The Week in Florida Agriculture
September 15-21, 2008
Peanut condition is rated 29 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. Peanut digging is 14 percent complete, compared with 13 percent this time last year, and a five-year average of 19 percent. Corn harvesting is nearing completion. Heavy rainfall has delayed land preparation. Cotton is doing well. Cotton defoliation has begun in a few fields, but picking has not started yet. There are reports of an excessive armyworm population. Central and southeast producers are preparing land and planting fall vegetables. Standing water has delayed some field work. Seafood: Wholesalers are reporting that red grouper is plentiful statewide with prices remaining steady. Vegetables: Some field work has been delayed by rainfall. Many growers report that more rain is needed for the crops that have not yet been harvested. Growers in southwest areas are being helped by recent sunny conditions. The soybean crop looks good due to timely fungicide applications. Okra and avocadoes are being marketed. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is mainly in good condition. Pasture grass is growing in most areas, but growth has slowed in many locations due to drought and cooler nighttime temperatures. Leasing of land for grazing is below average for this time of year, due to poor conditions resulting from the drought. Cattle condition is mainly in good condition. In the central areas, pasture is fair to good. Some pastures are in very poor condition due to standing water from heavy rains. Other pastures are still drying out from Tropical Storm Fay. Cattle condition is mainly in good condition. In the southwest areas, pasture condition is very poor to excellent. Statewide, cattle condition is mainly good. Citrus: Most citrus-producing areas received light rainfall on one or two days during the week. Only Ona and Immokalee had totals over 1 inch. The rest of the citrus region had between one-tenth and four-tenths of an inch. Most areas are able to conduct normal grove maintenance activity that includes irrigating, spraying, mowing, pulling out old trees, and preparing for harvest. Growers are continually battling canker and greening. Scouting for diseases and removal of dead trees is occurring across the state. Some growers have chosen to abandon groves rather than spend resources trying to keep them healthy. Trees that have been maintained look good with heavy foliage and healthy-looking fruit. In well-tended groves, oranges are observed as large as baseballs and grapefruit as large as softballs. Later varieties are slightly smaller. Additional packinghouses have open with many more planning to open in the next few weeks.