The Week in Florida Agriculture
April 27 - May 3, 2009
Peanut planting is 26 percent complete. Previously soggy Panhandle fields have begun to dry, allowing growers to plant crops. Limited vegetable planting under way in the Panhandle. Late April storms with wind and hail damaged some squash and cucumbers around Palatka. Most broccoli harvesting is finished. Some cabbage still being harvested in the tri-county area. Potato yield and quality are reported to be lower than last year. Potato harvesting in southern locations is concluding. Potato harvest is beginning in the north central region. Blueberry harvest continues. Tomato harvesting continues. Harvest of beans, squash, sweet corn, eggplant and tomatoes continues in South Florida. Seafood: Red grouper, golden tilefish and vermillion snapper are plentiful. Vegetables: Okra and cantaloupe harvest is under way. Peppers, cucumbers, celery, radishes, endive, escarole, collard greens and watermelon are being marketed. Livestock and Pastures: Drought is causing pasture condition to decline. In the Panhandle, pasture condition is poor to excellent. Pastures have greened up. Livestock are grazing down the pasture. Cattle condition is poor to excellent. In the north and central areas, pasture condition ranges from very poor to excellent, with most in poor condition. Pasture condition has deteriorated due to drought. Cattle condition is very poor to good, with most cattle in poor condition. Some cows are losing weight due to poor pasture. Pasture condition in the southwest is very poor to good, with most poor to good. Pastures are very short and in some cases the grass is practically gone due to lack of rainfall. Statewide, cattle condition was very poor to excellent, with most in fair condition. Citrus: The entire complete citrus belt is very warm and dry with little or no rainfall. Temperatures ranged from the high 80s to low 90s during the day and the 60s and 70s at night. All areas are experiencing drought conditions ranging from severe to extreme. The dry weather continues to affect surface soil moisture and trees. Slight tree wilt reported during the heat of the day. As drought conditions continue, varying stages of water restrictions are in effect. Next year’s fruit is pea size on late oranges and marble size on early oranges. Grapefruit is slightly larger. Irrigation continues, but other production practices are limited. Packing of grapefruit and Valencia oranges continues in small quantities. Some packinghouses expect to stop running fruit within the next two weeks. Despite the high juice inventory, picking of Valencia oranges for processing remains very active. Harvest for honey tangerines, early oranges, and Temples is nearly over for the season.