The Week in Florida Agriculture
December 31, 2007 - January 6, 2008
Pastures are very dry and brown due to drought. Potato planting continued in Palatka. Strawberries, tomatoes and ornamentals suffered losses due to extreme cold and wind. Due to freezing temperatures, the tropical fish industry is expected to suffer a minimum of $8 million in losses in this area alone, which produces about 90 percent of all tropical fish in Florida. Wauchula reported that the remaining blueberry and strawberry crop had no or little damage. Cucumbers, snap beans, tomatoes and peppers suffered a 10-15 percent loss due to freezing temperatures. Pompano continued harvesting without interruption and reported that all crops looked good. Harvesting and packing of beans, okra, squash and tomatoes continued in Florida City. Citrus: Some isolated damage reported, but freeze duration was not long enough to cause significant damage. Navel, grapefruit Ambersweet, Sunburst and Honey Tangerines are being harvested. Vegetables: Marketing of asparagus, beans and peas was steady. Harvest Forecast, USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service Bell peppers: Winter area for harvest in Florida is forecast at 5,800 acres, down 5 percent from last year. Strawberries: 8,700 acres, up 400 acres, or 5 percent, above last year's revised 8,300 acres harvested in Florida. Strawberry area planted for major states (California, Florida and Oregon) in 2008 is forecast at 47,000 acres, up 1 percent from 2007. Tomatoes: Florida winter tomato harvested area is forecast at 9,100 acres, down 9 percent from 2007. Snap beans: Florida area for harvest is forecast at 14,000 acres, up 1 percent from last year. Cabbage: In Florida, producers expect to harvest 5,000 acres through March, up 200 acres or 4 percent, above last year's revised 4, 800 acres harvested. Sweet corn: Florida harvested area is forecast at 6,400 acres, 9 percent below last year.