The Week in Florida Agriculture
March 31 - April 6, 2008
85 percent of corn has been planted and the rest is expected to be planted next week. Producers are planting corn. First hay of the season is being baled. Most watermelons have been seeded or transplanted. Much of the corn has been planted. Preparation for the harvest of early planted potatoes is under way. Most cabbage growers are wrapping up the harvesting season. Sweet onions are being harvested in St Augustine. Vegetables: Producers are marketing snap beans, celery, cabbage, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, escarole, okra, peas, peppers, radishes, squash and tomatoes. Drought Update: All locations received over an inch of rain for the week, with Polk receiving 4.52 inches, Santa Rosa receiving 4.91 inches, and Gadsden receiving 5.62 inches. A majority of the rain came toward the end of the week. Lake Okeechobee level continues to show improvement, closing the week at 10.35 feet. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is reported poor to good, with most in fair condition. Most permanent pasture is having good growth in Jefferson County. In Santa Rosa County, small grain forage is improving with the continued cool, dry weather. In Washington County, perennial grasses are slowly recovering from the late freeze. The condition of cattle is mostly fair. In central areas, pasture condition is fair to good. In Marion County, pasture grass is showing marked improvement due to warmer temperatures and rainfall. Cattle conditions are fair. In the southwestern areas, pasture is mostly in good condition. Due to the increased rains, pasture condition is improving as well as cattle body condition scores. Statewide, cattle condition is mostly fair. Citrus: Heavy rainfall brought precipitation totals for the week ending on April 6, to over 4 inches in the central citrus region and over 2 1/2 in the southern and eastern growing regions. The rainfall was very helpful to the trees carrying new fruit for the next season. Grove maintenance continues to be busy and includes spraying, mowing, hedging, topping and fertilizing. New growth flush and about three-quarters petal drop is reported on late oranges and full petal drop on other varieties. Valencia harvest, at over 6 million boxes this week, is almost at its peak amount for the season. The majority of the remaining grapefruit this season will go processed. Fresh export sales for both grapefruit and tangerines are diminishing. Varieties being harvested include early, midseason, Temple, and Valencia oranges, grapefruit, and Honey tangerines. Early harvesting of watermelons has begun in Immokalee.