Watermelon price rises sharply in 2008

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - If you think the price of watermelons has gone up in Oklahoma, you're right.

Growers blame rising costs for fuel, fertilizer and other issues for an increase in the price of Oklahoma watermelons of up to 50 percent.

That was never more evident than at the 64th Rush Springs Watermelon Festival over the weekend. Festival official Dan Williams says most melons were selling for between $6 and $7, about $2 higher than the previous year.

Williams doubted the increase had anything to do with a report by scientific researchers that a compound in watermelons causes an effect similar to Viagra, the drug used to alleviate sexual dysfunction in men.

Researchers at Texas A&M say the ingredient citrulline, found in the flesh and rind of the watermelon, relaxes blood vessels, producing an effect similar to the popular drug.

Rush Springs state Representative Joe Dorman says another factor is melon farmers in the area have dwindled as field workers have become harder to find.

Dorman says the passage of anti-illegal immigration legislation has made it harder for farmers to find laborers.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by ChehsireCat Location: Texas on Aug 15, 2008 at 01:23 AM
    You know, they weigh a lot and the cost to haul them to market increased 3 times over last year. Do you think fuel prices effected harvest and shipping cost, not the lack of illegal aliens. AM your right, this does sound like Feinstein and Pelosi the Puppets of Agribusiness.
  • by Mork Location: Ork on Aug 13, 2008 at 05:10 AM
    Watermelons & Viagra.....There has to be a Country & Western song in this somewhere! We are now blaming the rising cost of our products in beefed up immigration laws - is Nancy Pelosi behind this propaganda (how do you spell propaganda?) Who will be the first to post a watermelon joke and will they be from Oakland, Oklahoma? Sorry - I couldn't resist :) HAGD
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