Arizona is Good at Growing Melons

Arizona is Good at Growing Melons

According to the USDA NASS, since 1992, harvested Arizona cantaloupe acreage has ranged from 13,200 to 23,300 acres with a production value ranging from $38.2 million to $119 million. 

In Arizona, our cantaloupe crop is a spring, summer and fall crop. Because of our 300-plus days of super sunshine in Arizona, cantaloupe and honeydew melons can be harvested in the spring and fall.

Regarding Arizona watermelon, harvested acreage has ranged from 2,700 to 7,600 acres since 1992. value of production has ranged from $11.8 million to $46.7 million. Production has ranged from 1.20 million hundredweight to 3.35 million hundredweight.

In fact, since we’re still in September, we can keep celebrating melons in Arizona. Here are some interesting points about Arizona melons.

  • Arizona has approximately 14 major melon growers growing for the market.
  • Of the 9 states in cantaloupe production, Arizona is #2, only behind California.
  • Of the three states in honeydew production, Arizona is #2, only behind California.
  • 16 states are in watermelon production, Arizona is in the middle of the pack on acres and production and value (#7, #8 or #9 depending on the year).
  • Arizona had 28% of U.S. cantaloupe value, 30% of U.S. honeydew value, 6% of U.S. watermelon value in 2014.
  • The  14 growers are mostly very large commercial growers, but still family-owned and operated.
  • One Farm Family,  Martori, market under the “Kandy” label. They sell mostly to major retailers. Their website explains that they are an American grower and shipper rooted in a century of experience in fresh fruit and vegetable farming.
  • Another Farm Family,  Rousseau Family Farms, for example, were harvesting large quantities of watermelon this summer. They market under the “MelonUp” and “Dynasty” labels.
  • Go to  Fill Your Plate for melon and sweet corn recipes. Searchable by product!

While we think of melons as mostly a summer crop, in Arizona we’re still harvesting these sweet, yummy melons in our desert state. Keep melons on your menu, you’ll most likely be able to bite into Arizona-grown sweetness. 

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