Mar 12, 2021
USDA proposes revising US standards for watermelon

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is proposing to revise the U.S. Standards for Watermelon to provide a common language for trade.

In October 2019, the National Watermelon Association (NWA), a trade association representing growers, retailers, and shippers from 30 U.S. states, Canada, and Central America, petitioned the USDA to revise the watermelon standards and update the official USDA visual aids library. Revisions to their request were made in November 2020.

AMS is proposing to include anthracnose in the decay tolerance in the U.S. No. 1 and U.S. No. 2 grades; adjust the range of average weight from 20-42 to 10-34 pounds; add sunburn as a permanent defect; revise scoring guides for hail, rind worm injury, scars, hollow heart, sunburn, and transit rubs; remove metric measurements from the standard; and make minor editorial changes.

The notice of the proposed revisions was published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2021. Written comments must be received by May 10, 2021.

The proposed revisions will ensure the standards align with current marketing trends.

A 60-day period is provided for interested persons to submit comments on the proposed grade standards. Copies of the proposed revised U.S. Standards for Grades of Watermelons are available at After the 60-day comment period, AMS will proceed in accordance with 7 CFR 36.3(a)(1-3).

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