The National Watermelon Promotion Board has two new importer seats and new boundaries for all districts.

The changes, made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Orlando, Fla.-based board, went into effect July 19, according to the final rule published in the July 18 Federal Register.

The addition of two importers will give the board a total of eight. The board also is made up of 14 producers, 14 handlers and one public member.

Additional importers were added because the percentage of assessments paid by importers has increased to 29%.

Under the new district realignment, each U.S. watermelon-growing district will represent about 16% of total production.

At least once every five years, the USDA makes changes to the board based on where watermelons are being produced and on assessments paid by importers.

For more information, e-mail Jeanette Palmer, marketing specialist in the USDA’s Research and Promotion Branch, at