Florida produces more watermelon than any other state

800 million pounds of watermelon sold last years

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Associated Press)

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.

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.