The Week in Florida Agriculture
February 4-10, 2008
Hay supply is low in the Panhandle, but winter wheat has all been planted and is in good condition. Cabbage, kale, broccoli, and variety of mixed greens are being harvested and packed in Palatka. Farmers are preparing to plant watermelons. The warmer weather helped some pasture grasses recover, and pastures are becoming green. Strawberry plants are in full bloom in Plant City. Peppers and squash are being planted in Plant City area. Potatoes are being harvested, and spring crop looks fair in southern peninsula Beans, corn, squash and tomatoes are being harvested and packed in Florida City. Potatoes are being planted in Central Florida. Vegetables: Celery, endive, escarole, radishes, eggplant and cucumbers are being marketed. Drought Update: Scattered showers were reported across the state with a quarter-inch or more reported in St. Johns, Osceola, Jackson, Hardee and Gadsden counties. In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is reported very poor to good, with most in poor condition due to cold and drought. In Sumter County, there has been little rain and pastures are drying up. In the southwestern areas, pastures are very poor to excellent, with most poor to fair due to drought. Pastures are dry in DeSoto County. Citrus: Groves and trees are in good condition in well-tended groves. New blooms and new growth is negligible in all areas. Some growers are pushing large areas that have trees affected with greening. Others were pushing only those trees affected and were spraying to combat the citrus psyllid. The honey tangerine harvest, at just over 100,000 boxes weekly, is expected to pick up slightly and hold constant for the next several weeks. Grapefruit is being harvested almost equally for the fresh and processed market. The early and midseason orange harvest is expected to stay at about the 5 million-box level through early to mid-March before decreasing and transitioning to Valencia. Varieties being harvested included early, midseason, Navel, and Temple oranges; grapefruit; Sunburst and honey tangerines; and tangelos.