Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

Earlier start in Southeast on local melon deals

The heat has hit and that's bringing on many local melon deals earlier than expected. "There's been hot and dry weather in most places and some parts of Georgia are getting started late due to heavy rains during the normal time to transplant," says Matt Solana, VP of operations/supply chain with the Jackson Farming Company. "In general, the heat during the time the transplants were in the ground also meant an earlier start for Georgia and South Carolina on all melons."

Cantaloupes: "At our North Carolina farm as of June 21, we are a little short on cantaloupes due to excessive heat and no rain," says Solana. "The first planting has sized up small due to this and it is affecting the yield. We did start a week to 10 days earlier than normal due to the heat units since transplanting the first sets." He adds that subsequent sets are coming up and he will have to see how the weather pattern plays out. However, normally cantaloupes size larger in July and August.

In the Southeast, Georgia and South Carolina are also in production with cantaloupes as are Texas, Arizona, and California.

Meanwhile, in the cantaloupe category, field trials continue to find the best seed to meet the needs of growers in terms of development, quality, and flavor and for consumers, with regards to the best eating experience.

Watermelons: Seeded and seedless watermelons have both started a week to 10 days earlier than normal in North Carolina which is again due to the higher heat since the first sets were set. Watermelons, along with cantaloupes, are coming off just in time for the July 4th holiday.

"As we progress with our North Carolina plantings, we hope to see some breaks from Mother Nature in terms of the heat and rainfall below normal levels. If the heat and lack of rainfall continue, we may see more sets coming on earlier than planned," says Solana.

Later plantings on watermelon (and cantaloupe) will carry through to Labor Day.

Along with North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, Texas, Arizona and California are also shipping watermelons. "So there should be good supply for the July 4th event which looks to be a two-week event this year with the 4th falling on a Thursday," says Solana.

Honeydews: These melons are harvesting and ready to ship in North Carolina. Honeydews, like cantaloupes and watermelons, are also seeing a week to 10-day earlier start due to the warmer weather since transplanting.

As for overall melon demand, leading into the July 4th holiday, it looks strong for throughout that holiday and leading into peak supply for North Carolina in July. In addition, melon sales are often tied to rising temperatures and the heat waves being seen across the country are helping that demand.

As for prices, they're good on cantaloupes. "Watermelons are less than last year at this time with more product available this year though they are higher than the five-year average," says Solana.

Looking ahead, cantaloupes from Georgia will start winding down by July 1st while North Carolina will start to peak in July and Kentucky and Indiana will get started in the next week. Meanwhile on watermelons, Florida is winding down though Georgia still has some supply. North Carolina and South Carolina are ramping up to peak next month and run through Labor Day.

For more information:
Matt Solana
Jackson Farming Company