Melvin Rutherford, Hawkins, Texas, says his watermelon crop is looking good for 4th of July demand.
Melvin Rutherford, Hawkins, Texas, says his watermelon crop is looking good for 4th of July demand.

Texas’ watermelon crop appears to be performing on time and relatively problem-free, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

“Watermelons have been one of the better crops we have around the Lower Rio Grande Valley,” Larry Stein, the service’s horticulturalist in Uvalde, Texas, said in a news release. “Other crops have had to deal with black rot and other disease issues, but watermelons have done well as the weather turned drier.”

Melvin Rutherford, who has a 14-acre irrigated watermelon patch, said there had been a few problems but nothing serious.

“Give me hot, sunny days and we’ll be all right,” he said in the release.

Sales start as summer opens and then typically tail off by the end of August.

Texas is the top producer of watermelons in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service.

The statewide watermelon crop in 2016 was worth more than $75 million, according to AgriLife Extension annual reports. That is down 25% from more than $100 million in 2014.