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Chemical May Have Led to China Melons Bursting, Xinhua Says

The use of a chemical that prompts plant growth may have contributed to overripe watermelons bursting in their fields in eastern China, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

More than 700 mu (47 hectares or 115 acres) of melons in the city of Danyang in Jiangsu province were ruined when they burst open, Xinhua reported yesterday. The chemical forchlorfenuron may have caused some of the watermelons to burst, the news service reported, citing Wang Liangju, a professor at Nanjing Agricultural University. Heavy rainfall after a recent drought may have also contributed, according to the report.