Drought conditions causing problems at Hempstead watermelon farm

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – At Diioro’s Farmers Market in Hempstead, their supply is very sweet.

Longtime customers like Vivienne like to fill their shopping carts to the top with their Hempstead Watermelons.

“This is my supply,” she explained. “I was supplying everybody else for a while.”

However, the store’s juicy supply of the sweet summertime treat could soon come to an end.

“It’s definitely been dry,” James Diiorio said.

The Diiorio Farm is family-owned.

“We grow watermelon,” he said. “That’s pretty much our biggest crop,.”

Which could also make it their biggest loss.

“The third planting took a little bit of a hit with the drought and the heat,” Diiorio added. “What it created was like a race to get the fruit.”

So the sun doesn’t burn it, he says watermelons typically need 90 days to grow— meaning their current crop will be the last of this season, which typically ends late July.

Diiorio says inflation is another concern, as fertilizer and supply costs continue to climb.

“We’ll definitely have to put a pencil to it,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.”

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