Exploding Watermelons

Exploding Watermelons

Exploding Watermelon. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

While it really isn’t what I would call watermelon season there is something fun and delicious about eating watermelons. We all have grabbed a huge slice of watermelon and unabashedly dove in only coming long enough to spit seeds like a pro. Recently watermelon growers in China have been reporting exploding watermelons. The split watermelons are of course unsellable. The problem in China stems from producers spraying a growth accelerator on melon fields. That an a sudden heavy and unexpected rainfall caused more than 115 acres of melons to burst. Jason Kelly with the Washington State Department of Ag talks about the use of the growth accelerator.

KELLY: The chemical that was applied to the watermelons is registered for use here in the United States by the EPA. It’s not registered for use on watermelons. It’s only allowed use is on grapes and blueberries but we also know that it’s not widely used here in Washington State.

The U.S. does not import any melons from China. Most of the melons grown in the U.S. are from the southern states like Florida. Melons grown in the northwest make up only a fraction of the overall national melon production. There is normally a small percentage of melons that will burst during a growing season but this was one isolated incident that while unfortunate for the growers in China, will more than likely not have any effect on the U.S. watermelon supply.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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