Agriculture - 2021-05-01




WATERMELON hits their prime during summer. They are colorful, sweet, crunchy, and refreshing. Aside from helping quenching thirst ― watermelon is 92 percent water―it provides hefty doses of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and beta-carotene, a diseasefighting antioxidant found in yellow/orange fruits and vegetables. If you have decided to take part in the business of farming but you can’t decide what type of produce can bring you great returns, then here is a chance to learn a great idea. One of the best farming options is watermelon farming. This fruit does an amazing job to quench one’s thirst while nourishing and keeping our body hydrated. Young at hearts and good old folks still opts to consume fruits and vegetables during this time to stay healthy. Richard Tubon has been in this business for long years and decided to try planting Eclipse variety this late week of January to avoid the cold that might affect the performance of his plants. The unpredictable weather, cold and merciless heat made him adjust his schedule for planting watermelon. The area he was using has high temperatures but it is consside considered a rich soil. The area also has easy water access, which is alwayss always ne necessary for cultivation and mainntain maintaining the plants. As we all know, waterm watermelons need a lot of water to groow. grow. I If an adequate amount of water is nnot not provided, the fruits will be of badd bad qu quality. Tubbon Tubon again feared that he might have a harrd hard ti time selling his watermelon produuce produce f for the second time just like what haappe happened to him last year when pandemicc pandemic hit the agriculture industry badly; quarantine pproto protocols and travel restrictions left a huge effect onn on his income. He was set to harvest when ECQ was annouannounc announced for the entirety of NCR- the demand for fruits might decline or the number of consumers allowed to go outside will be lessened. Tubon gave us his observation that watermelons which are grown in hot weather turn out to be larger and sweeter compared to those cultivated on the mid-elevated lands. He assures that even if it’s his first time to plant the new variety Eclipse of Known You as introduced by Albert Castillo (Mktg Representative of Known You) that the fruits of his watermelons are 100% sweet and juicy. He thinks that that is the reason why gets trusted client visits from places like Manila and Urdaneta during every season of harvesting. He was amazed by the result that even if the weather gave all the farmers of Ilocos Sur a hard time to cope with the plant’s maintenance, the fruits came out big, heavy and very healthy. Tubon was very thankful that despite the adjustment of his planting schedule, ECQ and travel restriction announcements, he was still grateful that his harvest was very timely for the summer season. Watermelon is a huge part to enjoy this crazy, hot and fun summer season! Mr. Aga Purugunan did trial runs with seeds of watermelons from different companies before he discovered the Eclipse introduced by Castillo that it can produce high yield under his care. He thought to try a production of Eclipse this late January also, same with Tubon, he needs to adjust his planting time because of the changing weather. The whole process of watermelon planting, from nursery to harvest is undeniably tiring but really it is fulfilling. Watermelon farming needs proper management, Purugunan now favors Eclipse watermelon farming in Ilocos Sur for its fleshy and thick rind, it is observed that the hard outer rind makes it resistant against most chewing pests and scars. But just like many other things, watermelon is vulnerable to diseases like damping off, leaf spot, blight, and powdery mildew. There are also pests such as mites, beetles, thrips, and leaf miners that can be a real trouble as they may incur a heavy loss. Another challenge to face as a watermelon farmer during this pandemic is the uncertainty of the prices of watermelons. This differs with the changes in the market flow, the demand of the consumer, it also depends on the season as the price can rise up or it can go down. But this pandemic, the situation became totally different, the fear of low income was lessened – the fear of no buyer at all is what makes it more complicated since it depends if the buyer/trucks can pass through strictly implemented travel restrictions because of the rising cases in different areas before the buyer reaches their town, they have to go through different checkpoints and present requirements. However, being a full time and a long-time farmer, challenges are what makes them stronger! According to Puruganan, as long as people consume food-farmers will always survive. Eclipse watermelon has bright yellow flesh, black seeded, sweet and juicy flesh and weighs from average of 3.5kg to 5kg maximum with a very thick rind which makes it good for long distance shipping! The shelf life was observed to last up to 8-10 days and still in good eating quality condition. Eclipse variety is the newest favorite yellow flesh watermelon in the area of Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte along with Tiffany watermelon. Enjoy this summer with our farmer’s hard work result – the sweet and refreshing watermelon, Eclipse!


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