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What state is the nation's top watermelon producer?

CHRIS URSO   |   Times An unidentified customer walks past bins of watermelons Monday, July 1, 2019 at a Walmart in Tampa. NASCAR Driver Ross Chastain’s family grow watermelon at a farm in Punta Gorda which supply watermelon to Walmart. Chastain will compete this weekend in Daytona for the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
CHRIS URSO | Times An unidentified customer walks past bins of watermelons Monday, July 1, 2019 at a Walmart in Tampa. NASCAR Driver Ross Chastain’s family grow watermelon at a farm in Punta Gorda which supply watermelon to Walmart. Chastain will compete this weekend in Daytona for the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
Published Jul. 16

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Summer means relaxing by the pool, barbeques and refreshing slices of watermelon and no one produces more of this favorite summertime fruit than Florida.

The Sunshine State is the top producer of watermelon in the United States. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences says Florida farmers sold 800 million pounds of watermelon last year.

RELATED: These homemade Nutty Coconut Granola Bars are a solid portable snack

The largest growers are near Immokalee, Belle Glade, Arcadia and the Suwannee Valley, which produces a third of the state's watermelon crop.

The research center's assistant director Bob Hochmuth says watermelons are made of 92 percent water.

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