Florida Watermelon Best Year Ever and Tractor Sales First Surge of 2023
**While many enjoy sweet, cool watermelon as a treat or snack this summer, remember that they come from the sweat of Florida watermelon farmers, who are saying they’ve had their best season ever.
www.morningagclips.com reports the bountiful season, which ends in late June or early July, continues a trend.
From 2010 to 21, Florida growers ranked No. 1 in the nation with an average of 22,616 acres of watermelon per year.
Texas runs a close second, followed by Georgia.
**Total farm tractor unit sales in the U.S. turned positive for the first time in 2023, led by continued strength in large tractors and combines.
The Association of Equipment Manufactures reports gains in the U.S. market were led by 100-plus horsepower two-wheel-drive units, up 25.4%, closely followed by four-wheel-drive units, up 21.9%.
U.S. combines also marked another large gain of 9.8%.
**Farm lending activity at commercial banks at the Kansas City Fed slowed through the first half of 2023 as interest rates continued pushing higher.
The survey of commercial banks shows the volume of non-real estate loans was 15% below last year, attributed to a lower average size of loans and a smaller number of loans compared with 2022.
The average interest rates on agricultural loans increased for the sixth-consecutive quarter.