The Week in Florida Agriculture
October 6-12, 2008
Peanut condition is rated 3 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 14 percent excellent. Peanut digging is 65 percent complete, compared with 51 percent this time last year, and a five-year average progress of 58 percent. Squash harvesting is under way. Cucumber harvest is under way. Peanut harvest is mostly complete. Cotton harvest is under way. Forage planting has been held up by lack of adequate soil moisture. Second and third hay cuttings are under way. Cool night temperatures are slowing peanut maturity. Root rot is reported on a few vegetables, but most look good. Cabbage planting continues. Some pastures remain flooded causing hoof problems. Recent rains have flooded some pastures while leaving others extremely wet, hurting forage recovery. Vegetables: Growers continue to prepare land and plant vegetables. Eggplant, okra and tomatoes are being marketed. Livestock and Pastures: Cool season forage planting is in progress, but cooler nights and drought are limiting grass growth. In the Panhandle and northern areas, most pastures are in fair condition. Growing conditions are good for planting winter small grains and clover for grazing. Showers have encouraged planting of small grains for forage. Summer pasture has rapidly declined in quality and quantity. Cattle condition is mostly good. In the central areas, pasture ranges from very poor to good. In the southwest areas, pastures are mainly in good condition Citrus: On average, temperatures are warmer than normal in citrus-producing counties, with evening lows in the 60s and 70s. A number of quick-moving heavy thunderstorms brought rainfall to the northern, eastern, and central growing areas. Lake Alfred had almost 3 inches of rainfall; Apopka and Fort Pierce had over 2 inches. The new crop fruit set is variable, with higher-than-average fruit sets on early oranges and early tangerines, and lower-than-average fruit sets on later varieties. Maturity levels on early and late oranges indicate the crop is ahead of recent historical averages. Grove activity includes limited irrigating, herbicide application and mowing. Colored grapefruit are showing color break in the eastern and southern regions. Scouting continues for canker and greening. Most of the packinghouses are open and have begun shipping fruit. Only two large processing plants are running fruit in small quantities. Varieties being packed include early oranges (Navels, Ambersweet and Hamlins), white and colored grapefruit, and Fallglo tangerines.