Several farmers in Crisp County got the chance to hear some helpful tips regarding growing watermelons.

The UGA Cooperative Extension in Crisp County held their annual field day today at the Cordele Watermelon research plots. The plots are located just off of Hwy 280 in Cordele and are where3 the extension conducts testing to help farmers improve their watermelon production.

Farmers learned about some of the latest research on the melons, such as how to deal with fusarium, which is a soil fungus that presents a challenge to watermelon growers.

Joshua Grant is the Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent in Crisp County

“So on these plots we are focusing on using fungicides and fumigants to try and lower the disease rating and disease population in the soil.”

Assisting with the research is Bhabesh Dutta, a plant pathologist with the UGA Cooperative extension said they can integrate fumigants with fungicides to control fusarium. Dutta said the study has been going on since 2016.

Cordele is best known as the Watermelon Capital of the World, so the information could help a lot of farmers in the area. Ronnie Barrentine is the Southwest District Program Development Coordinator for the Extension. He said it is important for our extension agents, specialists, and the industry to come together to work on projects such as this.

“It takes all of us to develop research and information for our farmers in the area,” he said. “I don’t have to tell you how important watermelon production is to Georgia, especially in this area.”

Farmers were given the opportunity to walk through and observe the plots and have any questions they may have had answered.

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