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  • Author or Editor: Gabriele Gusmini x
  • HortTechnology x
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Yield data for the major cucurbit crops in the United States have been collected and summarized. Yield trends are presented for cucumber (Cucumis sativus; processing and fresh-market), melon (Cucumis melo; muskmelon and honeydew), and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) for the period 1951–2005. Data have been obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as originally reported by six of its units: Agricultural Marketing Service, Agricultural Research Service, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Economic Statistics Service, National Agricultural Statistics Service, and Statistical Reporting Service. For all crops yields have been increasing over time, except for processing cucumber, for which yields seem to have reached a plateau by the end of the 1990s.

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Salted and sweet watermelon rind pickles are commonly produced in North America, Europe, and Asia using traditional recipes. Homeowners and small industries use the leftover watermelon crop, especially from cultivars having thick and crisp rind, to produce pickles. Recently, we classified rind thickness for a set of obsolete and heirloom cultivars used by home gardeners and heirloom collectors in the United States. In this study, we used elite cultivars for growers interested in high yield, fruit quality, adaptability, and disease resistance. The objective of this study was to classify modern cultivars (nine inbreds and 103 F1 hybrids) of watermelons available to growers for use in production of watermelon rind pickles. Based on the data, cultivars were divided into three groups of rind thickness and categorized according to pedigree (inbred or F1 hybrid), fruit type (seeded or seedless), and flesh color (red, orange, or yellow). Most of the cultivars tested (109 of 112) had rind thicker than 10 mm and could be used for pickle production.

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