US Watermelon Production Impacted by WeatherAugust 28, 2019
Supplies of watermelons are limited in the United States right now. Although there are many regions in production at the moment, weather issues in all areas are causing a few issues with growing and harvesting. Growers have reported any number of conditions, including heat, rain and cooler temperatures, which have affected yields.
“Right now, our main crop is growing in Delaware,” said Mike Holzkopf of Sweet Mama Produce. “Watermelon is also being grown in the same horizontal line from Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, and also in central California and some in New Mexico. Weather has had an impact on production in every region, with some of our fields producing 40,000 lb per acre, and some only 25,000 lb per acre. It hasn’t been an ideal season.”
Demand subdued, market steady
Although production has been hampered and supplies are more limited, it hasn’t translated to a strong market. Demand is lackluster which has resulted in prices remaining steady. Overall, the market has been quite consistent.
“The market has been average, with not too many highs or lows,” Holzkopf observed. “Supply has kept up with demand so we haven’t seen any jump in prices. Quality overall is very good out of all regions.”
Sweet Mama Produce grows a number of different varieties of watermelons, including Sugar Fresh, Sweet Dawn, Captivation, and Fascination. Holzkopf shared though, that they all have similar characteristics. “The varieties that we grow are straightforward in the sense they are fairly standard across the board. We ship all our melons in 700lb bins and distribute to the East Coast and Midwest.”
By Fresh Plaza