What is this watermelon seed agreement?
There is a new disease in watermelons called fruit blotch. It spreads rapidly under warm, humid conditions and can infest an entire field within a matter of days. The agreement you sign with the seed company protects them from lawsuits. All watermelon seed now sold has been tested for the presence of the fruit blotch organism. The agreement says you will not sue the seed company if fruit blotch develops in your field. All seed companies require the agreement.
Good spring weather conditions in southeast Mississippi kept watermelon production on track.
Some Mississippi watermelon producers lost crops or got a late start because of wet spring weather. But consumers should find the sweet, summer treats on shelves in time for the July 4 holiday.
Choosing a ripe watermelon at the market is easy if you know what to look for. (Photo credit: Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)
LUCEDALE, Miss. -- Mississippi watermelon growers battled frequent rains to get their crops planted and ready in time for the Fourth of July and other summer celebrations.
David Nagel, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most of the crop is smaller and later than normal.
“If the sun doesn’t shine, the leaves don’t make sugar, plants don’t grow and we have smaller watermelons,” Nagel said. “Recent sunny days are allowing some of the crop to catch up. Melons may still be small, but they will be sweet and firm, or crisp.”
JACKSON – Party planners may have a hard time finding Mississippi-grown watermelons and blueberries for July 4th celebrations this year.
Unfavorable weather slowed maturity and increased disease pressure for both crops. Much of the state’s blueberry crop is grown in south Mississippi, and most of its watermelons are grown in the southeast quarter of the state. Acreage for both crops remains steady. Blueberry producers grow about 2,700 acres, and watermelon growers have about 2,400 acres.