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Early melon harvest starts in Thessaly

The early melon harvest started at the end of last week for growers in Thessaly. There are high hopes that this season will bring higher prices compared to last year.

The early watermelons are mainly for export (to locations such as the Balkans and Germany) and harvested from the end of May to early June. Recent weather conditions, very little precipitation with high temperatures, followed by rainfall, has helped production.

The majority of Greek watermelon production is outdoors, with low coverage, and requires minimal labour and fertilizers, which helps keep down costs for growers. Last year, at the beginning of the season, producers were getting around EUR 0.21-0.22/cm3 which dropped over the course of the season to EUR 0.04-0.05.

The yield for Greek melons, averages around 2 tonnes per hectare. However, the melons are not currently exported because production barely meets domestic demand. Last year's prices ranged from EUR 0.40 cents per kg from the field, and street stand holders received prices up to EUR 1.


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