The Week in Florida Agriculture
March 3-9, 2008
Vegetables: Other vegetables being marketed are sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, escarole, and radishes. In Palatka, cabbage and mixed greens continue to be harvested and local potato crop looks good. Cucumbers are in good condition in Fort Pierce and continue to be replanted. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is poor to fair. Pastures have improved following warmer weather as cool season forages have begun to grow. The condition of the cattle is mostly fair to good. In central areas, pasture condition is very poor to good with most in fair condition. Small-grain winter pasture condition is very good, but a heavy frost on March 9 caused a setback for pastures. The cattle condition is very poor to good. In the southwestern areas, pasture is very poor to excellent with most in fair condition. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to good with most in fair condition. Strong demand for strawberries continues in Plant City. Light volumes of tomatoes and peppers are being harvested in the southern Peninsula. In Fort Myers, no damage from the cold front was reported and harvesting of collard, peppers, cabbage, squash and zucchini continues. Drought Update: Heavy rain swept across the state causing thunderstorms and heavy winds. Gadsden County in the Panhandle, along with Suwannee and Baker counties in the Big Bend, Broward County in the southern peninsula, and many counties of the central peninsula received more than three inches of rain. Very few areas received less than an inch of rain; those areas include Hernando, Dade, Collier and Hardee counties. Lake Okeechobee level rose to 10.12 feet. Citrus: All stations reported rainfall which is very beneficial for the upcoming bloom period. Temperatures before the cold front were very warm, with more new growth flush and bloom being reported, and more groves now in full bloom. More areas and types are showing spotty bloom with evidence of heavier bloom yet to occur. Systemic pesticide applications continue to promote healthier trees for better crop set. Hedging and topping activities continue before the bloom period. Varieties harvested include declining amounts of early, midseason, Navel, and Temple oranges. Increasing amounts of Valencia oranges and grapefruit for processing are also being harvested. Honey tangerines, Tangelo, and early tangerine harvest is nearing completion. Pasture condition improved following recent rainfall. In Florida City crops look good in the fields and harvesting and packing of beans, corn, squash and tomatoes continues.