Commodity Focus: Tips on choosing the best location with your melon farm loan
Watermelons can be grown just about anywhere, but they’re best grown in the warm climate of Georgia. Watermelons are especially well-suited to Georgia’s Coastal Plains soils, found in the southern half of the state. If a melon farm loan is in your agricultural future, then Southern Georgia land is a good choice for your farm’s location.
Georgia Melon Farm Considerations
Georgia produces nearly half of the country’s watermelons. Extension services with the University of Georgia are an excellent resource for information on the ways and means of growing watermelons.
As with most crops, growers can produce greater yields by using intensive management techniques backed by research. One such technique is growing watermelons on plastic mulch. In Georgia in the last 10 years, the number of acres utilizing plastic mulch to grow watermelons has grown ten-fold. While using plastic mulch increases a farm’s production costs, it offers many advantages. Benefits include earlier harvests that bring premium prices, water conservation, and improved nutrient retention.
A Word on Soils for Your Melon Farm Loan
Watermelons prefer well-drained soils, but the soil they perform the best in is sandy loams; this is the soil most often found in south Georgia’s Coastal Plains area. Additionally, when choosing a land site for your melon farm loan, you should look for land that has not grown watermelon or other cucurbits—cantaloupe, cucumber, zucchini and other squash—in the past five years. Similarly, you should steer clear of soils that have a history of cucurbit disease, or plan to fumigate the fields.
Melon Topics for Further Research
After choosing a site for a watermelon operation, producers should search for best practices concerning the following topics:
- Choosing which watermelon variety to grow
- Pesticide application
- Fertilizers, lime and manure
- Cover crops
- Transplants versus seeds
- Diseases and insects
From melon farm loans to cattle loans, AgAmerica Lending is the nation’s premier land lender. We help farmers and ranchers of all sizes grow and prosper with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and an outstanding 10-year line of credit.
To learn more about a melon farm loan, click here.