The Week in Florida Agriculture
September 22-28, 2008
Peanut condition is rated 34 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. Peanut digging is 30 percent complete, compared with 22 percent this time last year, and a five-year average progress of 29 percent. Cotton harvest has begun. Corn harvesting is nearly complete. Vegetables are progressing well. Some pastures are drying out. Forages are slow to come back with nighttime temperatures in the 50s. Preparation of fields for winter small grain forage is under way. Cool nights have slowed peanut progress. The extremely dry soil is making it hard to dig in some areas. Silage looks good on irrigated fields. Some loss of vegetable crop and delays in planting. Farmers report favorable conditions for harvesting in fields. Tomato planting is complete. Vegetables look very good. Reports of field work delays due to excessive rainfall. Seafood: Wholesalers report Florida pompano are in good supply and available in all sizes. Vegetables: Okra, tomatoes, and avocadoes are being marketed. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is mainly in good condition. Some pastures have been hurt by drought. Cattle condition is mainly in good condition. In the central areas, pasture is mainly fair to good. Some pastures still in very poor condition due to standing water from rain the previous week or from Tropical Storm Fay. Looper damage of pastures reported. Cattle condition is fair to good. In the southwest areas, pasture condition is in fair condition. Statewide, cattle condition is predominately in good condition. Citrus: Weather patterns brought cooler temperatures to citrus producing areas. All areas except Immokalee dropped to the low 60s at least one night during the week. Rainfall was nominal in four of the seven monitored areas. Rainfall early in the week totaled over 1 inch in Fort Pierce. Immokalee and Sebring had one-half inch. Normal grove maintenance activity includes irrigating, spraying, mowing, pulling out old trees, and preparing for harvest. Growers are actively scouting for greening and spraying to reduce the psyllid population or making the decision to push trees affected with the disease. Owners with groves next to abandoned citrus that lack psyllid control have concerns. Overall, cared-for trees look good with heavy foliage and healthy fruit. Over a dozen packinghouses have opened and are running fruit. Varieties going fresh include Fallglo tangerines, grapefruit, Ambersweet, and Navel oranges. Only one processing plant has opened so far this season.