Agriculture Press Release

April 15, 1999

Floridas Watermelon Harvest Begins; Prices Available to Growers and Brokers via Telephone and Internet

TALLAHASSEE -- The harvest has begun for one of the Sunshine States most popular springtime commodities: fresh Florida watermelons. And the beginning of this bountiful harvest means the start of a busy season for the states growers, brokers and shippers, as tons of watermelons make their way from Floridas fields to restaurants, picnic tables and dinner plates across the country.

Currently, the harvest is primarily in southwest Florida, but in coming weeks will move northward to the Panhandle. By seasons end, Florida growers will have harvested watermelons from more than 30,000 acres, holding Floridas ranking as second largest producer in the nation.

To help facilitate the harvest of this huge crop, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford announced that shipping point prices are available to brokers and growers via telephone and the Internet.

"Floridas watermelon crop represents a significant portion of the states agribusiness industry," Crawford said. "Providing timely price information to growers and brokers is an important tool for this industry as it works to get watermelons to markets where they can be enjoyed by consumers as they mark the beginning of spring."

To access watermelon prices by telephone:
Call the Florida Ag Line at (407) 897-4374
Press 21 for the watermelon prices

The watermelon prices are updated at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To access watermelon prices on the Internet:
Go to florida-agriculture.com
Click on the "Market News" icon
Click on the "Fruits" icon

For more information:

Patty Sheehan

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