How drought is affecting watermelon season in Louisiana

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 10:07 PM CDT
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DeRidder, LA (KPLC) - It’s officially summer, and that means watermelons, but what has the drought done to local watermelon crops?

Acres and acres of watermelon, that’s what you’ll see in the Sugartown area, which is known for growing these summertime fruits. A process that starts early as April first for the Lewis Produce farm.

“Once you start your field, fertilize them, you lay your rows off, and plant all that, it’s really just left up to the good Lord to water them and keep good sun on them and let mother nature work them like she’s suppose to,” farmer Charnel “Cash” Bailey said.

Bailey explains that watermelon is a dry plant, that doesn’t require to be manually watered or need much water to grow, but the lack of rain this year hasn’t been good for the crop.

“It’s been rough,” Bailey said. “It ain’t been a good year because watermelons ain’t been able to grow because they ain’t have no water.”

Without the rain, it’s been a very hot and dry season.

“It ain’t been too good, a lot of people really are done with their watermelons right now because no water and all the plants are drying up, the vines are drying up and they can’t pull no watermelons because everything’s burnt,” Bailey said.

Though, Bailey said they haven’t given up just yet at the Lewis Produce farm, as they just planted another field and hope to be growing the melons well into September, working all summer long.

“I’ve loved every second of it,” Bailey said. “Once you get past the heat, it’s nothing but loving it and it’s something to really live for.”

Bailey said even with the crops not turning out as many watermelons this year, they still have enough for you to enjoy this summer.

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