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Also see Articles: Watermelon, an American Favorite
Watermelon History

WATERMELON TRIVIA & FACTS

· Florida led the nation in watermelon production in 2009 with 818 million pounds.
· Florida led the U.S. in watermelon production in 2006 with 835 million pounds.  
    (US Census Bureau)

U.S. Watermelon per capita usage:

 

1970

1980

1990

2000

2011

Watermelon

13.5 lbs

10.7 lbs

13.3 lbs

13.8 lbs

14.8 lbs

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service


There are over 1,200 varieties of watermelons grown in 96 countries. China is the number one producer of watermelons.

Watermelon: Top 5 producing countries     (USDA)

 

2000

2010

World total

168.76 billion lbs

196.22 billion lbs

China

114.25 billion lbs

124.89 billion lbs

Turkey

8.6 billion lbs

8.12 billion lbs

Iran

3.64 billion lbs

7.64 billion lbs

Brazil

1.5 billion lbs

4.12 billion lbs

United States

3.72 billion lbs

4.12 billion lbs

In 2007 the top 5 watermelon producers were:
     • China 63 million tonnes
     • Turkey 3.4 million tonnes
     • Iran, Islamic Republic of 3.3 million tonnes
     • Brazil 1.9 million tonnes
     • United States 1.9 million tonnes

Watermelon Cut

Watermelons are native to southern Africa, but have been known in India since prehistoric times, and in Egypt for 5-6,000 years.

The first recorded watermelon harvest took place 5,000 years ago in Egypt. Pictures of the fruit were found in paintings on the walls of ancient buildings. From there, the fruit spread to other countries by merchant ships.
Library of Congress Local Legacies Project

In 1939 seedless watermelon was developed by treating the unpollinated flowers of watermelons with a specific acid, which resulted in the seedless watermelon.

Watermelon

Watermelon is 92% water, and early explorers used watermelons as canteens.

Watermelon was designated as the Official Vegetable of Oklahoma in 2007. (no mistake - it is the state vegetable).

Cordele, Georgia claims to be the Watermelon Capital of the world.

The Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival was designated as the Official Southeastern N.C. Watermelon Festival of North Carolina in 1993.

The Hertford County Watermelon Festival was designated as the Official Northeastern N.C. Watermelon Festival of North Carolina in 1993.

The largest watermelon in 1990 was grown by Bill Carson of Tennessee, weighing 262 pounds.

Richard LeFevre set a world record for eating Watermelon. He ate 11½ pounds in 15 minutes. (this no longer the record).
 

 

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