The harvesting starts earlier due to the great heat, reports privatbankar.hu. Hungarian Interprofessional Organisation for Fruit and Vegetable (FruitVeb) has announced that the harvesting of watermelons in large numbers will begin on July’s first week in case the weather will be favourable until then. This is 5-10 days earlier than last year.
This year’s crop will be less
Gardeners planted watermelons on 5-5.2 thousand hectares this year. The agricultural land has lessened by 8-10 per cent since 2016. According to the recent assessments, the expected amount of the crop is 200-210 tonne, which is by 10 per cent less than the 230 tonne of last year.
Most of the gardeners planting watermelons applied significant changes regarding technology and species, thus they hope that, in case of a favourable weather, they can supply the customers with high quality melons.
The rate of the grafted melons has grown and became dominant: it is the two third of the planted fruits. The main advantage of this technology is that the protection against certain pathogens became unnecessary, there is no need for crop-rotation in every 5-6 years and, due to the larger roots and foliage, the danger of deterioration is much smaller.
What are we looking for?
The watermelon-consumption in Hungary is 15-16 kg per capita a year. Customers usually look for the medium size, 4-6 kg watermelons, because these are easy to transport and refrigerate. The large size watermelons being heavier than 8-10 kg became difficult to sell in the last few years. The rate of seedless watermelons is constantly growing in the cases of both exportation and at home. Regarding the growing variety, the yellow-fleshed watermelons also appeared in 1-2 per cent in addition to the red-fleshed ones.
The export usually starts between July 5-10 and lasts until the end of August. Around 60-80 thousand tonne of the produced watermelons are intended for export a year. Our main markets contain Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states.
The season of the honeydew melons started already at the end of May thanks to the polythene green-houses. The season last until the end of September. About 18-19 thousand tonne crop is expected on the 800 hectare territory, 90-95 per cent of which will be sold on the Hungarian markets.