BLACKVILLE — Herbicides, miticides, pollinators and more are on the agenda for this year’s Watermelon Field Day at Clemson University’s Edisto Research and Education Center.
Agriculture Program is holding a workshop to help South Carolina fruit and vegetable farmers learn how to meet the growing demand for locally and regionally grown fruits and vegetables.
Gilbert Miller, a Clemson Extension vegetable specialist, said the field day has something for anyone interested in growing or eating watermelons. It is scheduled July 12 at the Edisto REC, 64 Research Road, Blackville.
“This event has both an indoor and an outdoor component,” Miller said. “We’ll begin indoors where experts will talk about various topics related specifically to South Carolina watermelon production, then we’ll move outdoors for field research tours.”
The day begins with registration at 8 a.m. Kyle Tisdale, a marketing specialist with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, kicks off the event with a report from the South Carolina Watermelon Board and South Carolina Watermelon Association. Brian Ward, Clemson organic vegetable specialist, follows with a presentation about organic watermelon production.
The indoor presentations continue with Matt Cutulle, Clemson vegetable weed scientist, addressing watermelon herbicides. Miller wraps up the indoor component with a discussion about a grafted-rootstock trial Clemson researchers are performing.
Participants move outdoors about 10 a.m. for field research tours that include Clemson apiculture specialist Jennifer Tsuruda talking about supporting and attracting pollinators to watermelon fields. Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris, Clemson vegetable and strawberry entomologist, will talk about using watermelon miticides to control mites, while Tony Keinath, Clemson Research and Extension vegetable pathologist, follows with a discussion about watermelon disease identification. The field tour also features Miller talking about the 2017 Southeast variety trial results. Participants also will visit plots of 86 varieties of melon trials.
South Carolina Watermelon Association Queen Emily Dicks will be on hand to talk about how amino acids, potassium, carbohydrates, lycopene and other nutrients found in watermelons can help fuel athletes.
Tom Dobbins, director of the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service, will give a Clemson Extension update during lunch.
Certified crop advisor (CCA) and pesticide license credits will be offered. For more information, contact Miller at 803-793-6614 or [email protected]
Mites struck South Carolina watermelons early this year. Attend the July 12 Watermelon Field Day at Clemson’s Edisto REC to learn more.
Denise Attaway is with the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Public Service and Agriculture of Clemson University.