The Week in Florida Agriculture
June 1-7, 2009
Peanut planting is 85 percent complete. Wet fields have delayed the wheat harvest in the Panhandle, which may cause problems for growers who normally double-crop with late cotton or peanuts. Flooding in the northeast counties hurt potato quality, but some of the crop was salvaged and marketed. Watermelon harvest has begun. Snap beans are showing signs of disease. Hay cutting has been delayed by rain. The spring season was virtually finished for the southern Peninsula, except for okra and tropical crops. Melon quality and harvesting has decreased in the central and southern regions. Seafood: Red and black grouper, flounder, swordfish, soft-shell blue crab and tuna are plentiful. Forestry: Sufficient rainfall across the state is reducing the wildfire risk. Overabundance of rainfall in peninsular Florida is slowing some forest management operations. Vegetables: In central and northern areas, harvest of sweet corn, eggplant, peppers, squash, tomatoes, specialty items, and cucumbers continues. Recent rain has delayed some field activity. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is poor to excellent with most in good condition. Summer forage condition is improving rapidly. Summer perennial grasses are recovering from poor early growth. Cattle condition is poor to excellent with most in good condition. In the central areas, pasture is very poor to excellent with most in fair condition. Forage crops are responding well and recovering from a deep drought. Cattle condition is mostly fair to good. Pasture condition in the southwest is very poor to excellent with most in good condition. The poor condition is due to flooding in some locations and to drought in others. Pasture grass condition continues to improve. Some pasture is flooded in low-lying areas. Cattle condition improving as the grass begins to grow. Some producers note that, even with the severe drought earlier this year, calf weights are near normal. However, more hay and molasses were fed this year. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most in good condition. Citrus: Typical weather patterns for this time of year brought afternoon and evening showers on several days. All areas of the citrus belt reported some rainfall during the week. Many coastal and central areas received up to 2 inches. With the exception of a few areas where the groves were saturated, the rainy weather has not been a factor in harvesting or production practices. Production practices were on schedule and included herbiciding, aerial and ground spraying, mowing, and brush removal. The tropical weather continued 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. Three large processing plants plan on closing this week; almost all plants plan to be closed by the end of the month. Packing of oranges is limited and includes late oranges and very small quantities of grapefruit.