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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Melon Contest Should Be Competitive This Year

By Steve Cummings

The predicted cooler temperatures this week will make it hard to believe it is time for the watermelon carnival. Last year and most of the ones I remember have been so hot. I do know several people have been raising watermelon and shooting for the big one. The big watermelon contest should be a competitive one this year.

The Southern Regional 4-H Horse Show is going on in Little Rock, Arkansas this weekend.  The Yalobusha County 4-H Horse Club has three 4-Hers competing this year.  J.W. Pipkin and Breanna Scroggins will be competing in the Saddle and Gaited classes while Casey Moss will be riding in both the Western and English classes.  They are part of a strong Mississippi delegation.  Mississippi is sending its’ full allotment of 42.  

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Wildlife & Fisheries Department is starting a new series of seminars which will be the second Tuesday night of each month at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building.

Our first wildlife seminar will be Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 6:30 p.m.  Our topic will be Cool Season Wildlife Food Plots, and will be conducted by John Gruchy, a Private Lands Biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks.  Some of the topics addressed in this talk will be: 1) Designing a food plot program that meets your needs, 2) Preparation and soil fertility 3) Selecting a cool-season forage (what’s best for meeting your objectives and budget), 4) Benefits of mixed-forage food plots, and 5) Herbicide use for food plots.

Horticulture Tips:

Watermelon Facts

• One of the watermelon facts in the Guinness Book of World Records is that the largest watermelon ever grown weighed 262 pounds. It was grown by Bill Carson of Tennessee in 1990.

• Over ninety percent of a watermelon is water. The rest is sugar.

• There are 96 countries that produce watermelons. Most of them are in warm climates.

• The amount of watermelon eaten each year in the United States equals seventeen pounds per person.

• Watermelon facts determine which countries are the highest watermelon producers. In order of highest to lowest they are: China–63 million tons, Turkey–3.4 million tons, Iran–3.3 million tons, Brazil–1.9 million tons, and the United States–1.9 million tons.

• The first watermelons were grown over five thousand years ago in Egypt. They drew pictures of watermelon harvesting on walls.

• The world record for watermelon eating is held by Richard LeFevre. He consumed 11 pounds of watermelon in fifteen minutes.

• There are 1200 different varieties of watermelon.

• The first cookbook ever produced in the United States had a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.

• A watermelon is in the same family as cantaloupe, pumpkin and squash.

• A watermelon has no fat, no cholesterol, plus many vitamins and minerals.

• The Watermelon Capital of the world is Cordele, Georgia.

• The first seedless watermelon was developed in 1939. Every year more and more seedless varieties are being grown.

• The biggest watermelon producers in the United States are Florida, Texas, Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Iowa and Indiana.

• The early explorers would use a watermelon as a canteen.

• In Japan, square watermelons are grown. They cost approximately $83 apiece.

• In many countries watermelon is used in soup.

• In Asia, roasted watermelon seeds are a popular snack food. The seeds are also ground up and used in making bread and cereal.

• An anti-oxidant named lycopene is present in watermelon and can help prevent several kinds of cancer.

• Most of the time a watermelon is pink inside and has brown or black seeds. There are also several varieties that are yellow.

• If you start with watermelon, then add salt, black pepper and onions, you will have a great summer salad.

• Watermelon is one healthy food that is easy to get kids to eat.

• In southern states, watermelon is often marinated or candied.

• Watermelon can be stored in a refrigerator for up to a week and retains all of its nutrients.

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