Low watermelon prices affect local producers and businesses

The price of watermelons are down after a late start for the season in Georgia

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 6:10 PM

KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - The Big Peach has sat along US 41 for years. But it's only the third season for owner Heather Cardinal.

Cardinal says, "It's been very exciting. We're new to retail. It's not anything that I have done before so I've had a lot to learn. But I think we're kind of getting the swing of things."

You could say one of those swings is the price of watermelons. Watermelons are one of the main foods sold at the Big Peach.

Cardinal says, "We can't keep melons at all. That's what we're working on all day long is keeping our cantaloupes, keeping our melons, keeping our peaches and everything just stocked up."

The melons are all produced in Knox County. However, an increase in supply from Georgia has pulled national prices down.

Dan Egel with Purdue Agriculture says, "I think the producers would say that the prices aren't as good as they'd like. And the reason for that is Georgia produces a lot of watermelons. And the Georgia watermelon season has overlapped into ours."

Wet conditions caused a late start to Georgia's planting season. That late start has affected the season in Knox County.

Cardinal says, "It depends what kind of crop comes out of the south. If the crop is good and then our crop is good as well then we kind of take a hit. Because there are so many melons coming off at the same time."

Cardinal hopes that as Georgia's season ends, that will mean good things for here at home.

Cardinal explains, "Now that down south is done. Actually, we're slowing down here already. Obviously, if you have later melons this year the price is going to increase just a little bit. So you're going to see a little bit of an increase for farmers."

An increase to help farmers and businesses end the year in the black.

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