The Week in Florida Agriculture
June 9-15, 2008
Peanut planting has ended. Peanut condition is rated 2 percent poor, 57 percent fair, 36 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. Squash harvest has ended. Harvesting of peppers and tomatoes continues. Wheat harvest continues. Some hay is being cut. With less than 800 acres of potatoes reported left in the fields, harvest is nearing completion. Watermelon harvest has begun. Harvesting of zucchini, eggplant, okra, bell pepper and organic squash continues in the Suwannee Valley. Harvesting of summer crops has begun in Florida City. Most other areas report field activity slowing down seasonally. Vegetables: Sweet corn and cucumbers are being marketed. Seafood: Florida pink shrimp are plentiful. Drought Update: Most areas throughout the state received an inch of rain or more. Showers left 3 to 4 inches in many areas of the central Peninsula; Hardee, and Glades counties in the southern Peninsula; and Jackson County in the Panhandle. The most rain received was 5.77 inches in Alachua County. Livestock and Pastures: Improved pasture conditions are being reported in areas across the state with rain spotted in all districts. In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is fair. Cattle condition is fair to good. In the central areas, most of the pasture is in very poor to poor condition. The cattle condition is fair. In the southwestern areas, pasture condition is mainly in good condition. Statewide, cattle condition is mostly poor to fair. Citrus: Growers welcomed rain over all citrus areas, although it varied from a trace to almost 4 inches. Trees look good with heavy foliage and healthy new fruit. Production activities include irrigating where necessary, spraying, mowing and brush removal. Growers are combating greening by removing trees and attempting to control the Psyllids with pesticides. The Valencia harvest has dropped below the 5 million-box weekly amount as hot temperatures and afternoon rain slowed harvest. Some processing plants plan to run Valencia oranges into the second week of July. Grapefruit utilization has declined rapidly with small amounts of red varieties continuing to be processed. Honey tangerine harvest is nearing completion with packinghouses closing for the season.