcox County Extension Coordinator. “We really just got going good with our plants (last week). A lot of guys poked plants in starting Monday. We’re probably 7 to …

Fusarium Wilt Observed in North Florida Melons

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

North Florida watermelon producers should be wary that Fusarium wilt symptoms have been observed in some fields, according to Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida. His weekly email included an alert that a “high percentage of plants in parts of fields have shown wilting.” “You may …

New Study Shows Key Strategies for Merchandising Watermelon

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

The National Watermelon and Promotion Board (NWPB) has announced the release of its most recent consumer research and Marketing Guide that will arm producers with information to make strategic decisions and build awareness of the opportunities within the watermelon industry. The study is entitled, “Watermelon Attitudes and Usage Research.” It delves into consumer thought patterns centered around watermelons. Its focus …

What’s Next? Management Tips for North Florida Watermelon Producers

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson Watermelon plants are in the ground throughout North Florida. Growers are now tasked with ensuring their plants are protected and cared for over the next couple of months. Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Regional Specialized Extension agent in Live Oak, Florida, provides some management tips for producers. “We want to …

UF/IFAS Extension Agent: North Florida Watermelon Acres Up At Least 10%

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Watermelon

By Clint Thompson North Florida watermelon producers have the majority of this year’s crop in the ground … and there is a lot of it following a substantial increase in acres. “I think the consensus is there is an increase in acreage in this vicinity. Exactly how much? It seems like it’s 10% more,” said Bob Hochmuth, University of Florida …