The Week in Florida Agriculture
September 1-7, 2008
Peanut condition is rated 17 percent fair, 69 percent good, and 14 percent excellent. A few growers began peanut harvesting. Rain has delayed corn harvesting. Flooding significantly damaged the cotton crop. Corn harvest is finished Excess rain from recent tropical storms has hindered field activities, such as spraying peanuts for leaf spot. Some peanut growers expect white mold, but overall the county’s crops are doing well. Standing water remains in some hay fields in the Big Bend area. Corn harvest is under way. Seafood: Even with the unpredictable weather throughout Florida, grouper is in good supply and prices have remained steady. Vegetables: Some fields in the central and southern Peninsula are drying out, allowing land preparation and vegetable planting to continue. Cabbage and broccoli land preparations have been delayed for some centrally located growers. Okra and avocados are moving through the market. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle areas, pasture condition is very poor to excellent with most in good to excellent condition. In Leon County, flooding subsided in most pastures but with some hay fields remaining partially under water. In Washington County, most pasture is in good condition. In the northern areas, pasture is poor to excellent. In Duval County, standing water in pastures is slowly beginning to subside. Since the tropical storm of August 18-23, there has been increased damage to pastures from mole crickets. The cattle condition is mostly fair to good. In the central areas, pasture is in fair to excellent condition with most in good condition. In Marion County, there was minimal damage to pastures due to flooding. In the Southwest areas, pasture condition is very poor to excellent. In Collier, Glades, and Lee counties, pastures are very wet and some remain under water. Mosquitoes are a problem. Some calves are being lost. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most in good condition. Citrus: Rain bands from Tropical Storm Hanna in the Atlantic dropped just over 2 inches of rain on the East Coast and just over one-half inch in Sebring. Unrelated to the storm, Immokalee had one-half inch of rainfall. All other monitored areas in citrus-producing counties did not have significant rainfall during the week. Daily high temperatures are in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Some groves on the East Coast are still very wet from the heavy rainfall during the preceding few weeks. Isolated groves have yellowing of leaves and additional small percentages of fruit drop. Most caretakers across the citrus belt are returning to general maintenance schedules which include mowing, fertilizing, herbiciding, tree removal, and preparing for harvest. One packinghouse opened this week and is running limited quantities of Fallglo tangerines. Two other packinghouses will open in the next week or two. Overall, the citrus season is progressing well with good sizes on both oranges and grapefruit. Trees look good with heavy foliage and healthy-looking fruit. Precipitation: Rainfall was less than half an inch for most locations. However, St. Lucie County received 2.41 inches. Glades, Volusia, and Broward counties reported just over one inch of precipitation for the week.