Giant watermelons grown at Alcorn offered to the community

Giant watermelons grown at Alcorn offered to the community

We hear that “Everything is bigger in Texas.” However, Dr. Patrick Igbokwe, associate director at the Alcorn State University Experiment Station, can beg to differ, since many watermelons grown at the Station this year weighed from 40 to 90 pounds! This year’s crop of “Bush Sugar Baby” watermelons have exceeded past years’ crops grown since the creation of the Station.

“There were seventy-two lines of watermelons grown at the Station during the 2012 summer growing season, and the lines were either yellow meat or red meat, round or oblong in shape,” Igbokwe states. “The seeds for this evaluation were provided by USDA through their Trueness-to-Variety Test Program,” Dr. Igbokwe says. Mr. Kevin Robinson, marketing specialist of USDA in Washington, D.C., collaborated in this effort with Dr. Igbokwe and other scientists at Alcorn.

Watermelons are thought to have originated in southern Africa, and they are also mentioned biblically as a food eaten by the ancient Israelites while they were in bondage in Egypt. Today, farmers across the world grow watermelons. In the U.S., approximately 44 states grow watermelons, with the states of Georgia, Florida, Texas, California and Arizona being the largest watermelon producers.

Dr. Igbokwe conducted a “Come and Get your Free Sweet and Juicy Watermelon” drive, September 10, 2012, during which Alcorn students, employees, and community members received free watermelons compliments of the ASU Experiment Station.

“There are still hundreds of watermelons that we are trying to get out of the field and give away for free.” he says. “We encourage the Alcorn family and community – churches, hospitals and clinics, other organizations and individuals- to participate in this drive and pick up watermelons, the sweet, nutritious, and delicious morning or afternoon treat.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Igbokwe at 601.877.6542 or [email protected] .

2012 Giant Watermelons