The Week in Florida Agriculture
May 25-31, 2009
Peanut planting is 72 percent complete. Planting of peanuts has been delayed in some areas due to excess moisture. In some cases extremely wet fields will require peanuts to be replanted. Potato crop suffered heavy losses due to flooding. Initial loss estimates of the Hastings area potato crop: 50 percent of the chipping crop, 80 percent of table varieties. Soybeans and cotton planting has been delayed in some areas of the Panhandle. Field crops in the Big Bend area have benefited from recent rainfall and are reported to be in excellent condition. Watermelon harvest in southern areas continues. Seafood: Blue crab, red grouper, amberjack, and king mackerel are plentiful. Fruits and Vegetables: Growers report some fields being picked for the fourth or fifth time. Northern area growers report disease problems in some vegetable fields. Snap beans, cucumbers, peppers, and squash are reported in poor condition. Cantaloupe quality lower due to too much moisture. Movement of vegetables down significantly. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture improving, however, some low-lying areas in the central and southwest are flooded. In the Panhandle, pasture condition is poor to excellent with most good to excellent. Summer perennial pasture grass returning to normal growth. Cattle condition is mostly good. In the northern areas, pasture is fair to excellent with most in good condition. In the central areas, pasture is very poor to good with most fair to good. Pasture condition improved over the last two weeks, recovering from the prolonged drought. Rains this past week filled some ponds and ditches. There is standing water in poorly drained areas in interior sections. Pasture condition in the southwest was very poor to good with most fair to good. Pastures are recovering quickly from drought, however, some poorly drained areas have standing water. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most fair to good. Citrus: Typical Florida summer weather patterns returned to the citrus-producing region bringing plenty of sunshine, followed by late afternoon and evening rain showers. Most showers were quick moving, bringing one-tenth to one-half inch each evening. Fort Pierce and Balm on the two coasts had the most rain for the week at over 3 inches. All other monitored areas received 2 inches or less. Daily highs were in the upper 80s on most days. The tropical weather continues to be an asset to fruit growth and tree foliage. Oranges are as large as golf balls, while grapefruit are slightly larger. Trees in well-kept groves are in good condition for next seasonís crop. Production practices are back on schedule and include herbiciding, spraying, mowing, and brush removal. Valencia harvest continues to be active with over 4 million boxes harvested. Most packinghouses have plans to close in mid-June or early July. Varieties processed include late oranges and very limited quantities of grapefruit.