The Week in Florida Agriculture
June 16-22, 2008
Peanut pegging is 25 percent complete, compared with 14 percent this time last year. Peanut condition was rated 1 percent poor, 53 percent fair, 34 percent good, and 12 percet excellent. Watermelons are being harvested. Wheat harvest is complete. Zucchini, squash, eggplant, okra and peppers are being harvested. Growers are planting sorghum as a cover crop. Very few producers are still digging potatoes in the tri-county area. Plant City reports a few fields of tomatoes left to be harvested, with the harvest ending soon. Cucumbers continue to be planted in Fort Pierce. Wauchula is packing watermelons, but all other crops are finished for the season. Summer crop harvest continuing in Florida City, but field activity is ending in other areas. Avocado, guava, okra and mango are being harvested and packed. Seafood: Florida snapper landings typically increase in the summer months, particularly yellowtail and vermillion snapper. Also, the supply of Florida red snapper is best at the beginning of the month. Drought Update: Significant showers fell over most areas of the state. Areas of the central and southern Peninsula received the most rain, with Osceola County receiving 4.03 inches, Polk County receiving 3.67 inches, and Dade County receiving 5.66 inches. The Panhandle received the least precipitation, reporting less than 1 inch. Topsoil moisture is mostly short in the Panhandle, and short to adequate in other areas around the state. Subsoil moisture is adequate in all regions. Lake Okeechobee held steady at 9.27 feet. Livestock and Pastures: Rainfall in some areas is helping pasture conditions remain stable throughout the state. The Panhandle and northern locations report pastures mostly in fair condition. Cattle are mostly fair with some in good and excellent condition. Pasture in the central district is reported as very poor to good. The condition of cattle is very poor to fair. In the southwestern areas, pasture condition ranges from poor to good. Cattle are mostly in fair to good condition in the southwestern areas. Statewide, cattle condition varies from poor to good. Citrus: Weather conditions across the state are hot and humid, which has been beneficial to fruit growth and tree foliage. Oranges are golf-ball sized, while grapefruit are about two to three times as large. Production practices are on schedule in all areas, included herbicide, spraying, mowing and brush removal. Some growers are combining their efforts on aerial applications for Psyllids control. Valencia harvest has dropped below 4 million boxes due to lessening availability. Some processing plants plan to run Valencia oranges into the second week of July. Grapefruit processing is almost over with small amounts of red varieties continuing to be juiced. Honey tangerine harvest is essentially completed.