PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's famous Hermiston watermelons are back in season.

The East Oregonian reports that growers anticipate they will start picking in earnest this week.

Watermelons are an iconic crop for Hermiston, thriving in the region's sandy soils and desert climate. Driving north into town on Highway 395, the Hermiston logo emblazoned on the water tower features a watermelon backdrop along with the slogan, "Where Life is Sweet."

Precision agriculture and modern technology have led to increased yields, which has helped to expand markets. Firmly entrenched in the Northwest, Hermiston watermelons can also be found across the West Coast and have been shipped as far as Texas and Georgia.

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Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.com