Chinese farmers plagued by exploding watermelons

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

Farmers in China have been baffled by a rather peculiar problem: exploding watermelons.

China Central Television (CCT) blames the phenomenon on the overuse of a chemical designed to make fruit grow faster, claiming famers were overspraying crops to get ahead of competitors.

Then again, agricultural experts are seemingly unable to explain why chemical-free melons were also exploding, as they point to weather and abnormal size as the main cause. 

According to Xinhua news agency, 20 famers in a village in Jiangsu province imported watermelon seeds from Japan - 10 of whom eventually watched their crop explode.

Interestingly enough, only one out of the ten had treated his exploding watermelons with the growth chemical.

To be sure, over two-thirds (180) of farmer Liu Mingsuo’s crops fell victim to mass explosions after he used chemicals to boost their growth.

Agricultural experts are left somewhat baffled by the cause, as the chemical has not officially been linked to the explosions.

Could it be absorption of the chemical in awater source? Or perhaps in the air? Or just some environmental fluke?

Unsurprisingly, China has approved the usage of the growth chemical under certain quotas. So far, tests show the chemical is safe.

Still, if this doesn’t help people move towards organic living, I really don’t know what will.

(Via BBC)