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Watermelon Trials Result in a 15% Yield Increase

10 March 2021

Multiple studies were done at Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Extension Center to assess how NOVIHUM affected the growth of watermelon seedlings and of watermelons under different stress conditions.

NOVIHUM was added to a peat-based growing media before the seeds were sown both diploid and triploid varieties were grown. Trays were grown under cool vs. hot and well-watered vs. deficit irrigation.  The transplants were subjected to two different environmental treatments, heat, and drought stress. Droughts stress was imposed by applying 50% of the necessary irrigation as calculated by ET based irrigation scheduling. The NOVIHUM treated transplants had a faster leaf and stem relative growth rate during the first 10 days after transplant. The diploid varieties had a yield increase in the cool season under both irrigation treatments. In the cool season study, the NOVIHUM triploid plants had increased yield under both irrigation rates and the triploid melons had increased yield in the hot season, particularly in the well-watered treatment. It was found that “Stronger transplant quality due to humic substance (NOVIHUM) application could ameliorate the adverse effects caused by abiotic stress, which led to a higher yield compared with the control (Qin, July 2020).”

In a second study, NOVIHUM was mixed into the soil the watermelons were planted in and irrigation was at 50% and 100% using ET based irrigation scheduling. The NOVIHUM treated soil had a 38.6% higher early yield than the control, this was mainly seen in the deficit irrigation treatment. Overall, the total marketable yield for the season was 11.8% higher and there was an increase of the large 7- 9 kg melons. “These results indicate that soil organic inputs with humic substance and deficit irrigation are valuable strategies to establish sustainable systems for watermelon production, which will not only increase yield and water use efficiency but also significantly improve soil quality and save irrigation water (Qin, May 2020).”

The same research team conducted an unpublished companion study on a commercial watermelon farm in Dilley, Texas.  The results confirm that the published findings about NOVIHUM’s impacts are fully transferable to commercial conditions, with a yield increase of 15% and better-quality melons compared to the grower’s standard practice.

For more information, feel free to download the research done by the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University:

Assessments of Humic Substances Application and Deficit Irrigation in Triploid Watermelon  

Humic Substances Improve Vegetable Seedling Quality and Post‐Transplant Yield Performance Under Stress Conditions  

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