The Week in Florida Agriculture
June 2-8, 2008
Peanuts are 77 percent planted, compared to 93 percent at this time last year. Wheat harvesting continues. Cantaloupe and watermelon harvests slowing. Harvesting of avocadoes has begun. Potato harvesting continues. In the southern peninsula, harvesting of eggplant and peppers is nearly finished, and the sweet corn harvest has concluded. Vegetables: Vegetables being marketed during the week are avocados, cantaloupe, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, peppers, potatoes, radishes, tomatoes and watermelon. Drought Update: Most locations throughout the state received less than half an inch of rain during the week. Crops in Indian River County are suffering due to afternoon wilting. Drought and hot temperatures in Santa Rosa County are producing severe conditions for cotton. The state pasture condition deteriorated, with hot and windy conditions increasing the impact of the drought. Drought conditions have become extreme. Some cattlemen are completely out of hay. Availability of citrus fruit remaining to be harvested has decreased with softness of some fruit reported because of the dry and hot weather. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is mainly poor. Cattle are being fed supplemental hay. Cattle condition is poor to fair. In the central areas, pasture condition is mainly in very poor to poor condition. Cattle condition is very poor to good. In the southwestern areas, pasture is in very poor to good condition. Statewide, cattle condition is mostly poor to fair. Citrus: Citrus-producing areas continue to experience the hot and dry weather pattern of the last few weeks. With the continued and extensive use of irrigation, most trees look good with heavy foliage and healthy new fruit. Hedging and topping are continuing into the latter part of the citrus season. Other production activities include irrigating, spraying, mowing and brush removal. Growers are combating greening by removing trees and attempting to control the psyllids with pesticides. Valencia harvest has dropped below the 6 million-box weekly amount as hot temperatures slow the harvest. Some processing plants plan to run Valencia oranges into the second week of July. Grapefruit utilization is declining rapidly. Honey tangerine harvest is near completion as packing houses closed for the season.