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Dry Weather Causing Issues with Florida Watermelon Crops

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

June and July are prime harvesting months for local watermelon farmers.

But local growers say this year's crop could use a little more time because of drier weather.

This time last year, Billy Brock was racing against the clock to get watermelons out of his field and into a truck for the festival.

This year, the clock is beating him.

"Well we got them planted about a week late.” He explains.

But Brock is not alone.

“In Florida the watermelon crop has been a little bit late because of several weather factors. The first one is that we had some very hot days in may. And that reduced the availablity of the flowers and the hot days further reduced the polination. Flowers would close early in the day before the bees could get to the pollen."

A lack of pollinating bees also contributes to the problem.

"We had some pollination problems to start with- had to get some bee's in. That put us a little bit behind."

Though he may not have many melons at the festival, Brock says the season should till be a strong one.

"We got a pretty good crop. I think we're going to have a good bit of melons." Brock adds.

Festivities will be going on all weekend long- with musical guests Joe Diffie, Andy Griggs, Dailey and Vincent, and Crossroads.


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