( Courtesy Georgia Watermelon Association )

After two years of extreme weather during their season, Georgia watermelon growers are reporting smooth sailing.

Overall acreage is down, but yields and quality are up, according to a news release from the Georgia Watermelon Association, LaGrange.

“The weather for this year’s growing season has been good so far,” Rob Greene, association president and owner of Lime Creek Farms, Arabi, Ga. “It is getting hot quickly, and that is watermelon weather.”  

The state produces watermelons on more than 18,000 acres, and the first watermelons began arriving in stores June 10. Meredith McGlamory, the 2019 Georgia Watermelon Queen, will be promoting the fruit and educating consumers in stores throughout the summer, according to the release.

Other promotions from the Georgia Watermelon Association include partnerships with Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves. Participants in the annual Braves Country 5K on June 1 enjoyed slices of watermelon at the finish line. On July 4-5, attendees at Braves’ games will receive a hand-held watermelon fan to keep them cool.

Social media will feature a consumers’ sweepstakes that is entered by submitting photos enjoying Georgia watermelons. Prizes will be awarded weekly. See https://www.facebook.com/gawatermelons for more information.