Phytophthora Wreaks Havoc On Watermelon In Georgia

Continuous rainfall in June and July made Phytophthora more of a problem this year in watermelon crops in Georgia. According to an article from University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the significant increase in wet weather made Phytophthora worse.

“It just never stopped raining during the watermelon season,” said David Langston, an Extension plant pathologist with the University of Georgia.

The disease not only impacts the fruit in the field, but also during postharvest. Growers could pick the fruit, store and pack it, and the fruit would not show signs of disease until after shipping.

“Not only will the grower not get paid for the watermelons, but the grower has to pay for the shipping to the location. And the grower also has to pay to have them disposed of, so it’s a real double whammy,” Langston was reported as saying.

He estimates that about to 30% of the state’s watermelon crop was affected by Phytophthora. He added that this is the worst year he’s ever seen with Phytophthora.

Click here to read the full article from University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Source:  Clint Thompson, The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

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