Watermelon farmers: Too much heat & rain hurt this year's crop - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Watermelon farmers: Too much heat & rain hurt this year's crop

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SMITH COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Two of the biggest watermelon growing counties in Mississippi are Smith and Simpson counties. 

Steve Maddox, 53, has been growing watermelons all of his life, just east of Magee in Simpson County.  He says this year's crop is not as good as he normally has on about 40 acres of watermelons.  In fact, some of his melons are just being broken up in the field and plowed under. 

Maddox says this year's melons have gotten a double whammy of too much rain and too much heat. 

"The sun just kind of ate up the vines and it just blistered the watermelon. Kind of a hit and miss thing all of the year, but this one was pretty much a miss," said Maddox. 

Herman Cockrell, 87, has been growing melons all of his life in nearby Smith County.  While some of his earlier melons did well this year, the ones coming in now are not as good as usual. 

"This patch of watermelons, the heat, I could have sold some of them Bert, but they didn't taste too good to me and it isn't gonna taste good to my customer." 

Cockrell's melons are sold at the old Farmer's Market in Jackson by his daughter, Brenda Langham.   

"This is, on the watermelons, this is really the worst season we have had." 

While the melons are not as green as they usually are, when you cut them open they are just as red and juicy as they ever were. 

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