The Week in Florida Agriculture
November 3-9, 2008
Peanut digging is 94 percent complete, the same as this time last year, and 2 percent below the five-year average progress of 96 percent. Peanut and cotton harvest is near completion in many counties with good yields reported. Early frost damaged about 500 acres of peas. Pastures have declined significantly due to recent heavy frosts. Hay is being harvested. Tomato picking continues. Small grain forage planting continues. Cabbage and broccoli are being planted. Hay is being harvested. Most winter graze of small grains, ryegrass, and clover has been planted but needs rain. Dry, cool weather has ended warm-season pasture growth. Farmers are irrigating strawberry plants in Plant City. Fort Pierce reports a good harvest of cucumbers. Immokalee reports a light harvest of squash and cucumbers. Florida City has begun snap bean harvest. Vegetables: Sweet corn, eggplant, okra and peppers are being marketed. Seafood: Florida stone crab claws are in peak season and remain plentiful. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is poor to fair. The poor condition is due to frost and drought. Hay feeding has started early due to the early frost. Cattle condition is fair to good. In the central areas, pastures ranges from very poor to good with most in fair condition. In the southwest areas, pasture condition is very poor to excellent with most in good condition. Cool temperatures and no rain has limited forage growth. Cattle condition is poor to excellent with most in good condition. Statewide, cattle condition is fair to good. Citrus: Mild weather covered the entire citrus belt with warm afternoons and cool evenings and mornings. Rainfall was less than one-tenth of an inch across the growing area, causing most owners to implement regular irrigation schedules. The quantity and quality of fruit continues to be reported good in all areas. Ratios are being reported ahead of last season on all orange varieties; grapefruit ratios are about the same. Few caretakers are resetting groves at this time due to the limited availability of trees. Grove activity includes limited harvesting, herbiciding and mowing. Scouting for greening and removal of affected trees continues in many areas. Over 40 major packinghouses are open with only a couple of large houses remaining to open. Varieties being packed include early oranges (Navels, Ambersweet and Hamlin), white and colored grapefruit, and early tangerines (Fallglo and Sunburst). Processing is still very limited, mostly due to packinghouse shutdowns. About a half dozen plants are open with three more planning to open soon.